Global Diffusion of Chinese Culture: The Case of Confucius Institute in Africa (Nigeria)

No Thumbnail Available
Oni, D.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Peking University
For a rising power, China’s soft power diplomacy has assumed an unprecedented momentum. As a projection of its soft power diplomacy, the Chinese government has promoted the noble ideas of Confucius as well as the establishment of Confucius Institutes across the world. Obviously, the specter of soft power diplomacy is relatively large. It includes culture, language, public diplomacy, education systems, organization and promotion of various festivals and other related events. These are all geared towards the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce or use force to win international partners. In several African countries, the Chinese government and other relevant authorities have established a number of Confucius Institutes. This is done through mutual understanding and collaborative efforts with authorities of Chinese and African universities. In Nigeria, the desire to embrace the institute started around 2006, culminating in two CIs; Nnamdi Azikiwe University and University of Lagos. The CI at the University of Lagos has been designed to stimulate the study of Chinese language and culture. Since its establishment, the institute has recorded outstanding success in the promotion of Chinese language and culture across the Lagos metropolis and its environs especially through the Bridge program. In addition, the institute has organized several events to celebrate the Chinese New Year or Chinese Spring Festival, the Chinese Autumn Festival, the Chinese Independence Day celebration, among others. Similarly, the CI has also served as an avenue for the introduction of African cultures to Chinese scholars. Despite this important role, no scholarly study has been devoted to analyzing the role of the Confucius Institute in Africa with special focus on the University of Lagos. This gap in knowledge has undermined our understanding of the Confucius Institute as an instrument for the projection of Chinese culture and global diplomacy. The study aims to investigate the critical areas of intervention of the Institute in the promotion of Chinese culture and language. It adopts the narrative and analytical methodology to analyze the activities of the institute vis-à-vis the impact of the Institute on Africa. It recommends that effective management of the Confucius Institute is a sine qua non for the projection of China’s soft power diplomacy.
Scholarly article
Oni, D. (2021). Global Diffusion of Chinese Culture: The Case of Confucius Institute in Africa (Nigeria).