|China scholarships up for graps|
GABORONE - The Chinese government is offering Batswana a range of scholarships turnable in Chinese higher institutions in an effort to further strengthen the existing relations between Botswana and China.
"For the academic year of 2009/10, the Chinese government will provide 22 full scholarships for Botswana students who wish to study in China as post graduates for master or doctoral degrees, Chinese language students, general scholars and senior scholars," reads a statement from the Chinese embassy.
Out of the 22 scholarships, 12 are for government officials while 10 are reserved for the general public who meet the criteria. Those interested in seizing the opportunity should be legitimate Batswana in good health.
For those studying or already university students they will be required to provide studying certificates or employment documents.
For those who will qualify, all their expenses, including medical, tuition and living allowances will be fully covered by the Chinese government when in China. As for the flight tickets bills, these will be met by the prospective individual students.
In an interview with BOPA, the Acting Chinese Ambassador, Mrs Jihong Wu said that there are currently 26 Batswana students pursuing studies in China.
Mrs Wu told BOPA that the scholarships are aimed at strengthening cultural exchanges between the two countries.
The two countries have cultural agreements in which some government officials of both countries visit each other to learn more about the cultures of each country.
"Each year, the Chinese government has provided over 100 training opportunities for the Botswana government officials and just last year we provided 130," stated Wu.
Regarding the field of education, the Chinese government has been providing scholarships for Botswana students at their higher education institutions since 1980.
China, as one of the developed countries has spread her wings not only in Botswana but also to the rest of Africa.
"As a follow-up action of Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Friendship, which was held in November 2006, the Chinese government increased the scholarships from five to around 20 for each academic year since 2007, which also serves to support Botswana to accelerate the achievement of Vision 2016," read part of the scholarship brief.
On other sectors, China has been assisting Botswana in health, agriculture, trade and others.
China has been sending health experts to Botswana for a long time and has also offered to absorb the bill for the salaries and other living expenses for the medical experts serving in Botswana.
Beijing has taken yet another step to offer Chinese language as a course at the University of Botswana for those interested.
(10 March, 2009, Daily News)