JUBA, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan and Zimbabwe on Tuesday agreed to deepen relations especially in the field of education through the existing student exchange program that has seen several South Sudanese enroll in various top universities in Harare.
Yien Oral Lam Tut, higher education minister, hailed the Zimbabwean government for supporting enrollment of hundreds of South Sudanese students in various universities, adding that this formed the backbone of their mutual bilateral relations.
"Our bilateral relations will continue and our universities will still be linked with universities of Zimbabwe. South Sudan's higher education is still an eight-year-old baby that is still moving ahead but we are pleased that our counterparts and friends are still assisting," Tut told journalists in Juba.
A high-level delegation led by Kembo Mohadi, Zimbabwean vice president arrived in Juba on Monday on a two-day visit to the youngest nation with the aim of discussing various issues including the revitalized peace deal implementation, agriculture, education and foreign relations.
Victor Muzvidziwa, an academic and representative of the Zimbabwean higher education minister, said his country was willing to help train and build capacity of South Sudanese through educational exchanges.
"We really cherish the historical long relationship that we have between our two countries and particularly in the higher education sector, Zimbabwe does have some experience on the continent in terms of higher education," he said.
Some 69 South Sudanese students already graduated this year in Harare, and 79 students are still pursuing their studies in the African country.
Muzvidziwa disclosed that Zimbabwe enjoys a very advantageous position in terms of higher education in Africa which South Sudan can benefit from.
"Despite the challenges that we might be facing, we are not in any way doubting that we will succeed. We hope to even deepen the exchange relations between our two nations and to ensure that as we travel this journey, we are co-partners in ensuring that education will make a big difference to the industrialization and modernization of our nations," said Muzvidziwa.
South Sudan has only five public universities which include University of Juba, and Upper Nile University.
Some of these universities were badly affected by the five year old conflict, which forced them to relocate operations to within the capital.
Juba is currently implementing the revitalized peace deal signed in September 2018 by President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar in Ethiopia to end conflict that broke out in December 2013.