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Kenya diplomats use language to deepen relations with China

By Lucie Morangi | | Updated: 2016-11-05 16:11
Kenya diplomats use language to deepen relations with China

Ambassador Ben Ogutu gives a speech at the ceremony. [Photo by Liu Hongjie/China Daily]

Kenya has stepped up efforts to deepen diplomatic relations with China by launching a Chinese language class for diplomats at the Confucius Institute of University of Nairobi. Thirty students from various departments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will commence their courses next week for four months.

This is a strong move towards breaking cultural and language barriers that have long been cited as a challenge in China-Kenya bilateral relations.

Students will attend classes two times weekly and learn basic Chinese language to support trade and cultural relations between the two countries.

While launching the class, in line with an agreement between the Foreign Service Academy and University of Nairobi, Ambassador Ben Ogutu, Director General of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VI Secretariat, said the classes will go a long way to increase the ministry's pool of versatile diplomats.

Speaking on behalf of the cabinet minister of the foreign affairs ministry, Ogutu said emerging nations, particularly those in the BRICS group of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), have shifted world power and attention, giving a new impetus to the south-south cooperation.

"It is therefore prudent for us to conform to the times and be strategically placed to enhance and expand relations with China," he said.

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