A leading university in China has started to offer Ethiopia’s widely spoken Amharic language as a full course at degree level, in the latest effort to improve ties between the two countries.
About 30 students applied to learn the language at Beijing Foreign Studies University, and 12 of them started the course on Monday.
Samuel Fitsumberhan, who is the head of public diplomacy at the Ethiopian embassy in Beijing, welcomed the move.
“Diplomats, businessmen and other professionals have a strong desire to learn the language,” he told BBC Amharic.
“The scholars of the university believe that learning the language will strengthen people to people relations and diplomatic ties between the two countries,” he added.
All the students are Chinese. The teachers are an Ethiopian and a Chinese, who has a master’s degree in Amharic from a university in Ethiopia.