Thirty Liberian students on Thursday, August 22, 2019 departed the country to pursue various degree programs in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the two countries seek to enhance educational exchanges and cooperation.
The scholarship is part of China-Liberia Bilateral Education Agreement where students will be allowed to obtain masters and PhDs.
“Tonight, I am happy to host the reception to see off the Liberian students, and to present the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship to related Liberian universities,” Ambassador FU Jijun said.
“I have the honor and pleasure to welcome all of you to be here at the reception at the Chinese Embassy,” Ambassador FU Jijun added.
Ambassador Jijun, who spoke at the farewell reception for the students and trainees as well as Chinese Ambassador Scholarship awarding ceremony in Monrovia, encouraged them to work hard in fulfilling their dreams and to observe and learn what brought China to where it is today.
This, according to him, is indeed a moment of joy as he can already see the excitement in the faces of the winners of the scholarship.
Ambassador Jijun said 2019 has been a remarkable year for China-Liberia collaboration in the capacity building or people’s empowerment as the Pro-Poor Agenda called for.
He said since President George Weah attended the Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September 2018, “our education cooperation has been moving to a higher level.”
The Chinese Ambassador further recalled that on September 3, 2018, President Xi Jinping announced eight major initiatives for enhancing China-Africa collaboration in the next three years and beyond.
The capacity building initiatives, according to ambassador Jijun, proposed that China would provide Africa 50,000 government scholarships in the next three years.
He said, “That’s why we can see that the China-Liberia education cooperation has undergone a great leap forward this year. In 2018, China Scholarship Council awarded full scholarships to study in China for bachelor, master and doctorate degrees in various disciplines.”
Ambassador Jijun disclosed that there are also around 30 persons who have received other kinds of scholarships from Chinese military academies, Confucius institutes and universities.
“What’s more, China has also significantly increased the quota of short to long-term training programs for Liberians. Just in the last few months, almost 200 Liberian government officials, scholars, doctors, and technicians have traveled to China for professional or specialized skills training that would improve their capacities to effectively deliver services to Liberian people,” he said.
Ambassador Jijun told the gathering that in the next few days there would be another 200 Liberians that would be going to China for different kinds of professional training.
In the same vein, he said, another 100 or more students from the University of Liberia, Cuttington and Tubmanburg University would get benefits from the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship.
Ambassador Jijun said, “On behalf of the Chinese Embassy and in my own name, I would like to express my congratulation to all scholarship beneficiaries. This is the outcome of your hard work and also the fruitfulness of China-Liberia friendly relations and collaboration.”
He also used the occasion to express gratitude to the Ministry of Education, Foreign Affairs and other relevant authorities for their long-term support and assistance in the selection of qualified winners for the various scholarships and training programs.
According to Ambassador Jijun, China-Liberia friendship has flourished in the past decade, and personal exchanges and concrete collaboration in various fields have been increased, thus bringing huge benefits to the two countries.
As the world’s largest developing country, Ambassador Jijun said, China has always been dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Liberia in terms of people’s empowerment and technology by sharing its development experiences, knowledge and technology with Liberia in various means.
He noted that China is fully aware of the harsh economic reality that Liberia is facing.
Ambassador Jijun said the reason may be many, but the solution will not be achieved without a well-coordinated effort to tackle some of the major root causes.
“Beyond the academics, the technical capacity needs of Liberian youths cannot be overemphasized. It is for this reason that China decided to increase its support to the people and youth empowerment of Liberians particularly,” he added.
Ambassador Jijun promised that China will be willing to further strengthen collaboration with Liberia under the framework of FOCAC and the Pro-Poor Agenda, to help Liberia achieve its development and prosperity.
He told the beneficiaries that after accomplishing their studies, “You will not only make more contributions to the social and economic development of your motherland but also play a role of ambassadors between the Chinese and the Liberian peoples in building up the bridge of friendship and understanding between the two countries.”
Dominic Kwame, acting Deputy Minister for Planning, Research and Development, called on the beneficiaries of the 2019 Chinese Government Scholarships to serve as ambassadors of Liberia in their respective institutions of learning in China.
Minister Kwame congratulated the candidates and admonished them to remain united as one family while undergoing their studies in that part of the world.
He noted that their selection among hundreds of candidates was a privilege and an opportunity to improve their human resource capacities, and encouraged them to work hard and return home with success, stressing that the President and people of Liberia will be proud of their achievements.
Meanwhile, the head of the scholarship students, Boakai Karllon Wilson, has expressed thanks and appreciation to the People’s Republic of China, especially to those on the scholarship committee, for the opportunity accorded them to seek studies abroad, to enable them to prepare for future challenges.