DJIBOUTI CITY, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The Confucius Institute in Djibouti was inaugurated Thursday, with the stakeholders pledging to make the institute a better platform for China-Djibouti cooperation.
The institute, nestled alongside the premises of the industrial and commercial high school of Djibouti, was inaugurated in the presence of senior Djibouti officials, diplomats from the Chinese Embassy to Djibouti as well representatives of the academia.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Minister of National Education and Vocational Training of Djibouti Moustapha Mohamed Mahamoud noted that the Red Sea nation has recognized the importance of the Chinese language as a platform for deepening all-round cooperation between China and Djibouti.
The minister, in particular, underscored his hope that the Confucius Institute in Djibouti will further augment cultural and people-to-people ties between the two countries, saying that "The increasing economic and commercial engagement with China has encouraged many Djiboutian businessmen and younger people to learn Chinese language."
He said the Confucius Institute, which focuses on promoting the Chinese language and culture, has already made great progress during its initial operations over the past seven months.
"In just seven months of its operation, the Confucius Institute has more than 600 students, 18 classes and seven teaching points. Its students mainly come from high schools, industrial and commercial high school and Luban Workshop in the capital," he said. "Given the cultural activities that have been carried out, I am confident that the Confucius Institute in Djibouti will fully play its role as a bridge and make unremitting efforts to promote cooperation and mutual learning between the two peoples."
Chinese Ambassador to Djibouti Hu Bin expressed his beliefs that learning each other's languages and cultures helps elevate the relationship between the two countries.
He said China is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Djibouti, promote respect for cultural diversity and inclusiveness, and consolidate the foundation of people-to-people friendship.
Zhao Lingshan, vice president and secretary-general of the Chinese International Education Foundation, addressed the event via a video link and underscored support for the success of the Confucius Institutes in Djibouti.
"People in Djibouti are increasingly enthusiastic about learning Chinese and the demand for Chinese learning is growing rapidly, which opens up a broad horizon for the development of Confucius Institutes," he said.
The agreement to establish the Confucius Institute in Djibouti was signed between the National Education and Vocational Training of Djibouti, the Chinese International Education Foundation and Sichuan Normal University in February 2022.
Wang Mingyi, president of Sichuan Normal University, said as an important outcome of China-Africa cultural and people-to-people exchanges, the university will fully support the development of Confucius Institute in Djibouti, integrate resources from all sides, and actively explore a school model that meets the needs of the local society in Djibouti.