The Chinese ambassador to Rwanda, Rao Hungwei, has urged young Rwandan students to make use of the available opportunities to study Chinese.
Rao was speaking during the “Chinese Bridge” Proficiency Competition for Rwandan College Students at the University of Rwanda’s College of Education in Kigali.
The “Chinese Bridge” Proficiency Competition for International University Students is a large-scale international contest sponsored by the Office of the Chinese Language Council International in Beijing, and is well-known in cultural and educational exchanges worldwide.
This was the 16th edition of the competition that is held yearly presenting opportunities for students to express their proficiency in Chinese, knowledge and talents.
Addressing the teachers, students as well as the dignitaries present at the event, Rao said that the study of Chinese in Rwanda is not only inspired by “the beauty of Chinese language,” but Chinese is a bridge that will connect both countries and people.
“Studying Chinese couldn’t be more timely in Rwanda. The leaning of Chinese is of great importance to China-Rwanda relations as well as Rwandan students’ career development. It’s particularly important at a time of the growing political, economic and cultural cooperation between our two countries,” he said.
He described the language as “a means of communication by which” China’s culture, value and aspiration can be shared by the Rwandan people adding that by learning Chinese, one can have a deeper and more accurate understanding of China’s economic and social progress, and be better prepared to reap the potential benefits from China’s development.
The envoy also spoke about investment opportunities to be expected from China to Rwanda.
“China will encourage more companies to invest in Rwanda’s transportation, energy, mining and tourism sectors, as well as support Rwanda’s construction of special economic zones and help “Made in Rwanda” campaign through industrial capacity transfer. All these open up a floodgate of opportunities and help forge closer partnership between our two countries in various fields,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the Rwandan government and the University of Rwanda for attaching “great importance” to Chinese (mandarin).
Last year, 34 Rwandan students attending Chinese courses at the UR’s College of Education acquired scholarships to further their studies in China.
Since the first competition in 2002, the “Chinese Bridge” international competition has so far attracted more than 10,000 contestants from over 70 countries worldwide.