In fact, without the Confucius Institutes involvement in Africa, children in rural areas would not have the opportunity to learn outside of their community. These institutions and classrooms are set up by China’s government to promote the country’s language, culture and intercultural exchange. There are currently 595 institutes and 1000 smaller classrooms in over 130 countries, and 65 of the institutions are based in Africa (8). Many western countries in European and North American, have long offered China Studies, but in Africa it is very rare. There have been a few small-scale projects to bring Chinese to a few African nations, but before the CIs and classrooms came, there was little to nothing. Until 2012, only one Mandarin program with resident teachers was active on the entire African continent and only one research center was dedicated to modern Chinese studies. And, both of those were in Stellenbosch University located in South Africa, a country known for being predominantly white and wealthy (8). ?Confucius Institution Worldwide History
Because the demand of Chinese Language is ever-growing, the CIs have been the subject of accusations and controversy. The main concerns are unauthorized surveillance of Chinese people abroad, propaganda against Taiwan’s independence, potentials for military and industrial espionage, and bias influence over teaching and research at the Institutions. Other more logistical concerns have been the financial funding to keep the CIs open, legal issues, and strength of the partnerships with Chinese partnering institutions. The main concerns stem from partnering universities (3).
The CIs operate around the globe, exchanging Chinese teachers, educational materials, and cultural experiences within universities, colleges, and secondary schools. Because the Chinese Communist Party has some indirect ties with the CIs, there have been concerns raised about their influence on academic freedom, the chance industrial espionage and the concerns the institutes present. This has led to a selective and politicized view of China as a way of advancing the nation’s soft power internationally (3). 
Before officially launching, a pilot test at an institution in Tashkent, Uzbekistan was beta testing in June 2004. On November 21, 2004, the first Confucius Institute (CI) opened in Seoul, South Korea (15). The second Confucius Institute was opened at University of Maryland- College Park, in the United States a few weeks after. Since then, hundreds more have opened different countries around the world, but most remain in the Japan, United States, and South Korea (16). Three years after debut, the Confucius Institution launched its first research-based focus in Japan at the Waseda University. Since then countless other partnerships have formed, the most prominent being its partnership with Peking University. The program is dedicated to graduate students interested in research activities focused on China. As of 2014, six out of the seven continents have Confucius Institutions which totals close to 500 CI. Hanban, an organization under the Chinese Ministry of Education, manages the CIs and has ambitions to double the number of CI by 2020. It is estimates that over 100 million people overseas are learning Chinese, and to keep up with demands, the number of CIs must be expanded (17).
The Stockholm University, which housed the first Confucius Institution in Europe, in December 2014 decided to terminate its contract (18). The main concern stated by the Universities Chancellor was that inside the curriculum of the university, institutes which are funded by another country, especially if it has ties to communism, could lead to a conflict of interest. Underlying this opposition is concern with academics a Confucius Institute would interfere with academic freedom and would be in a position to pressure the school to censor topics the Communist Party of China objected to. An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education writes that although there’s little evidence of meddling from China (19). This being said, it also stated the CIs were unique in the degree to which they had been funded and is managed by foreign government. The article includes interview with China scholars, journalists and even CI directors. The writer found little support for the concern which CIs would serve as propaganda vehicles, although some of her sources have noticed that they’d face constraints in their curriculum on issues like Tibet and human rights. The New York Times article quotes Arthur Waldron, a professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, the key issue is academic liberty. He states, “Once CI enters onto your campus, you’ve a second source of opinion and power that’s finally responsible to the Chinese Communist Party and that isn’t subject to scholarly review (20)” In October 2013, the Professor of the University of Chicago, Marshall Sahlins, published a comprehensive analysis and criticism of CI and their host universities (21). This article lead to a public uproar in the host country. Over 100 professors signed a protest petition to have the campus CI dismissed from the University of Chicago. Close to a year later, the University of Chicago suspended its negotiation for the renewal of the agreement with Hanban to continue the CI program (22). Two months after, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) followed suit to their neighboring country and advocated Canadian colleges and universities to end housing the Confucius Institute in their universities. In June 2014, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) promoted American universities to stop their alliance with the Confucius Institute (23). They advocated for the universities to demand unilateral control of the Chinese academia affairs, the teachers in Confucius Institutes may have the exact same academic freedom as their university colleagues, and more transparency between the organizations. The AAUP statement has been widely noticed by US media and prompted further discussion in the US, amongst scholars and educators (24).