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China holds railway engineering classes for Kenyan students

Reporter: Tang Bo 丨 CCTV.com

04-07-2016 05:12 BJT

Beijing Jiaotong University has opened an educational program for Kenyan students on railway engineering. It was one of the products of a meeting between China and Kenya during the China-Africa Summit last year. It's aim is to try to revive and modernize the East African country’s rail network.

These 25 Kenyan students are not tourists. They are here to study. Funded by China Road & Bridge Corporation, they are going to study railway engineering at Beijing Jiaotong University over the next four years.

"We hope that the program will set an example for China-Africa railway engineering education, and serve for railway networks across Africa in the future," Chen Feng, vice president of Beijing Jiaotong University, said.

The 25 high school graduates are the first batch of 60 students who have been selected to study in China. They will be able to return home once a year. They will be committed to their studies for the rest of the time.

The students are in the Railway Talents Cultivation Program. It's an initiative to train railway engineers to maintain and operate a standard gauge railway in Kenya. The railway will connect Nairobi, the capital, and Mombasa, the country’s largest harbor city.

The Kenyan government has contracted the China Road and Bridge Corporation to finish the project by 2018.

"Chinese overseas enterprises are going through a transformation, from contractors to developers. So, integration and localization have become very important. Training local people, equiping them with the necessary knowledge for overseas projects is one way out," Sun Ziyu, vice president of Chian Road & Bridge Corporation, said.

Now more than 90 percent of the project has been completed. It has also provided local residents with more than 30,000 jobs.

Sponsoring Kenyan students to study railway courses in top Chinese colleges is only the beginning. At last year's China-Africa Summit, the two countries decided to work together to help Kenya set up academies for the further development of the country’s railway networks.

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