Nigerians are known everywhere they are found for their ingenuity and hard work. A people who have an unquenchable desire to succeed embedded in their blood irrespective of the obstacles they might face and Nigerians in Zhejiang Normal University (henceforth ZNU) have proven these assertions to be true

Growing up in a city in Nigeria where one of the first Confucius Institute is located, I had the opportunity to study Chinese language through the Confucius Institute. Little did I know that I had just taken my first step towards coming to China. The Institute has assisted me in realizing a part of my dream, which is to go to China.

While still in my country, my Chinese teacher often uses the word “chi fan le ma 吃饭了吗”. I did not know the history behind the greeting until when I got to China. I noticed that “chi fan le ma” is a standard greeting in China which dates back to an era of intense poverty in China (precisely, to the years between 1958 –1962). An estimate of 45 million Chinese people died in what is called the most significant human-made famine in history. Chairman Mao, the founding father of Communist China, organized the Great Leap Forward intending to catch up to industrial Britain in 15 years and eventually, the United States.

Today, China, a country that just 50 years ago saw millions of its citizens die of hunger, is widely recognized as an inevitable economic superpower. China’s long-match towards development, the four decades of reform and opening policy has become a model of development for developing countries around the world. Developing countries around the world, especially African countries, welcomed China’s partnership as an alternative model towards their quests for industrialization. This partnership ranges from infrastructural development (e.g. distribution of grids, construction of roads, pipelines, airports, ports, refineries, railroads, and dams for power generation) to trade and commerce, health, media, education and culture. China’s soft power towards Africa is evident in the areas of educational cooperation and promotion of skill development for African countries of which Nigeria is a beneficiary. 

During the fourth FOCAC forum, The Chinese government’s official resolution on training and educational support stressed that better education is the basis of, and holds the key to, social stability and economic development. China’s education and training cooperation with Nigeria include support to short term and long term training of Nigerians in China; university to university cooperation between China and Nigeria; development of Confucius Institutes; development of education or training projects and project-related training with Nigeria. Also, statistics have shown that Over 400 Nigerian students are currently studying under scholarship in China. Chinese government scholarship and Confucius institute scholarship (which I am one of the beneficiaries) have helped to facilitate academic and cultural exchanges between Nigeria and China; providing an enabling environment where hard work is reckoned and appreciated. 

Nigerians are known everywhere they are found for their ingenuity and hard work. A people who have an unquenchable desire to succeed embedded in their blood irrespective of the obstacles they might face and Nigerians in Zhejiang Normal University (henceforth ZNU) have proven these assertions to be true. Nigerian students in Zhejiang Normal University have two outstanding teachers (Dr Ehizuelen Michael and Dr Osidipe Adekunle) whose tireless efforts have won the admiration of school, their institute and their students. These admirable teachers have also promoted academic exchange between Nigeria and China which has also attracted the attention of the Nigerian Embassy to ZNU. On the other hand, the students excel in both academic, character and extracurricular activities. For instance, we have a Nigerian graduating with three outstanding awards.

There are Nigerians who shine best among international student, while some stand head high as the ten best overall students in the entire school.

There is also a Nigerian with a consecutive award of the best student in her department from 2017 to 2019. In retrospect, Nigerians are continuously celebrated for their outstanding performances in several extracurricular activities, (because of the awards mentioned above, certificates will be submitted on request).

In conclusion, Nigeria’s dream of a strong willingness to building a large, diversified sustainable and competitive economy that effectively harnesses the talents and energies of its people. Its natural endowments to guarantee a high standard of living and quality of life to its citizens will actualize through a partnership with developed and emerging economies like China. In line with President Xi Jinping’s pledge: to enhance development experiences by offering professional training courses for African youths; training young talent in agricultural science; increasing the Chinese government scholarships from 30, 000 in 2015 to 50,000 in 2018 for Africa; and invite 2, 000 young people from Africa to visit China. Nigeria can open up more opportunities for its people to benefit from Chinese government scholarships, as the people-to-people exchange has become an essential component and ingredient of China-Nig

eria relations. 

Written by; Emmanuel Chidiebere Edeh