REMARKS BY THE VICE CHANCELLOR, PROF.S.G KIAMA DURING THE OFFICIAL HANDING-OVER OF THE CONFUCUIS INSTITUTE ON 29TH MAY 2020 AT 10.00AM
The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education, Prof. George Magoha
Your Excellency, Amb. Wu Peng, Ambassador of the Peoples Republic of China
The President of Tianjin Normal University, Prof. Zhong Yinghua
The Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, Dr.Vijoo Rattansi,
Chair of Council of the University of Nairobi, Prof.Julia Ojiambo
The Deputy Chief of Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing, Mr. Ma Jianfei
Director of Confucius of Institute, Xiao Shan.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I take this opportunity to welcome you all –those online and those attending in person- to this short but very historic ceremony.
Today we will witness the official handing over of the facility by the Government of the Peoples Republic of China, represented by H.E Amb. Wu Peng to the University through the Government of Kenya represented by our Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha.
Allow me, ladies and Gentlemen, to begin my remarks by thanking the President of Tianjin Normal University, Prof. Zhong Yinghua who called me sometime last month when Kenya had just reported a few positive cases of Covid -19 to express his solidarity with the university of Nairobi and the people of Kenya.
Indeed Prof. Zhong was very kind to support the University with a donation of 1,000 masks for staff protection against covid-19. We are extremely grateful.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Confucius Centre in Nairobi was established to promote cultural diversity and harmony through teaching of Chinese language and culture in Kenya and the region. Since its establishment in 2015, we have witnessed tremendous growth of interest from Kenyans yearning to learn Chinese language. The Center has performed well in promoting Chinese language studies and encouraging interaction between citizens of the two countries. The Centre is a reflection of the spirit of partnership and strong friendship that exist between our two governments.
The new Center being handed over today covers a total Area of 6300 square meters which will go along way in relieving pressure for teaching space at the University. We are grateful to the Chinese government which provided grant funding for the project to the tune of 1.4 billion while the university provided prime land measuring 3 acres with a market value of 900 Million Kenya shillings.
The building is environmental friendly building and well connected with internet. The lecture halls are equipped with interactive capabilities that make them very conducive for learning.
As the population and the level of activity in the Institute increases there will be need relocate the main access to the Centre from Arboretum drive to Chiromo campus as a safety measure for students and staff. This will also enhance collaboration between Chiromo and the campus and continuity of function. The construction of the bridge and other incidental works that were not foreseen during the project conception will require an estimated budget of 100 million Kenya Shillings. Your Excellency, our request for additional support to complete these unforeseen works had been raised with your predecessors and we are still hopeful that it will be considered.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am greatly pleased to have you witness this milestone of handing over of the Institute which goes along ways in strengthening the bond of friendship between the people of Kenya and the People republic of China
God bless you all
PROF. S.G KIAMA.PhD