Speech by H.E. Ambassador, Liu Guangyuan at the Launch and Award Ceremony of the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship

(November 20, 2013, University of Nairobi)

Professor George Magoha, Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi,

Deputy Vice Chancellors,

Students and Faculty of University of Nairobi,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am extremely delighted to join you here today to witness the launch and award ceremony of the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship. First of all, please allow me to extend my warm congratulations to all the recipients of this scholarship.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the University of Nairobi for our excellent partnership. Eight year ago, the first Confucius Institute in Africa was established at this University and it has become a great success. Today’s event is proof enough of yet another milestone in the cordial friendship and cooperation between us.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Youth are the future of a Nation. A late Chinese leader once said to Chinese students, “The world is yours, as well as ours. But in the final analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigor and vitality, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning, our hope is placed on you.”

Kenya also paces a lot of hope on its youth. Many young Kenyans, especially university students, are full of beautiful dreams. They aspire to attain great personal development for themselves, they wish to see the rejuvenation and prosperity of their motherland, and wish to see a peaceful and harmonious world. However, the path towards their dreams is still attached with a lot of challenges.

For a long time, I have been thinking about how to help these promising young Kenyans to realize their dreams. That is how the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship idea came into being. My Embassy is going to provide 1.5 to 2 million Kenyan Shillings annually to the University of Nairobi to help 15 to 20 students. It is also the consensus of the University management and myself that these scholarships should be awarded to the students with excellent academic performance, but facing financial challenges.

Our assistance is limited. However, I wish to encourage you to use it to show your perseverance and determination in pursuing your dreams. Several years ago, a Kenyan girl called Sharifu, was a student from a very poor family in the remote village of Lamu Island. She is a descendant of a Chinese sailor of the fleet of the famous Chinese navigator Zheng He, 600 years ago. Her dream was to personally see how China looks like. She worked very hard and was offered the Chinese Government Scholarship in 2005.

She successfully graduated from the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and today she is proudly referred to as Dr. Sharifu. She plans to return to Kenya and practice Chinese medical treatment back at home and engage in community work to help her people and her country.

Sharifu’s dream has come true, and she is not the only case. Thousands of Kenyan students have studied in China and currently, more than 200 are studying at different Chinese universities. I hope that more and more Kenyan students, including you and you, could go to study in China and fulfill their dreams. China welcomes you!

Ladies and gentlemen,

Nations also have dreams. When you look east, you will discover the Chinese Dream is the most popular phrase in China today. As H.E. President Xi Jinping of China indicated, the Chinese Dream means: a prosperous and strong China; the revival of the Chinese nation; and a contented life for the Chinese people. These aspects are three-in-one. None of them is dispensable.

We have tailored a clear roadmap for the Chinese Dream. The first goal is to double both GDP and per capita income by 2020, the centenary of the Communist Party of China, on the basis of the 2010 level. This means that the building of a ‘well-off society’ will be completed. The second goal is to turn China into a socialist modernized country by 2049, the centenary of the People’s Republic of China. Through building on the two goals, China will advance to achieve the great revitalization of the Chinese nation. This is the “three-step” strategy for fulfilling the Chinese dream.

Kenya also has an impressive dream. Since independence fifty year ago, many Kenyans, generation after generation, dreamed of a Kenya with peace, stability, safety and prosperity. They dedicated themselves to the realization of the Kenyan dream. I am very much inspired by your roadmap, the Vision 2030 goals of turning Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country.

The Chinese Dream and the Kenyan dream and Africa at large, are closely interconnected. We have always been a community of common destiny with similar historical experiences and values, as well as shared strategic interests and development tasks. China’s development will create more opportunities for Africa and vise versa.

In a few weeks, China and Kenya will proudly celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic ties. These 50 years have witnessed a sincere, strong and cordial relationship and cooperation in all fields between our two great countries. During H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent state visit to China, the two Heads of State decided to establish a comprehensive cooperative partnership. We have every reason to believe that, through our joint efforts, our friendship and cooperation will be stronger and our shared dreams will be actualized.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The dream is ahead of us and the path is under our feet.

I encourage you to study hard, work hard to realize your individual dreams. Your personal development will benefit the whole society and the country.

I encourage you to combine your personal dreams together with the dream of the nation. Only when the people’s dream is factored in the nation’s dream, can dreams come true.

I encourage you to join us in further promoting the existing cordial friendship and cooperation between China and Kenya. A stronger relation between us will not only help us to realize the shared dreams of our two countries, but also help to fulfill our personal dreams.

The establishment of the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship is a very important initiative, and I assure you that it will not be the last one. The Chinese Government and people are ready to join hands with our Kenya brothers and sisters, to further consolidate our friendship, to further promote the bilateral cooperation, especially in the educational area, to further enhance the national development of our two countries, and to build a more peaceful and prosperous world.

Our dreams will be closer and closer.

Asante sana!

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