Chinese language learning in Ghana is at an all-time high, according to Emelia Agyei-Mensah, registrar of the University of Ghana.
Speaking at a recent language contest and showcase held by the Chinese language department the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana, Agyei-Mensah stated that increasing numbers of students are opting to major in Chinese language study at undergraduate level, with over 1000 students currently enrolled in the course.
“Here at the University of Ghana, efforts have been made to augment the study of Chinese by creating more combined major programs which include Chinese as a subject. Currently, undergraduate student enrollment in the Chinese language is well over 1,000. I know that similar efforts are underway in other public universities in the country with the establishment of more Confucius Institutes,” she said.
The popularity of Chinese language studies is not limited to the University of Ghana, as Agyei-Mensah acknowledged similar efforts at other public universities in the country.
Nor is the growing interest limited to Ghanaian students. The increased uptake in Chinese courses reflects growing Chinese-African political and socio-economic relations, and extends widely across the continent.
At the Confucius Institute’s recent contest, students showcased their language proficiency and knowledge of Chinese culture through singing, choreography, and martial arts performances. They also explained their reasons and enthusiasm for choosing Chinese language studies. Julia Duncan, a Chinese major, explained that she had chosen to learn Chinese to pursue a career in international relations, confident in the rapid development of Chinese-African cooperation.
Other Confucius institutes across Africa recently made headlines by celebrating UN Chinese Language Day on April 20. Exhibitions in Chinese typography, martial arts and theater were held alongside language contests and demonstrations at the University of Johannesburg, the University of Lagos and across Djibouti, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.