August 15, 2019 (JUBA) – The Chinese government has offered scholarships to at least 29 South Sudanese students in the fields of science and technology.
- Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 31, 2018. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
Speaking at the handover event in Juba, the Chinese ambassador to South Sudan, Hua Ning said the scholarships were part of Beijing’s efforts to boost peace and development in Africa’s newest nation.
“Today I have the great pleasure to meet so many outstanding young South Sudanese who are going to China to pursue your dreams and also those who have finished your study in China and returned to South Sudan,” Hua was quoted saying on Thursday.
“I see in all of you the hope of South Sudan and the future of China-South Sudan relations,” he added.
The envoy further said the Asian country aims to strengthen its bilateral relations and friendship with South Sudan under the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which will see Juba benefiting from trade and infrastructure development funded by the Chinese government.
“China is willing to work with South Sudan to implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing summit and the consensus between our two heads of state, and strengthen cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture, education, health and energy, bringing bilateral relations to a new level,” he observed.
South Sudan officially joined the Belt and Road Initiative last year.
Meanwhile, South Sudan’s higher education, Yen Oral Tut urged the beneficiaries to study hard and acquire the much needed skills.
On his part, however, the minister of general education, Deng Deng Hoc lauded China for assisting the young nation ridden by conflict.
“China is a very close ally and friend of South Sudan it has been our friend for a very long time it has been our friend at the time of need and therefore it’s a friend indeed. We are grateful to the people and the government of the People’s Republic of China for all the support that we received over the years in various fields notably in the field of oil sector, education and health,” said Deng.
He said South Sudan needs educated people to achieve vision 2040.
“We cannot achieve that without our people getting opportunities to be able to learn and specialize to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitude needed for us to develop South Sudan to become the country we want,” he stressed.
South Sudan has one of the highest rates of illiteracy in the world, a high proportion of children are out of school.