Forty universities in Africa are providing free Mandarin language courses to students. These classes are facilitated by the Confucius Institute who have adopted flexible teaching patterns in keeping with the local environment that they are working in. Along with the Mandarin language, Chinese culture is promoted at primary, secondary schools levels and for interested communities.
It has been suggested that over 2,000 languages are still spoken in Africa today. Despite linguists such as Joseph Greenberg arguing that they fall into six major linguistic families, languages are constantly changing. Languages like culture change in keeping with peoples lives. As languages change so do the cultural practices that they are associated with. In parts of Africa numerous African languages are whistled to communicate over long distances. Despite being a poorer means to convey meaning than spoken languages.
China and Africa are economic partners. Communities in Africa who choose to participate in the Mandarin language courses are opening up new employment opportunities. An example would be the China Communications Construction Company. 30,000 jobs were created for locals during its constructions of the Mombasa–Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway. The Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia suggests that over three thousand Chinese enterprises have invested in Africa. Ethiopia benefited from 400. In addition to ‘1 million local jobs’ being created.
In addition to employment opportunities, there are further education opportunities. For example, access to visas for academic opportunities in Europe and America are often challenging for African students. The Chinese government has recently eased visa requirements for particular parts of Africa. Senegalese students can apply for fully funded scholarships to study Mandarin at Chinese Universities.