By Frank Kamuntu
During the Pan-African Pyramid (PAP) debate which was held on Friday at Fairway Hotel, under the theme “A Scientific Discourse On Teaching Chinese Language To African Children’, attended by several Pan-Africanists, Educationists, Academicians among others, a lot was discussed, including whether Africans really need to study Chinese language or not.
The debate, which was chaired by the PAP Speaker Andrew Irumba Katusabe, was graced by Professor Kajabago Karusoke, a presidential Advisor on idiology and also senior Lecturer at Kyankwanzi National Leadership Institute (NALI), Mr David Kasuti Lecturer/Senior Administrator Kyambogo University, Dr. Otanga Rusoke, Counsel Baguma Richard Rwatooro, among other key participants.
Mr Kasuti, who was the first speaker, started with commending the Speaker and the entire team of Pan-African Pyramid who extended a helping hand to Nakivale Refugees last year, saying that it’s the only way Africa can grow, after realizing that we must love ourselves, since no one loves us more than we love ourselves. He added that it’s the only way to be responsible for our continent.
Senior lecturer Kasuti, while discussing the theme, supported the idea of introducing Chinese language but warned that we should be careful not to sale our cultures and identity.
However, Educationist and former Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB ) Chairman Fagil Mande, advised Africans to utilize the opportunity of learning Chinese language because it will boost trade among African countries and China, since Africans who depend on trade have always faced a challenge of language barrier whenever they go to shop from China.
“Actually Ugandans should know that they are learning a language of a first class country which would create friendship between Uganda and China, hence development, since China’s character is what Uganda lacks,” he said.
He reminded Africans that the Chinese love to teach us their language is of no bad effect since they are not among the colonialists in Africa.
He encouraged Ugandans to love learning since it is the only way a person can easily develop themselves and their country at large.
Dr Otanga however said African children should be sent to China not to just learn their language but to steal their technology since lack of advanced technology is lagging us behind in regards to development. “China sent their children in thousands to America to study there, finally they stole their technologies and now China is a super power,” Otanga submitted.
He advised Ugandans to adopt Chinese language if it’s of positive interests to Uganda and that it should be aimed at boosting Uganda’s economy. He noted however that Africans should be so alert about our culture which seems to be perishing at the hands of foreigners.
However, Prof. Kajabago, who was the last presenter, advised scholars to learn philosophy so as to easily know why Chinese are introducing their language to Africans. He said there is no need to study this language since their culture is totally different from ours.
“Chinese language to Africa is economical since they may need to ease the communication between them and Africans which would help them sell their products among African states easily,” he said.
He further advised Africans not to be technological slaves to Chinese but to rather resist their conquering of Africa and look for ways to copy and compete with them in technology.
“If it’s for good reasons, then we should learn their language and if possible we learn all the languages of foreigners so as to increase our knowledge base and borrow what we didn’t know from them,” Kajabago said.