I’ve always said the romance languages are way overrated, and the language to learn is actually Chinese. Well, looks like locals in Liberia are moving in the right direction–at least in my fobby opinion. The newest trend in this West African country seems to be Mandarin classes.
It only makes sense, though. China has a huge role in the economic development of this war-torn country, from rebuilding roads with funding from the World Bank, to running hotels and restaurants. And naturally, Liberians are realizing increasingly that Mandarin is a necessity.
“Traditionally, we Liberians are closer to the Americans than we are to the Chinese, but the irony is that the Chinese are more open to us than the Americans are,” 57-year-old John K. Cooper, who works for a local youth development center, and is one of 15 students in the Mandarin class that began this week, told AP.
“Americans know and have technologies, but they are not yet ready to bring them to Africa. The Chinese are doing just that,” he added.
In fact, the Chinese firm China Union recently became Liberia’s largest investor ever. China Union signed a $2.6 billion agreement earlier this year to go into the iron ore business in a town about 30 miles north of Monrovia. Africa’s trade with China reached more than $100 billion in 2008 and has multiplied by 10 since 2001, according to the African Economic Outlook.
I’m telling ya, everyone needs some Mandarin skillz…
Link (thanks Ed @ehoa)