(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,”
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