On December 2, 2011, State Councilor Liu Yandong who was visiting Botswana said that the Chinese government will take advantage of the unique role of Confucius Institute to provide a platform for foreigners to learn Chinese and understand China when she inspected the Confucius Institute at the University of Botswana.
The campus of the university was immersed in a friendly atmosphere. Liu visited the Chinese cultural experience corner, the exhibition of teaching and activity pictures and the China Garden, listened to a Chinese lesson and held exchanges with students and teachers at the student activity center. Students and teachers sang the national anthems of China and Botswana and presented a lively performance.
Liu said in her speech that the Confucius Institute, as the first standardized Chinese teaching institute in Botswana, has attracted a large number of young students, business personnel and government officials. Over more than two years, the Institute has trained over 1,300 students learning Chinese and was warmly welcomed by the local community. Youth is the future of a nation and language is the tool of cultural exchanges. She believes that the University of Botswana will cultivate more quality Chinese language professionals in the near future.
She announced to present a set of voice lab equipment to the Confucius Institute and invite 100 university and middle school students of Botswana to participate in the Chinese language summer camp in China.
Officials of the ministry of education of Botswana and president of the University of Botswana all indicated that the Confucius Institute has become an important bridge of cultural and educational exchanges between Botswana and China. Botswana expects to make joint efforts with China to constantly deepen the bilateral cultural exchanges.
On the same day, Liu, accompanied by Botswana's Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Shaw Kgathi, visited the Gaborone multi-functional youth activity center and met with the staffs of the Chinese embassy in Botswana and representatives of Chinese-funded organizations and overseas Chinese.