Saturday, March 30, 2024

UPDF Partners with Makerere University to Introduce Arabic and Chinese Language Courses for Soldiers

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has taken a significant step towards enhancing its global communication capabilities by launching Arabic and Chinese language courses.

These courses, initiated at the Military Intelligence School in Nakasongola district, aim to equip soldiers with the linguistic skills necessary to effectively engage with counterparts from countries where these languages are spoken.

Under the leadership of Maj Gen Charles Birungi, commander of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), the courses were inaugurated in collaboration with Makerere University School of Languages, marking a pivotal moment for both the UPDF and the country at large.

Maj Gen Birungi emphasized the importance of effective communication skills in the contemporary global landscape, characterized by globalization and technological advancements. He underscored the significance of avoiding misunderstandings in multicultural partnerships, highlighting the need for proficiency in diverse languages such as Arabic and Chinese.

Addressing the trainees, Maj Gen Birungi urged them to approach the courses with focus and positivity, recognizing the potential for these linguistic skills to enhance their roles within the UPDF. He emphasized the importance of becoming certified linguists, capable of interpretation, translation, and serving as subject matter experts on cultural matters.

Col James Muhumuza, Commandant of the School, outlined the objectives of the courses, emphasizing the development of comprehensive language skills encompassing reading, listening, writing, speaking, and translation.

Drawing on the historical power of language as a unifying force, Col Muhumuza highlighted the broader significance of linguistic proficiency in fostering unity and cooperation.

Gilbert Gumoshabe, Director of the Confucius Institute at Makerere University, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the formation of the new language curriculum. He emphasized the importance of diversifying linguistic knowledge beyond English, aligning with the evolving global landscape.

The event, held at Kaweweta, was attended by senior military officers and Chinese officials, including Brig Gen Bonny Wolimbwa, Brig Gen Tom Kabuye, Brig Gen Kenneth Shillingi, Asaba Charles, and Dr. Zhong Jianghua, the Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Makerere University.

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