Chinese cultural performances along with local traditional dances highlighted the celebrations here on Saturday to mark the third anniversary of the establishment of the Confucius Institute in Uganda.
The programs showed a harmony between the two different cultures of China and Uganda. Officials attending the event agreed that the Confucius Institute set up in the Makerere University, which is Uganda's oldest and top university, has contributed a lot to cooperation between the two countries.
Chu Maoming, deputy Chinese ambassador to Uganda, said the institute has built a bridge to connect the two peoples through language learning and cultural exchange.
"It has become a window through which the Ugandan people come to know more about China. It has boosted bilateral exchange," Chu said.
"With this we will see greater contributions made to boost China-Uganda educational cooperation, people-to-people exchange and development of bilateral friendly relationship," said Chu.
He advised Ugandan students to learn the Chinese language well and make a use of this in the East African country's future development.
"Use what you have learned to deepen mutual understanding between China and Uganda, helping them to become friends and reliable partners," the Chinese diplomat said.
Barnabas Nawangwe, vice chancellor of the Makerere University, said he is looking forward to building a Chinese cultural center in the campus to enhance Uganda-China cooperation.
"I am looking forward to having a Chinese cultural center here. This will attract the people who want to study and know more about Chinese culture," said Nawangwe.
Oswald Ndoleriire, Ugandan-side director of the Confucius Institute, said the institute, launched in December 2014, has now over 70 students enrolled for Chinese language degree courses and over 4,000 more for short-term courses.
"The Confucius institute has yielded fruits that we are very proud of," said Ndoleriire, adding that it has held a partnership with Uganda's National Curriculum Development Center in introducing Chinese language courses in secondary schools.
He also said the institute has extended its cultural activities to outside the capital Kampala, and offered its students a chance for research trip to China in each July.
"This helps them to know better about the Chinese culture and to seek opportunities for studying in China," said Ndoleriire.