President Bongo receives Wuhan University's doctoral degree
The president of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, and the president of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, visited Wuhan on September 6. In Wuhan, they both visited the Hubei Provincial Museum. Previously, they attended the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held on September 3 and September 4. During the summit, they met Chinese President Xi Jinping and witnessed the signing of a series of cooperative programs between their countries and China at the Great Hall of the People. President of Gabon's academic and musical trip
Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon, paid a visit to Wuhan University and the Hubei Provincial Museum on September 6.
The president's plane landed in Wuhan overnight on September
5, after a quick visit to Yichang, the first stop of his stay in Hubei.
He arrived at the History Museum of Wuhan University around 10:00 a.m. on September
6. Dressed in doctoral regalia, he received an honorary doctoral degree of law from Dou Xiankang, president of Wuhan University. The award ceremony was witnessed by faculty and students of the university.
"I felt extremely honored to receive the title," the president said later in his speech, adding that the bestowal of this degree showed recognition and respect for his country and Africa at large, and noted its value and weight. He pointed out that among all the higher education institutes in China, Wuhan University is the one that has received the largest number of Gabonese students. He further praised the remarkable contribution of Wuhan University in helping cultivate Gabonese professionals, especially in the area of medicine. He encouraged Gabonese students studying in Wuhan to work hard in their academic pursuits, and set good examples for others to follow to help build Gabon into a better country in the future.
Bongo met some Gabonese students studying in Wuhan after the award ceremony. Ya Claude, the person in charge of the community of Gabonese students in Wuhan, said that nearly all the Gabonese students studying in Wuhan came to Wuhan University to greet their president. "It is really lucky and exciting to meet our president in Wuhan." Ya Claude said that the president encouraged them to study hard, and they in return congratulated the president.
The president and his delegation visited the Hubei Provincial Museum on the afternoon of September 6. He viewed the museum's permanent exhibits. As a music lover, Bongo showed a strong interest in the bianzhong (chime bells) of Marquis Yi of Zeng, and asked for detailed information about the tonal range of this ancient musical instrument and the number of performers needed for a chime bells performance.
After the exhibition, Bongo watched a bianzhong performance in the museum. Invited and guided by the performers, he went on stage and tried to play the chime bells himself. After learning that it would take three years to master the skills required to play the chime bells, he nodded and remarked that playing the bells needed a lot of practice, and was indeed complicated. Bongo also tried the bianqing, a percussion instrument that is usually played together with the bianzhong. The pleasant melody he played received much applause from everyone present.
Before leaving the Hubei Provincial Museum, Bongo expressed his willingness to offer the museum his symphony "Hope," composed initially for the Expo 2010 in Shanghai for a bianzhong version. He said that his visit to the museum showed him the ancient culture of Hubei, while his stay in Wuhan presented the modern aspects of the city.
Dressed in doctoral regalia, Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon, received an honorary doctoral degree of law from Dou Xiankang, president of Wuhan University, on September 6.
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz， President of Mauritania, at WSIC
Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon, plays the bianqing.