Zambia gets schooled in Mandarin
Zambia is preparing to roll out the largest Mandarin-teaching schools programme in Africa. While some claim it’s a useful way of building economic co-operation, critics fear Chinese domination
China’s not-inconsiderable influence in Africa is set to increase next year, when Zambia becomes the fourth country on the continent — after Kenya, Uganda and SA — to introduce Mandarin at its schools.
The Zambian government announced earlier this month that it would roll out Mandarin classes from grades 8 to 12 at its 1,000-plus secondary schools from 2020 — the largest such programme in Africa. It’s a move that the government says is underpinned by commercial considerations: it’s thought the removal of communication and cultural barriers will boost co-operation and trade between the two countries...