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Uganda-China cultural exchange center opens, boosting bilateral relations

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Chinese ambassador to Uganda Zhang Lizhong (2nd R front), flanked by local guests, tours the exhibition at the newly launched Luyanzi Uganda-China Cultural Exchange Center at Luyanzi Institute of Technology, district of Wakiso, Uganda on March 8, 2024. (Photo by Nicholas Kajoba/Xinhua)

Chinese ambassador to Uganda Zhang Lizhong (2nd R front), flanked by local guests, tours the exhibition at the newly launched Luyanzi Uganda-China Cultural Exchange Center at Luyanzi Institute of Technology, district of Wakiso, Uganda on March 8, 2024. (Photo by Nicholas Kajoba/Xinhua)

A Uganda–China cultural exchange center was inaugurated on Friday at a vocational school in central Uganda, marking the deepening of cultural relations between the two countries.

The colorful ceremony, which fused Chinese and Ugandan cultural music, creative dances, and an exhibition, was held at the Luyanzi Institute of Technology in the Ugandan district of Wakiso.

Zhang Lizhong, the Chinese ambassador to Uganda who launched the Luyanzi Uganda-China Cultural Exchange Center, said there should be mutual respect for culture in the global community. He said countries should not seek to impose their values on others but seek cooperation.

He said the launch of the cultural exchange center is in line with the aspiration of China’s Global Civilization Initiative whose concept is respect for the diversity of global civilizations.

Vincent Musubire, deputy principal private secretary to the vice president of Uganda, said the establishment of the center is critical to strengthening the cultural understanding between the two countries.

“This center is going to be a venue of convergence to plan people-to-people programs for a shared future,” Musubire said, noting that language, cultural sports, tourism, and South-to-South cooperation agenda will be the core of the operations of the center.

“In all these relationships, we shall move slowly but surely to succeed, guided by the wisdom of the Chinese Philosopher Confucius: ‘It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop,‘” he added.

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Mohammed Bogere, deputy principal of Luyanzi Institute of Technology, said the center will be critical in the dissemination of cultural diversity and intercultural competence enhancement. “Cultural exchange is a pillar in the co-existence of humanity, especially in such a global village that we live in. We can never alienate ourselves from the fact that individual cultural efforts are significant in shaping a more tolerant and kindhearted global society,” Bogere said.

Lilian Ajarova, chief executive officer of the Uganda Tourism Board, a state agency charged with the promotion of tourism, said culture is one of Uganda’s major tourism attractions. “This is special in tourism because culture is the main factor that determines the difference between any group of people. It is important to have the collaboration between the Ugandan and Chinese cultures,” Ajarova said.

The launch of the center was also used to commemorate International Women’s Day. Both Ugandan and Chinese communities converged to celebrate the day.

The Luyanzi Institute of Technology also serves as a training base for local Chinese language teachers in Uganda.






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