The importance of language in diplomacy cannot be overstated as the ability to communicate in multiple languages is becoming more and more important in an increasingly integrated global economy.
Conscious of the importance of language in diplomacy and the need to properly integrate students into the world of diplomacy, LECIAD offers students the opportunity to study one other foreign language as part of their Masters degree course. Currently, the center offers language proficiency courses in four International languages: Japanese, Chinese, French and Spanish. As of the 2016/2017 academic year, Arabic has been added to the list of languages studied at the center.
As part of activities to mark Japan week in Ghana, the Sumitomo cooperation together with other stakeholders on 9 October 2016 organized the Japan day celebrations at LECIAD. In attendance were the Vice chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Director of LECIAD, Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, the cultural attaché at the Japanese embassy, some senior staff at LECIAD and students.
Opening the ceremony with a speech, Ms Miyashiro Emiko of the Sumitomo cooperation stated that she and her team were happy to be in Ghana as it was their first time and were elated to celebrate Japan day with students at LECIAD. She further added that their main aim was to introduce to participants Japanese culture and entreated all to enjoy the 2 hour long programme.
On her part, the director of LECIAD-Prof Mensa Bonsu in her address, welcomed members of the Sumitomo corporation to Ghana and thanked them for coming to LECIAD to spend time with the students. Furthermore, she reiterated the importance of language in diplomacy and encouraged students to take it seriously. Finally, she commended the Japanese class for organizing the japan day activities to showcase Japanese culture and encouraged other language classes to take up similar initiatives.
The guest honor for the event, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana in his speech also hammered on the value of learning another foreign language other than our lingua franca-English and advised students to take the language course seriously and not give up in the face of difficulty. He added that in learning a language, it is important to cultivate the habit and develop the interest. As an alumini of a Japanese University ,(Kochi University) Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu shared with participants two important values the Japanese uphold-honesty and discipline.He then pointed out the importance of cultivating these values as they were very important to build our intuitions and our nation as a whole.
Some of the activities that took place as part of the Japan day celebrations included the wearing of the Japanese traditional attire-kimono and Japanese tea ceremony (sado) where participants had the opportunity to make and drink Japanese green tea (macha).
At the end of it all, participants had the opportunity to taste traditional Japanese food and interact with the Japanese people present. Expressing their opinion on the Japan day celebrations, most participants were of the view that the programme had been very educative and agreed that they had learnt a lot about Japanese culture and had really enjoyed themselves.