by Lyu Tianran, Otsile Keobokile
This year marks the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Botswana. In the past 40 years, the two countries enjoy closer relationship in the areas of education and culture exchanges, Councilor Li Nan of the Chinese embassy told Xinhua here Tuesday.
To mark the anniversary, the Chinese government this year provides 28 more scholarships to Botswana, he revealed.
Since 1976 when China provided the first scholarship to Botswana, the number of scholarships is increasing year by year. Now China provides more than 80 government scholarships for Botswana people each year, the total number of scholarships accumulated to more than 500.
“Botswana students learn expertise in China and serve back Botswana, meanwhile, they learn Chinese language and culture, which have good effect on promoting understanding of the two peoples,” said Li, adding that every Botswana student is a symbol of friendship, an ambassador of goodwill.
Some Botswana students get a job after returning from China, including those joining in Chinese companies in Botswana, which enhances friendship and exchanges between Chinese companies and Botswana people, said Li.
“Some of us grew up in rural areas where we are not familiar with developments or city, but when I got to China I was so fascinated by buildings, and their infrastructure is of standard,” said Oitshupile Khumo Maswabi who studied in China for two years from 2012 to 2014.
“The Chinese people are very friendly, they made sure I learnt Chinese language and they were very helpful and also patient,” she told Xinhua, adding that Chinese are hard workers and are very committed to their business.
“If I’m given a chance, anytime I will go back and I love the place,” said Maswabi who has became the chief administration officer at the National Assembly of Botswana.
University of Botswana (UB) student Mogolo Kefalotse Ramalebang represented Botswana at a Chinese proficiency competition held in China this July. She became the top 2 contestant in Africa and top 10 in the world. After the competition, “I did come to realization a lot more people than I thought in the world are learning Chinese,” she told Xinhua.
Ramalebang has previously studied in China’s Shanghai Normal University for 2 years, the first year was with scholarship of Confucius Institute of China after studying for 2 semesters in Confucius Institute at the University of Botswana (CIUB), other one was part of degree of Chinese Studies in UB with help of the Botswana government.
“Staying in a place for two years, you got to have good experience and bad ones, but in my experience, I feel that my good experience is over shown bad experience,” she told Xinhua.
Ramalebang will go to China for another one year for master degree under help of the Chinese government scholarship.
“Chinese people are very welcoming, very friendly, despite me being so far away from home, I felt eased because of their hospitality. This is what really contribute to my Chinese language learning and overall experience in China,” said Ramalebang.
Giving up chance studying in Europe, the reason she chose China is the country’s rich culture.
She also believed there is a lot she can learn from China. “Once China is a very poor country, yet now it is managed to rapidly neutralize and develop in such a short time,” she said.
“I want to see what really makes Chinese people become so successful. I found that there is no magic, just hard work. Ethics they have towards work and school are what make the country what is it now,” she said. Enditem