A lot has been said and much more is being said about China’s activities in Africa. It is obvious that the influence of the Asian giant in Africa is increasing with each passing day, to the extent of posing a concrete threat to the dominance of the West, Europe, and the United Kingdom – erstwhile colonial masters of countries in the African continent.
The United State of America last week revealed its policy for Africa, called ‘Prosper Africa’. During the presentation, the US State Department chief did not mince words in accusing China whom according to him, is employing the use of back channels and pernicious deals to increase its influence in Africa.
In Nigeria, a country where China is increasingly taking over leading sectors like construction, mining, production, etc. workers are required to sing the Chinese anthem daily before the commencement of work and workers are only considered for promotion based on their understanding of the Chinese language.
A few months ago, an article in the Chinese language was published on the front page of a Zambian national daily; and police officers in South Africa are mandated to learn Chinese.
It appears China has decided to take a step further and catch Africa young.
According to reports, Uganda’s education ministry is planning to include Chinese Mandarin language lessons in the secondary school curriculum of high schools in the country.
The first scale will include 35 schools with concrete plans to roll out the program to more schools as human and financial resources become available.
In a report made available by Uganda’s Daily Monitor, the program is supported by the Chinese government who have supplied learning materials and trained over 35 teachers for nine months to teach the classes which will be compulsory for the first two years of senior secondary school but optional thereafter.
This will not be the first time this is happening in Africa, as South Africa has been operating the model since 2014. Chinese language lessons were available in 44 South African public schools around the country as of September, with the number increasing monthly.
You will recall that a couple of months back, a renowned Pan-African and Kenya’s legal luminary, Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba was denied entry into Zambia as a result of his stance on China’s negative influence in Zambia and Africa in general.
What are your thoughts on Uganda and other African countries adopting Chinese Language as a compulsory course for students in the country?