File photo shows medical students attend lectures at the University of Somalia in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, May 6, 2010. Despite decades of civil war in Somalia, education, which is highly valued in Somali society, continues and schools and Universities operate even in the midst of conflict zone like restive Somali capital, Mogadishu. (Xinhua/Ismail Warsameh)
MOGADISHU, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Forty-two Somali students drawn from different parts of the country were Wednesday awarded scholarships to study in various universities in China.
Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Qin Jian said the students who completed their secondary education in Somalia will pursue both undergraduate and graduate studies in China and will be expected to come back and deploy their skills in building the country.
Qin said the award of scholarship was in line with China's commitment in supporting the Horn of Africa nation's recovery process and deepening diplomatic ties between the two countries.
"We have selected students from all Somali regions notably Somaliland, Puntland, Galmudug, South West, HirShabelle and Mogadishu. I am confident this scholarship programme will be of so much help to the students and the country at large," said Qin.
Somalia's Minister for High Education Abdirahman Dahir Osman hailed the scholarship offer as a major milestone in China's continued support to his country, adding that this was instrumental in affirming established relations between the two countries.
"Our relations with China have always remained very strong. This assistance is not new. China has extended support to us on many occasions over the years," said Osman.
Ahmed Hassan, one of the beneficiaries, expressed joy upon receiving the scholarship award letter.
"I thank the Chinese government for this scholarship award. I am very happy to have qualified for this scholarship," said Hassan, who will be studying for a master degree in China.