Feature: Tanzanians aim to learn Chinese as gateway to employment opportunities

DAR ES SALAAM, July 5 (Xinhua) -- After visiting the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) pavilion at the ongoing Tanzania's 46th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF), Lewis Kabuta believes that nothing will prevent him from learning Chinese.

Kabuta, a 14-year-old secondary school student who visited the trade fair in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam on Monday, said the best qualification for getting employment is learning Chinese.

"After consulting with officials at the Confucius Institute at UDSM pavilion I have realized that learning Chinese will act as a bridge to get employment in Chinese companies operating in Tanzania," he told Xinhua in an interview.

Kabuta is among over 100 visitors to the Confucius Institute at UDSM pavilion that have shown interest of learning Chinese in the first one week of the 46th DITF that runs from June 28 through July 13.

Telesphory Milambo, administrative officer of the Confucius Institute at UDSM, said for the past one week more than 50 people, including secondary school students, university students and workers from various Tanzanian public and private companies have shown interest to join the Confucius Institute at the UDSM.

"Many people are flocking to our pavilion wishing to learn Chinese because they know that it will open employment opportunities in Chinese companies operating in Tanzania," Milambo told Xinhua.

Milambo said the Confucius Institute at UDSM can help them to meet their goals after mastering the Chinese language.

"We have been visited by people from different walks of life, from secondary school students, university students to employees in various Tanzanian companies," said the official who speaks fluent Chinese.

Flanked by Neema Ngimba, a Tanzanian teaching Chinese language at the Confucius Institute at UDSM, Milambo said workers are the most group that prefer to learn Chinese.

"Several Chinese companies are approaching us inquiring on Tanzanians that have the knowledge of the Chinese language," said Milambo.

He said this year's motto for the Confucius Institute at UDSM pavilion is: Learn Chinese, Double Your Opportunities while the theme for the 46th DITF is: Tanzania-Your Best Destination for Business and Investment.

He said most of the people who want to learn Chinese are workers in public and private companies that are provided with short courses during evening hours.

"But it has been difficult for them to join evening programs. Sometimes most of them stay far from the UDSM so it becomes hard for them to travel to the UDSM. They wish they should get our branches near their work stations or residences," said Milambo.

William Anangisye, the vice-chancellor of the UDSM, said on June 17 that there are more than 10,000 Chinese people in Tanzania, and at least 500 small and large Chinese managed enterprises.

Anangisye released the figures during the 21st "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition 2022 at the Confucius Institute at UDSM.

He said that UDSM is now offering Bachelor's of Arts with Education (Chinese and English) to students who will later teach Chinese language in primary and secondary schools across Tanzania.

"The directors of the African-based Confucius Institutes are working hard to ensure that African youths learn the Chinese language so as to improve their competitiveness in future developments," said Anangisye.

A leaflet made available at the pavilion said the Confucius Institute at the UDSM was established in 2013 under an agreement between UDSM in Tanzania and the Center for Language Education and Cooperation (formerly called Confucius Institute Headquarters) and Zhejiang Normal University in China.

According to the leaflet, the main objectives of Confucius Institute at UDSM are to meet Tanzanian people's growing need of understanding Chinese language, culture, technology and skills and to increase mutual understanding between Chinese and Tanzanian peoples.

In addition, Confucius Institute stimulates research on various aspects of Sino-Tanzania relations, including history, education, science and technology, said the leaflet.

Besides, Confucius Institute is linking university students and Chinese companies in Tanzania by recommending appropriate talents to companies and finding job opportunities for the graduates.

Ashatu Kijaji, the Minister for Investment, Industry and Trade, said on Sunday the 46th DITF has attracted 22 foreign countries, 180 foreign firms and 3,200 local firms displaying various products, services and technologies used in production of goods.

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