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Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Mdm. Sun Baohong at the Sod-cutting Ceremony of the Construction of the Model Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana

(July 25, 2016)

Respected Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana,

Respected Mrs. Mercy Haizel Ashia, Registrar of the University of Ghana,

Respected Dr. Mei Meilian, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute of the University of Ghana,

Respected Dr. Dzahene-Quarshie, Ghanaian Director of the Confucius Institute of the University of Ghana,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Teachers and Students,

Good afternoon! It is a great pleasure for me to be here again. During the visit of H.E. Chairman Yu Zhengsheng of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference to the University of Ghana last April, he said that this is the most beautiful campus he has ever seen. Standing here, I can see the green trees making a pleasant shade as well as the diverse flowers blooming with fragrance. When I walk in the campus, I feel like myself in a beautiful oil painting. I can see Black Star Tower, like a beacon on the sea, to guide the students of the University of Ghana from generation to generation. Before long, an academic building for the model Confucius Institute will be set up just where we are standing and it will become a member of the building complex with red bricks and white walls. This is not only the recognition from the Confucius Institute Headquarters for the wonderful work of the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana, but also the reflection of achievement of educational and cultural exchanges between China and Ghana.

In 2014, Director of Chinese Hanban and Director-General of the Confucius Institute Headquarters Mrs. Xu Lin took the initiative of setting up "Global Model Confucius Institute" in recognition of outstanding achievements of relevant Confucius Institutes in Chinese language teaching and spread of Chinese culture. In the same year, the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana started to operate. After two years of joint efforts of the leadership of the University of Ghana and the colleagues of Confucius Institute, hard work pays off. At the end of last year, Chinese Hanban / Confucius Institute Headquarters and the University of Ghana signed agreement on the Establishment of the Academic Building for the Model Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana. It means that the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana officially received the honorary title of Global Model Confucius Institute.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ernest Aryeetey and other faculty members, also to extend my special appreciation to the Chinese Director of Confucius Institute Dr. Mei Meilian and Chinese teachers and volunteers. Only 5% the world's Confucius Institutes have this honor.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Teachers and Students,

A moment later, I will plant trees with Professor Ernest Aryeetey and Dr. Mei Meilian. Those trees symbolize the everlasting friendship between China and Ghana. I cannot help but think of an old Chinese saying, " It takes ten years to grow trees, but a hundred years to rear people". It means that it takes a long time to grow trees into woods. Yet it takes much more time to cultivate people into talents. This saying suggests that only through cultivation of talents can a nation multiply and remain prosperous and powerful.

I am pleased to see that both Ghana and China attach great importance to education and put cultivation of talents at priority as the national strategy. Cultivating talents should be comprehensive, not only including disseminating knowledge, but also training a variety of skills. Model Confucius Institutes aims to teach vocational techniques besides Chinese language, such as techniques of becoming tour guides, traditional Chinese medical doctors, electricians, fitters, etc. This will help students improve their overall quality and enhance social competitiveness. Cultivating talents is also a long-term cause that requires continuous government investment and social attention. Young people should regard it as their own responsibility to build the country and serve the motherland, and spare no efforts to work hard for a better Ghana.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Teachers and Students,

2000 years ago, Confucius began his teaching career under a juniper tree with a podium. At first he had only a few students, but later he attracted more than 3,000 students because of his insights and personal charisma. We can tell from his experience that those who learn to persevere and dedicate themselves to persist will end up with achievements and reputation. The Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana is still young. There is a lot to develop and improve. I sincerely hope that the Confucius Institute can provide opportunities for every young student to perform, and I believe that the students of Confucius Institute will cherish the present and realize your dreams.

Thank you.

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