The Universidade Internacional do Cuanza (International University of Cuanza) (UNIC), promoted in the center of Angola by the Iberoamerican University Foundation (FUNIBER) and the Universidad Europea del Atlántico (European University of the Atlantic) (UNEATLANTICO), has won the prestigious Spanish award for its linguistic, cultural, and educational work.
UNIC has won at the 2nd Archiletras de la Lengua Awards the category of University of the Year, where it was a finalist along with the UB-DIBA Chair of Clear Communication applied to Public Administration of the Universidad de Barcelona (University of Barcelona) and the Psylex Group of the Universidad de Zaragoza (University of Zaragoza). The award, which is presided over in honor by His Majesty the King of Spain, was presented in the presence of Teresa Ribera, Third Vice President of the Government; María Jesús Montero, Minister of Finance and Public Function; Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Minister of the Interior; and Félix Bolaños, Minister of the Presidency.
At the gala, held this Tuesday at Casa de América, the Angolan university was represented by F. Álvaro Durántez Prados and Rafael Maldonado de Guevara y Delgado, professors of UNEATLANTICO and respective director and coordinator of the FUNIBER Chair of Iberoamerican Studies and Iberophony in which UNIC participates along with other educational centers in Europe and Latin America.
Also participating in the ceremony on behalf of the Angolan Embassy to Spain was Ambassador Alfredo Dombe, accompanied by Marlene Rodrigues Gomes and Sandra Gourgel, respective counselors of Press and Culture and Economic Sector. The diplomats expressed their satisfaction that an international university in the African country has been recognized in an important global Spanish competition.
In addition, by telematic means, UNIC’s Director of Communications, Bernardo Chissende, thanked for the award from Cuito: “Here, in the heart of Angola, two years ago, we converted a former civil war minefield into a real campus of knowledge, in a joint effort of Angolans, Spaniards, and Ibero-Americans.” Chissende closed his speech by describing the Universidade Internacional do Cuanza as “the home of the Spanish language in the heart of Africa.”
The Archiletras Awards, directed by journalist Arsenio Escolar, distinguish individuals, groups, entities, and institutions that, according to the rules of the award, “have been significant in the year immediately prior to the award for their merits in the promotion, support, research, development of the Spanish language, or any of the other languages in contact with Spanish in any of its territorial areas.”
In the case of UNIC, the jury, composed of personalities with a proven track record in the field of culture, language, and literature, valued the fact that it is the first African iberophone university —Spanish and Portuguese-speaking— with Ibero-American and pan-Ibero-American projection. In this way, students acquire bilingual competencies by learning Spanish from the first year and interacting with Spanish-speaking teachers throughout their education. In addition, UNIC contributes to the dissemination of Spanish culture in the heart of Angola, a key country in Africa.
In turn, UNIC is the African pillar of a triangular system of face-to-face exchange of students, researchers, and professors which, especially rooted by the Spanish language, connects Africa —UNIC— with Spain —UNEATLANTICO, Santander— and, soon, Latin America —Universidad de La Romana (University of La Romana) (UNIROMANA), Dominican Republic—.
New recognition after the presentation to the King and Queen of Spain
The Archiletras University of the Year Award is a new milestone in the reiterated recognition at the highest institutional level to the work of FUNIBER and its university network. In this regard, last February, during their state visit to Angola, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain attended a presentation of UNIC and the inauguration of an exhibition of two collections of the Spanish genius Joan Miró, belonging to the Cultural Work of FUNIBER and UNEATLANTICO. Two other recent exhibitions of the Cultural Work, this time held in Canada, have attracted the presence of the presidents of the Spanish Congress and Senate, Meritxell Batet and Ander Gil.
On the other hand, the Sistema Iberoamericano Intergubernamental (Ibero-American Intergovernmental System) called FUNIBER to participate, as a special guest, in the recent XXVIII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which was an outstanding endorsement of the Foundation’s educational, cultural, social, and scientific work, especially in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries.
In addition to this, FUNIBER’s university work and network has been endorsed by the President of the Republic of Angola, João Lourenço, who has already inaugurated the Universidade Internacional do Cuanza and reiterated this February the importance of the center for his country. Likewise, a few weeks ago, the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, broke the first ground of UNIROMANA, the new university that FUNIBER and UNEATLANTICO are building in the Caribbean.