The Confucius Institute at the University of Zimbabwe has been commended for contributing to the growing of cultural ties between Zimbabwe and China.
Speaking at the 18th Chinese Bridge -Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Friday night, acting UZ vice chancellor Paul Mapfumo said the Confucius Institute (CI) that was established in 2007 had become a center of excellence in the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in Zimbabwe.
He said this year's competition, the seventh local edition, further contributes to the growth and cementing of cultural ties between the two countries.
He said the significance and influence of Chinese as one of the languages of the future was steadily growing, stemming from China's unprecedented economic growth over the years as well as its great ancient civilization.
"This competition is part of the Chinese Institute's strategic plan to promote and motivate students who are excelling in Chinese language and culture," he said.
He said Zimbabwe has over the years produced students who have fared very well at the global competition.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said through the teaching and learning of Chinese, the language was becoming a bridge that connects the people Zimbabwe and China.
"By narrowing the bridge or gap of language, we create and take our mutual understanding to a new high and lay a more solid foundation for our future," he said.
He said language was a carrier of culture and through learning Chinese, Zimbabweans will better understand China's cultural norms and values.
Learning Chinese language will also enhance employment opportunities for learners as more Chinese companies come to invest in the country, he said.
Six participants took part in the competition that was made up of a knowledge quiz, speech and talent show.
The competition ran under the theme:" One road, one family."
The knowledge quiz tested contestants on their knowledge of Chinese culture and conditions while the speech and talent show segments are designed to test contestants' proficiency in Chinese language and appreciation and competence in Chinese cultural skills and talents respectively.
Second year Bachelor of Arts in English and Chinese student Amanda Chirambadare was the first winner and she will represent Zimbabwe at the world finals to be held in China in July.
The runner up will attend the global finale in China as a spectator.
The other four participants will participate in the tour of Nyanga in Zimbabwe's eastern highlands organized by the CI in June 2019.