NAIROBI, April 2 — Chinese enterprises based in Kenya on Tuesday launched a scholarship to boost vocational training in the east African nation.
Kenya-China Economic and Trade Association (KCETA), a non-profit body that represents 97 members of Chinese owned companies, said in a statement that 1.5 million Kenya shillings (15,000 U.S. dollars) has been set aside to benefit 15 students at the initial phase.
The scholarship is named after Jin Yetao, a former employee of Avic International who lost his life in the Ethiopian plane crash on March 10.
“The Jin Yetao Scholarship is a special scholarship bestowed by KCETA dedicated to college students in vocational and technical universities,” said Li Changgui, general manager of China Road and Bridge Corporation in Kenya.
Li said the scholarship that was launched in honor of a young Chinese expatriate who dedicated his working life to vocational training in Kenya and the greater eastern African region, will inspire future generations to embrace positive values.
Jin joined AVIC International after graduation in 2011 and was responsible for the company’s overseas vocational and training program.
He was aboard the Ethiopian Airlines jetliner, ET302 that was travelling to Nairobi from Addis Ababa on March 10 but crashed six minutes after takeoff, killing all the 157 passengers and crew onboard.
Su Tianshu, managing director of AVIC International, hailed Jin’s contribution to vocational training, medicare and infrastructure development in Kenya, terming him an illustrious ambassador for the Belt and Road Initiative that aims to boost Sino-Africa ties.
So far, two Kenyan vocational training institutes have expressed willingness to participate in the Jin Yetao scholarship whose first batch of beneficiaries will be announced in September this year.
Kevit Desai, principal secretary in the state department of vocational and technical training, said the launch of Jin Yetao Scholarship will be a game changer in Kenya’s quest to bridge skills gap and promote industrial growth.
“We are saddened by the devastation the air crash caused so many families, but we must inherit the victims’ will and continue what they started. In that sense, the Scholarship is very timely and has great significance,” said Desai.
Guo Ce, economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said the launch of Jin Yetao Scholarship will strengthen China-Kenya cooperation to achieve mutual benefits.
“Jin Yetao is a representative of hundreds of Chinese expatriates working in many different sectors across Kenya. His story will encourage our Chinese compatriots and their Kenyan counterparts to work even harder and jointly promote our partnership to an even higher level,” said Guo. – XINHUA