Remarks by H.E. Amb. Liu Xianfa at the Celebration of the Global Confucius Institutes Day
(September 26,2014,Taifa Hall, University of Nairobi)

Honorable Vice Chancellor, Prof. Magoha,

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof. Mbeche,

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof.Mutoro,

Dear faculty and students,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Afternoon!

It gives me great pleasure to join you today, to celebrate the first ever Global Confucius Institutes Day, just four days before we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and about 2 months before we celebrate the 51st anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kenya. First of all, please allow me to express to you our warm congratulations and best wishes.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute. Up to now, over 440 Confucius Institutes and 710 Classrooms have been established in 123 countries, featured by growing enrollment, expanding local teaching staff, characteristic cultural activities and specialized skill training.

Till now, there are about 40 Confucius Institutes and 10 Classrooms in Africa, among them 3 Institutes and 1 classroom are in Kenya. I am very happy to inform you that, the fourth Confucius Institute will be opened early next year in the Moi University. Kenya is now obviously in a leading position in the development of Confucius Institutes both in terms of number and quality in Africa.

In 2005, the first Confucius Institute in Africa and the second one in the world came into being here in the University of Nairobi. Since establishment, the Confucius Institute of the University of Nairobi has made remarkable academic achievements and conducted fruitful cultural exchanges in the past decade. It has successfully introduced Chinese language into the university’s curriculum and offers bachelor and master degrees, a milestone in the development of Confucius Institutes in Africa. I learned that some alumni have already become Chinese language teachers both inside and outside the University of Nairobi. Moreover, the Chinese Song Choir and the Dragon and Lion Dancing team has become a unique brand of the University of Nairobi.

We are so proud of your achievements. And I shall take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the administration of the University of Nairobi. Without your support and help, that would not be possible. My thanks also go to the staff of the Institute, thank you for your hard work and contributions; and the students, thank you for strengthening the bridge for better communication, friendship and cooperation between Kenya and China through studying Chinese. I firmly believe that today’s performance will once again showcase your accomplishments.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The people-to-people exchanges and ties are the fundamental basis and the most important pillar for building a new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa. Our relations need both "hard backing" such as economic cooperation, and "soft propellant" like people-to-people ties. They just like two wheels of a vehicle, which should drive and work together, pushing the China-Africa cooperation into the fast track, and promoting for a more stable, sustainable relationship and a brighter future.

China and Kenya enjoy profound traditional friendship and the bilateral relations have always maintained a steady and healthy development. Both countries have now formed an all-round, wide-ranging and multi-tiered cooperative pattern and become reliable friends and sincere partners.

I hope all of you present here can make greater contributions in cultural exchanges and capacity building for the local community, and attract more and more Kenyan people coming to the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms to learn Chinese language, experience Chinese culture, and make Chinese friends. Meanwhile, I also encourage the Chinese teaching staff of our Confucius Institute to learn, master and spread by heart the rich and colorful Kenyan culture. Chinese Embassy in Kenya has always been and will continue to be committed to and supportive of the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms in Kenya.

Finally, I wish today’s celebration a great success.

Thank you.

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