On the morning of April 27, a major nameplate unveiling ceremony took place at the Baobab Secondary School teaching site operated by the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam. Jakaya Kikwete, former Tanzanian president and chairman of Tanzania’s ruling political party Chama Cha Mapinduzi, attended the event to cut the ribbon and unveil the nameplate.
Former Tanzanian Education Minister Dr. Shukuru Kawambwa, representative of the Chinese ambassador to Tanzania cultural attaché Mr. Gao Wei, and Baobab Secondary School Board of Trustees Director Dr. Agness Bavo and other members of the board, the local and Chinese Directors of the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam, members of the public and many other VIP guests witnessed this momentous occasion.
President Kikwete gave the keynote speech at the event, in which he encouraged the students of Baobab to continue studying and accomplish great things. He also pointed out that today’s world is a globalized one, so knowing a foreign language is very important, because it means more opportunities, especially where Chinese is concerned. Given the increasingly close economic ties and sustained development of relations between China and Tanzania, he expressed his hope that the students could take advantage of such a special moment in history and learn Chinese.
The Confucius Institute’s Chinese Director Zhang Xiaozhen spoke to the audience about the state of the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam’s work and development, and then presented a copy of the distinctly Chinese landscape painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival to Kikwete.
Kikwete and the guests then enjoyed a kung fu performance by the school’s students, as well as a choral performance of Chinese songs.
According to sources, Baobab Secondary School is very well-known in Tanzania, and is regarded as one of the best schools in the country, with an enrollment of nearly 2,000 students. Baobab’s founder Halfan Rashid Swai considers Chinese education to be very important, and within less than three months after the beginning of Chinese classes, more than 50 people signed up to take the HSK test.