Chinese community offers scholarships to Zimbabwean students

(Xinhua) 08:43, March 03, 2022

HARARE, March 2 (Xinhua) -- One hundred students from ten council-run primary schools in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, will benefit from scholarships under the China-Zimbabwe Friendship Scholarship to cover their tuition fees.

The scholarship program, which was officially launched Wednesday in Harare, is facilitated by the China Africa Economic and Culture Exchange and Research Centre (CAECERC) with support from Chinese enterprises in Zimbabwe.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, where some of the beneficiaries were handed their funds, Stellah Gunje, the representative of heads of council primary schools in Harare, expressed gratitude to the Chinese for the kind gesture.

"Underprivileged learners or students in selected council schools have something to smile about. It is a dream come true for those students," she said.

Acting Harare Mayor Stewart Mutizwa said the program resonates with the city council's quest to provide affordable education to all students.

"There is no doubt that this gesture will motivate and encourage many students to work harder so that they can be part of this program," he said.

The program will also be expanded to benefit other council and government schools across the country.

In addition to providing funding to primary school students, the China-Zimbabwe Friendship Scholarship is already providing assistance to university students. Thirty students from three state universities in Zimbabwe have so far benefited from the scholarship program.

Steve Zhao, director of CAECERC, said the scholarship program is part of Chinese firms' community social responsibility, claiming the program was mooted after the realization that pandemic-induced economic challenges have seen many parents from poor backgrounds failing to raise funds to send children to school.

China has been supporting Zimbabwe's education sector since the southern African country attained independence in 1980. It has provided more than 100 scholarships to Zimbabwean students each year through the Chinese Government Scholarship, Confucius Institute Scholarship, various provincial government scholarships as well as scholarships funded by Chinese enterprises in Zimbabwe.

Through CAECERC, Zhao has facilitated and promoted various cultural exchange programs between Zimbabwe and China that include bringing Chinese students and scholars to Zimbabwe as well as sending Zimbabwean students and scholars to China. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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