The Cervantes Institute arrives in Dakar
Queen Letizia of Spain inaugurated, Monday, December 13 in Dakar, the Cervantes Institute, the first that the cultural institution opens in sub-Saharan Africa.
Cervantes already had a class since 2010 to meet the learning demand of young Senegalese, largely due to their love of Latin music and soap operas and Spanish football. The inauguration ceremony of the Center took place in the presence of the Senegalese Minister of Culture and Communication, Abdoulaye Diop, the director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero, and the Spanish Secretary of State for America Latin and the Caribbean, Juan Fernández Trigo.
The Senegalese Minister of Culture and Communication expressed on this occasion his joy to welcome the Cervantes Institute in Dakar, and recalled that the poet and first president of Senegal, Léopold Sédar Senghor, was a « great admirer of Cervantes » .
He underlined, in this sense, that Senegal is a country characterized by « a dialogue of cultures ». « Teaching a language and a culture is a round trip that serves to cooperate, to enrich oneself, to make oneself known in Senegal and to make Senegal known in Spain », declared, for his part, García Montero in his speech. .
The presence of the Queen in Dakar demonstrates the support of the royal family and the importance that Spain attaches to the cultural task « which must intensify relations between our country, Senegal and sub-Saharan Africa », he added. he says.
« This act reflects not only the social, cultural and economic weight of the language that we share but also the extraordinary work carried out by the Cervantes Institute in the world and which is called to continue in Africa », said, for his part , Fernández Trigo, stressing Spain’s desire to strengthen its relations with this region, which has more than 1,840,000 Spanish students.
The inauguration in Dakar is the first of a Cervantes center since 2011, when the one in Hamburg (Germany) opened. The presence of Queen Letizia « is a support for the Spanish language in the African sub-region » and « a support for the Institute’s commitment to have a physical presence in this strategic area with strong economic growth potential » , had underlined the Cervantes Institute in a press release.
The Cervantes Institute of Dakar occupies a two-story building of 680 square meters on a plot of 1,500 meters, which houses four classrooms, a library, a multipurpose room, several offices and open-air spaces for cultural activities. , academic and leisure. In addition to teaching Spanish, the Cervantes de Dakar will organize events to disseminate the culture of Spain and Latin America, support some 3,000 Spanish teachers in Senegal and collaborate with the education system of African country to strengthen the importance of the Spanish language.