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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan beneficiaries of scholarships from Chinese
firm to study railway technology in Beijing

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A total of 40 Kenyan students are set to join Beijing Jiaotong University late April for a bachelor degree in railway engineering through scholarships provided by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

James Macharia, the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, was on Friday joined by Liu Xianfa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, and senior executives from the CRBC during the sendoff ceremony for Kenyan students held in Nairobi.

Macharia said training of Kenyan youth on advanced railway technology at a prestigious university in China will help the country bridge skills gap in a rapidly evolving mode of transport.

“The need to train our own in the specific rail courses emerged from the realization that Kenya lacked professional and skilled manpower in the railway sector for the development, operation and maintenance of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project,” said Macharia.

The CRBC has since 2016 provided 100 Kenyan youth with scholarships to pursue bachelor degrees in railway-related technologies at Beijing Jiaotong University.

The first batch of 25 students and the second batch of 35 students departed for China in 2016 and 2017 respectively, while the final batch of 40 students will commence their studies in late April.

Macharia hailed the CRBC for sponsoring Kenyan youth to pursue advanced courses related to railway engineering, operations and maintenance.

He added that Kenya will enhance partnership with China in a bid to build a critical mass of trained personnel to operate the SGR which is expected to hasten the country’s industrial growth.

Liu, on his part, urged beneficiaries of CRBC scholarships to pursue their vocation with passion and contribute to Kenya’s development in different spheres.

“It is my hope that after completing studies in China you could come back to Kenya and make use of acquired knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of Kenya, devoting yourselves to China-Kenya cooperation and friendship,” said Liu.

He revealed that China will step up skills and technology transfer to hasten modernization of Kenya’s railway sector through the establishment of a training college in the country.

Li Qiang, the general manager of the CRBC, said his firm has prioritized development of technical skills among Kenyan youth to enhance their capacity to participate in the modernization of their country’s railway transport.

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