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China provides scholarships to 111 Sierra Leone students

By Abu Bakarr Kargbo (People's Daily Online)    15:33, August 31, 2018

Chinese and Sierra Leonean dignitaries.

Sierra Leone continues to enjoy a fruitful friendship with the People’s Republic of China since ties were established in 1971. Among all African countries, the west African nation is the highest beneficiary of Chinese scholarships.

Aug. 24, 2018, marked another milestone in the history of bilateral relations between the two countries, as the Chinese government provided scholarships to 111 Sierra Leoneans in undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate courses across China. The scholarships were awarded at the annual China Night Farewell Party for Chinese Government Scholarship Recipients, hosted at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.

Wu Peng, Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, addresses students.

The scholarship support came at the same time as the government of Sierra Leone launched a free quality education program as its priority, as part of President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction Agenda.

Since education is a crucial tool for human development, the government of Sierra Leone has decided to ensure inclusive and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all Sierra Leoneans in line with Goal 4 of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It's hoped that through education, the country will once again be on the path towards social, political and economic recovery.

While congratulating the recipients, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Wu Peng, said they are in full support of the New Direction, and they will continue to contribute to its success. “Now every year, the Chinese government provides scholarships, various short-term training programs and other courses for hundreds of Sierra Leoneans,” he said, adding that in regards to infrastructure, China is helping Sierra Leone to build schools and will also consider donating portable classrooms to help those in remote communities.

Dr. Alie Kabba, Sierra Leone’s Foreign Affairs Minister.

The Chinese Ambassador pointed out that the trip stands as a symbol of hope and a turning point for these lucky students. “This is a prime chance for you to see a different world, and I hope you will make good use of it. During your stay in China, you will immerse yourself in learning and thinking, but don’t forget to travel and make new friends too,” Ambassador Wu encouraged the recipients.

He reminded them that they are not only students but also envoys of China-Sierra Leone friendship. “While you are exploring the fantastic features of Chinese culture, you will also impress Chinese people with excellent Sierra Leonean culture,” he added, concluding, “the key to sound relations between states lies in the affinity between their people, and you will contribute to China-Sierra Leone relations by promoting people-to-people exchanges."

Saffa Woya Rogers, Sierra Leone’s Deputy Ambassador to China.

The newly approved Sierra Leone Deputy Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Saffa Woya Rogers, and Dr. Maxim Conjoh, President of the Sino-Sierra Leone Alumni Association (SISLAA), thanked the Chinese government for its unflinching support to Sierra Leone. They admonished the students to do their best and come back after graduation to support the country’s development.

One scholarship recipient, Marius Kargbo, assured dignitaries during his acceptance speech that he and his fellow students will make the most of this opportunity and do their very best during their time in China. 

Guo Xin, Head of Political Affairs, Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone.

Scholarship recipients.


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