The Chinese government widened its partnership with Kenya by sponsoring over 200 students this year to study for their Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate degrees, as part of efforts to strengthen relations between the two countries.
The group comprises of 187 students who will study in various cities in China while 50 will be sponsored to study in local universities under the Ambassador’s Scholarship programme.
The Chinese government scholarship to Kenyan students is a programme that started in 1982, bringing the total number of Kenyan students who have been sponsored to 2,400.
The students were hosted in farewell reception at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya where they listened to various congratulatory speeches as well as what they should expect once they land in China.
In attendance was H.E Ambassador Wu Peng, Minister Counsellor of Chinese Embassy Zhao Xiyuan, Amb. Ababu Namwamba, CAS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Tom Amolo, PDS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Paul Mungai, who represented Kenya’s Ministry of Education.
In his opening remarks, Minister Counsellor Zhao Xiyuan expressed his delight that so many Kenyan students were about to start their journey to study in China.
“It is impressive to note that these universities have made remarkable progress in academic innovation and international cooperation which makes them stand out,” Minister Counsellor Zhao Xiyuan said.
“Many times when I visited these universities, I saw young Kenyans working hard for a brighter future, I hope the scholarship will encourage you to achieve even better.”
Mr. Zhao Xiyuan said that education is fundamental to China’s pursuit of national rejuvenation and because of this, China has made continuous effort in the development of its science and technology education, which have effectively promoted economic and social development of China.
Amb. Tom Amolo, Political and Diplomatic Secretary in Kenya’s ministry of foreign affairs said that China has rallied behind Nairobi’s efforts to bridge skills gap through award of scholarships to local youth.
“We can not be a better Kenya if we are not an educated people and I am very happy that the Chinese government has decided that education is a key element of its engagement with us.” he said.
The students will pursue disciplines like engineering, diplomacy, medicine, law at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. They are scheduled to leave for China later this week to pursue various studies in some of the leading universities.
Speaking to CGTN, one of the students Maulidi Barasa, who will be going to study a PhD in Power Engineering expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for the opportunity and also his excitement towards studying in a foreign country.
“China is doing many different things in the field of research and development and I am looking forward to being part of that.”
“I want to implement what I will have learned in China once I come back to Kenya, I want to be an ambassador to the country and bring back the skills from China.” he added.