total of 30 Gambians have received the 2017 Chinese government scholarship to
study in China for bachelor’s and master’s levels.
Their areas of study included engineering, medical science, automation, ICT, fisheries, metrology, finance, education, public management, tourism and hotel management, and public diplomacy.
The awardees were treated to a reception at the Chinese Embassy in Bijilo on Friday, attended by senior Gambia government officials.
Li Jimming, Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, said awarding Chinese government scholarship to deserving Gambian students has become a yearly event for the embassy in The Gambia.
“The year 2017 witnesses a big leap forward in terms of the scale and type of the scholarships,” he said.
In 2016, 12 Gambian students, on Chinese government scholarship, went to China to study and “they are faring very well”, the ambassador said.
This year, he said, the number of scholarships has been more than doubled. In addition to the 14 students for bachelors degree, 16 have been awarded masters scholarship.
Ambassador Jimming said the increased in Chinese scholarships allocated to The Gambia epitomises the ever-growing relations between two countries and peoples.
“Our bilateral cooperation has yielded rich fruits over the year, particularly in recent months,” he said, adding that the construction of the Gambia International Conference Center, funded by the Chinese government, is to commence very soon.
The ambassador said China has offered duty-free treatment to Gambian goods exported to China, written off the remaining debt of millions of dollars, and donated 2,500 tons of rice to the people of The Gambia.
China has also sent a new Chinese medical team to The Gambia, offered around 100 short-term training opportunities to China on a variety of development related subjects, and also launched youth exchange programmes.
Badara Joof, minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, commended the Chinese government, through the embassy in The Gambia, for “all that they have done for this country”.
He said China has played a very important role in the development of the African continent.
“It has played a very important role in the political emancipation of some countries of Africa and it has supported the African continent at the level of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly,” he said.
“China has been partnering with Africa for Africa’s development and for the people of Africa and for that we are grateful.”