China’s presence all over Africa has ushered in an interesting phenomenon—a drive to learn Mandarin Chinese amongst the African youth in an effort to open doors and join the upwardly mobile classes. When Lina G. Ayenew, an Ethiopian national, moved back to her country after living in China, she noticed that there is much interest from Chinese companies working in Ethiopia to employ locals who are proficient in mandarin. She also noticed that there were no self-study courses to learn Mandarin written in Amharic (Ethiopia’s official language). With the help of a few Chinese friends, she created a language-learning course. Through this journey, she learnt about the new interest of young Ethiopian people in learning Chinese, how China is now a top study-abroad destination for the middle and upper middle class, and what average Ethiopians feel about the increasing Chinese presence in their country. She will share her insights with us.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Lina Getachew Ayenew is author of ‘Dalu: Introduction to Chinese for Amharic Speakers’
She is an independent consultant and author focused on China-Africa relations and founder of Dalu Media
After receiving her undergraduate and her Master’s of Public Health (MPH) degrees from Yale University, she moved to China to teach at Xiangya Medical School through the Yale-China Teaching Fellowship. Following a corporate stint at a PR firm in Beijing, she began her efforts to closely study the influence of the Asian giant in her homeland, Ethiopia. She recently founded Dalu Media, and launched the first course in the world that teaches introductory Mandarin Chinese to Amharic speakers. Amharic is Lina’s native language and also the official language of Ethiopia, a country of 100 million people.
She has also been working with the Ethiopian Tourism Organization (a government entity) to define Ethiopia’s tourism brand and promote it in China.
Lina is also the youngest member to serve on the Yale-China Association Board of Trustees. The Yale-China Association is a non-profit established in 1901 with more than a century of experience contributing to the development of education in and about China.
VENUE: Embassy of Luxembourg
ENTRANCE: Free for members/Non-members: 100 RMB. Only with prior registration and photo ID