Roundup: Rwandan college students shine in Chinese language competition

KIGALI, June 10 (Xinhua) – The “Chinese Bridge” Chinese language competition for foreign college students was held on Sunday in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.

Hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda under the theme “One World, One Family,” the event was organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda, featuring a speech session and a talent show.

Viateur Niyongabo, a student at the College of Education, University of Rwanda, emerged as the winner of the 23rd edition of the competition. He will represent Rwanda at the finals in China.

Speaking at the event, Nelson Mbarushimana, director general of Rwanda Basic Education Board, said the competition highlights the importance of educational and cultural exchanges between China and Rwanda.

“The Chinese Bridge competition is not only about language proficiency, but also about understanding and embracing the rich culture of China. These competitions provide a unique opportunity for our students to demonstrate their Chinese language skills and showcase their understanding of Chinese traditions, arts, and history,” he said. “It is a celebration of excellence and a testament to the dedication of our students and educators. The Ministry of Education is ready to continue to support this good partnership between the government of Rwanda and China.”

Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Wang Xuekun commended the Rwandan Ministry of Education for its support to Chinese language education.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda. Over the past 15 years, more than 40,000 Rwandan students have participated in learning Chinese, according to the Chinese envoy.

“More and more friends from Rwanda, especially Rwandan youth, have joined the circle of Chinese language learners, joining the big family of understanding Chinese culture and promoting China-Rwanda friendship and cooperation,” Wang said.

The ambassador expressed his hope that Rwandan youth will continue to learn and use the Chinese language well to realize their dreams and contribute to the development of their communities and country. “We are willing to join hand in hand to compose a new chapter for a community with a shared future for mankind.”

Zeng Guangyu, Chinese director of the Confucius Institute, said the competition attracts an increasing number of participants, and this year’s contestants displayed better performance in the speech session than last year.

Florien Nsanganwimana, principal of the University of Rwanda’s College of Education, said language learning is not only about acquiring the ability to communicate, but also about opening doors to new ideas, creating lasting friendships, and building bridges of cooperation and understanding across cultures.

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