Barely four months after re-establishing diplomatic ties The Gambia and China have once again demonstrated their commitment to ensuring that the Banjul-Beijing relations continue to move from strength to strength. This has come in the form of the 12 Gambian students awarded Chinese Government scholarship.
As rightly stated by the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, China and Africa are connected heart and soul and are bound together not only by profound traditional friendship and shared interests, but also by their common pursuit of development dreams. He is also right to point out that The Gambia and China are old friends with renewed friendship and the decision to normalise relations by the leaders of the two great countries serve the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries and their people.
The two countries have indeed attached great importance to the relationship and as a result, their mutual understanding is deepening. This though should not surprise anyone though because China’s relationship with its allies is always based on mutual respect without interfering in their domestic matters.
It is also gratifying to note that education is at the forefront in the bilateral relations. As the ancient Chinese saying goes; if you would do something significant in a year, you farm and grow grains; if you would do something significant in ten years, you plant trees; if you would do something significant in one hundred years, you educate people.
This is indeed true about The Gambia because even though the Jammeh administration has invested heavily in all spheres of our national development, education is at the forefront in anything it does.
The number of schools built across the country in the upper basic and senior secondary categories cannot be quantified. It was also in the Second Republic that The Gambia can boast of a university.
So as we congratulate the 12 students for the deserved scholarships, even though it won’t be the last, we implore them to make best use of the opportunity and serve as good ambassadors of The Gambia in China.