The Minister of General Education, Hon. Dr. Denis Wanchinga (front row in blue suit with red tie) who represented the Vice-President, Her Honour, Madam Inonge Mutukwa Wina, pose for a group photo with Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Mr Yang Youming (to his left), Chairperson of  UNZA Council Caretaker Committee, Ms Namuchana Musiwa (to his right), UNZA Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Luke Mumba with other digntaries at the official opening of the 2017 Joint Conference of the Confucius Institutes in Africa.

The Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia, Her honour, Madam Inonge Mutukwa Wina has applauded the University of Zambia (UNZA), Hebei University of Economics and Business and Confucius Institute Headquarters for hosting the 2017 Joint Conference for Confucius Institutes in Africa to enhance cooperation and partnership China and the continent.

Madam Wina, said this in her speech read on her behalf by Minister of General Education, Hon. Dr Denis Wanchinga, MP, during the official opening of the conference on Thursday, 18th May 2017 at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Lusaka, Zambia.

The Vice-President, Madam Wina, said that the conference affirmed the enduring and historical relationship that exist between Zambia and China since the 1950s.
Madam Wina said that the China, through its Confucius institutes, had positively contributed to the cultural exchanges by introducing Chinese language learning in some selected schools in Zambia.

She said that government was committed to strengthening cooperation between the UNZA and Hebei University of Economics and Business which aimed at promoting language and cultural exchanges of our two people.

Meanwhile, Minister of Higher Education, Hon. Prof. Nkandu Luo, MP, in her speech read by Acting Permanent Secretary, Mrs Peggy Chirwa, said that government was happy with the cooperation between UNZA and Hebei University of Economics and Business in the area of language and culture.

Prof. Luo said that the cooperation was a reflection of the strong friendship that exists between Zambia and china in many fields of our economy. She said that China had played a major role in promoting education in Zambia through offers of scholarships at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in strategic areas such as health, business, engineering etc.

And Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Mr Yang Youming, said that Hebei University of Economics and Business’s move to create Confucius Institutes in Africa had been a very important vehicle for the exchange of language and cultural programmes between China and Africa.

He expressed gratitude to the Zambian government for allowing the hosting of the 2017 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes from Africa through UNZA. My Yang affirmed the continued support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the development of Confucius institutes in Africa and beyond.

Meantime, Deputy Director General of the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China, Mr Xia Jianhui, said that Confucius institute would construct a road of innovation and creativity across the globe through cooperation with other nations in order to create cultural exchanges of friendships.

And Vice-President of Hebei University of Economics and Business, Mr Wu Xiqing said that the friendship with UNZA started in 2010 which had resulted in the construction of the Confucius institute at its Great East Road campus.

He said that there were a number of Chinese language centres in 10 provinces of Zambia which were being run by Chinese staff. However, he said that soon trained local staff would start teaching Chinese in these centres following their training.

In his welcome remarks, UNZA Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Luke Evuta Mumba, expressed gratitude to Confucius Headquarters for selecting Zambia and, in particular, UNZA to host the 2017 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Africa.

Prof. Mumba said that the introduction of Chinese language at UNZA in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences had been a strategic move in enhancing language and cultural exchanges between Zambia and China.

He said that UNZA had benefited greatly from this friendship through the 2 for 2 programme which had made it possible to train local Chinese teachers who would, in turn, teach the language in secondary schools in Zambia.

The 2017 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Africa has drawn delegates from 54 Confucius institutes and classrooms from 35 African countries, Chinese partner universities, representatives from the Embassy of People's Republic of China in Zambia, representatives from China-funded organisations and representatives from Confucius Institute Headquarters, Hanban, China.

The conference aims to implement the Development Plan of Confucius Institute (2012-2020), exchange experiences to enhance cooperation and promote the development of Confucius Institutes of Africa.