…as China, Sierra Leone celebrate
July 29, 2016
As they join the China Embassy and Government of Sierra Leone to celebrate the 45th anniversary of bilateral relationship, President of the Sino-Sierra Leone Alumni Association (SSLAA) has appealed to the Chinese Government to increase the quota of academic scholarship awards and re -consider awarding them to candidates through individual institutions rather than through the Government of Sierra Leone, so as to ensure ease of access to all and sundry.
Dr. Abdulai Maxim Konjoh told Concord Times that Sierra Leone has benefited immensely in terms of human resource capacity through the long and trusted bilateral relationship with China, and that although they have recently increased their scholarship award from 20 to 50, the country needs more.
“A lot of Sierra Leoneans – from under-graduate to post-graduate – have benefited from the Chinese Government Scholarship. I am one of the examples and most of us are well placed and contributing to national development,” he noted.
SSLAA is one group whose members have benefitted from Chinese largesse as part of bilateral relationship between China and Sierra Leone. The association has a membership of over 200 Sierra Leoneans who have benefited from Chinese Government scholarships and pursued courses in various disciplines in the People’s Republic of China.
“We formed the association because we want to tell people about China. We have benefited from China and have had the opportunity to study in the country and interact with its people. We are better placed to tell the public about the goodies Sierra Leone is enjoying from the bilateral relationship. We have been engaging in several activities to blow the trumpet of China in Sierra Leone,” said Dr. Konjoh.
The SSLAA President, who also doubles as Dean, Faculty of Education at the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, praised the kind of education provided by the Chinese Government, noting that “China provides scholarship for people to pursue courses in contemporary disciplines that are highly needed by the country. They are contributing to national development.
“Almost every sector in Sierra Leone has a graduate from China. We have medical doctors, academics, engineers – civil, electrical, petroleum and computer.”
Dr.Konjoh described bilateral relationship between the two countries as very fruitful, especially to Sierra Leone, which he said, has benefitted immensely in the areas of agriculture, infrastructure, and investment, among several others.
“I grew up with the presence of Chinese in my village at Tormabum.They were engaged in agriculture and they are supporting the government in that drive. We can also see along the sky lines with the National Stadium, Youyi building, and the newly constructed Foreign Affairs office. These are all concrete testaments of how Sierra Leone has benefited and still benefitting from China,” he said.
As part of their own way of celebrating the 45th anniversary of bilateral relationship between China and Sierra Leone, he said the association organised a football match between them and the embassy, in which the association emerged as the winner.
“We are going to join the embassy in celebrating the wonderful relationship. We are grateful for the benefit derived from the relationship and we are in a celebrated mood as am talking,” he concluding, smiling.