The Confucius Institute of the University of Ghana, in collaboration with the University Basic School, has organised a programme to commemorate the 2019 Chinese Spring Festival in Ghana.
Mr Shi Ting Wang, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, said the spring festival is the most important traditional festival for the Chinese, which brings family and friends together to welcome the New Lunar Year.
“When it comes, the Chinese, no matter where they are, will reunite with their families to enjoy the happiness of reunion. Today, I come here to join you because the Chinese people and Ghanaian people are brothers and sisters- we are a family.”
Touching on the bilateral relations between the two countries, he said in 2018, which was the year of the Dog, China-Ghana friendship yielded fruitful results, with President Akufo Addo attending the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, as well as paying a state visit to China and reaching important consensus with Chinese leaders.
“The two countries signed eight cooperation documents which set the direction for future development of bilateral relations.”
The Chinese Ambassador said the economic and trade cooperation between Ghana and China has developed steadily in 2018 with bilateral trade volume expected to reach 7 billion US dollars, adding that the number of newly added Chinese investment projects in Ghana ranked first among other foreign sources in the country.
Mr Shi said 6,500 Ghanaian students are currently studying in China and “nearly 1,000 Ghanaians from all walks of life went to China for training in 2018. Cultural activities such as the Ningxia Art Troup’s visit to Ghana and the Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarship have further consolidated the friendship of both countries.”
The Chinese Ambassador used the occasion to commend authorities of the University for their immense support to the Confucius Institute, whose work is spreading the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in the country.
“More and more Ghanaians are studying Chinese and falling in love with China through the institute. The number of students has exceeded 5,000 and the quality of education has been steadily improved, with increasing active cultural exchanges.”
He said China looks forward to working with Ghana to embrace a brighter future of bilateral relations.
In the Chinese culture, pig is a symbol of fortune, luck and happiness and at the dawn of the Year of Pig, I wish China-Ghana relationship a brighter future, he said.
Mr Tang Hong, President, Association of Chinese Societies in Ghana, in a solidarity message, described the Chinese community in Ghana as industry players, saying their investments in sectors such as agriculture, business, tourism and trade in the country has strengthened the bond of friendship between the two countries.
The Chinese Spring Festival has a history of more than 400 years and it is celebrated to welcome the new lunar year. The 2019 Spring Festival which fell on February 5, has the symbol of the pig, called ‘the Year of the Pig’ and it is characterised by happiness, good fortune and prosperity.