Ethiopians, who are beneficiaries of Chinese scholarship, have commended China for its continued support to capacity building and human resource development endeavors of the East African country in particular and the African continent in general.

Implemented through its Ministry of Commerce, China offers short-term training and long-term education program every year to thousands of people from different developing countries, including Ethiopia.

This year, by the end of August, the Chinese government has invited over 800 Ethiopians to participate in 200 short-term seminars, training courses and workshops, and offered scholarships to about 400 Ethiopians, including government officials for longer-term bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs, according to the Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Tan Jian.

According to Liu Yu, Minister Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, of the 1,380 people from different countries, 228 Ethiopians are admitted this year to long-term degree programs, including 66 PhD and 162 master degrees, accounting for 16.52 percent of the total scholarships China offers across the world. In terms of PhD scholarship, Ethiopia enjoys a high share of 40.74 percent of the total 162 global quotas.

Speaking at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception organized later Thursday by the Chinese embassy in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, some of the beneficiary Ethiopians said the Chinese scholarships help them acquire knowledge and skills as well as promote exchanges and enhance people-to-people ties between the two countries.

In addition to scientific knowledge and skills, they said that the Chinese scholarship provides opportunity for Ethiopians to share China’s experiences and best practices that could be emulated for Ethiopia’s social and economic endeavors.

In his remarks at the reception, Getachew Adem, one of the 2019 PhD winners of Chinese commerce ministry scholarship, who is also Deputy Commissioner of National Planning Commission of Ethiopia, said the scholarship in China provides multiple benefits to Ethiopians through interactions with Chinese instructors, development experts and practitioners as well as with the common people that would help also building people-to-people relation between China and Ethiopia, and with continent of Africa at large.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the government of the People’s Republic of China for awarding this scholarship as part of its continuous support in building and enhancing the human resources capacity of Ethiopia and the continent of Africa at large,” Getachew has said.

“Pursuing our education in China enables us to achieve twin objectives in tandem: gain technical knowhow in terms of concepts and theories and gain experiences from Chinese development experiences through our interaction with Chinese instructors, Chinese development experts and practitioners on the ground,” he has added.

Speaking on his part, Desta Tesfaw, who is one of the 2019 PhD candidates from Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, Peking University, said, “Apart from the universal scientific knowledge and skills, studying in China provides relevant experiences for our country’s economic and social transformation endeavors.”

“The miracle economic development of China, achieved through 40 years reform and opening-up program has attracted many students and researchers all over the world,” he said, “It is vital and critical to learn from the relevant experiences. It is paramount important to understand the how part of the successes in related to particular field of study.”

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday praised China’s support for Ethiopia’s efforts in the human resource development through the Chinese scholarship programs.

“These bright Ethiopians will help us to bridge the people of Ethiopia and the people of China,” he said.

The year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and next year, 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ethiopia, the Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Tan Jian, said expressing China’s continued commitment to further strengthen cooperation with Ethiopia to bring the relations to a new height.

“Human resource development is an important component in the Belt and Road Initiative and within the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation framework,” the Ambassador said. “The purpose is not only to build capacity, but also to strengthen people-to-people bond.” Enditem

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