Feature: Somali youngsters praise learning in China

MOGADISHU, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Home to one of the best education systems globally that leverage the latest technology and research, China has always been a prized destination for Somali youngsters in search of life-long learning and career mobility.

The Somali youth have been trooping to China to study various disciplines and enhance their knowledge, skills, and competitiveness in the job markets.

With decades of civil strife and natural disasters that have rocked the Horn of African nation for decades, young Somalis are trying hard to chart a bright future for themselves and catch up with their peers in other parts of Africa.

Hassan Ali Yusuf, a bubbly youth, applied for a scholarship provided by the Chinese government in 2019 and was later accepted at the Feed Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), based in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

After years of dedicated studies and burning the midnight oil, Yusuf graduated in July this year with a postgraduate degree in animal nutrition and feed science.

Moving out of his comfort zone and studying other people's beliefs and habits has been the perfect trajectory for Yusuf.

"I have interacted with people from different cultures, customs, races, religions, and traditions. These helped me to gain vast knowledge and experience," said Yusuf.

"The country has invested a lot of inputs in research and technology, which is why it developed so fast and ensured its education system is of high quality and is easily accessible," he said.

In line with its win-win mutual foreign policy, the Chinese government funds projects and gives scholarships to developing countries, including many in Africa.

Yusuf is currently giving back to society and helping remove the hiccups in the education sector in Somalia, where he lectures at two universities, Somali National University and Benadir University.

In addition, he is also a livestock production advisor.

Abdullahi Abdulkadir Elmi Hashi, another Somali youth, has been to China to study at Southeast University for six consecutive years, pursuing medicine.

"I stayed there from 2011 till 2017, and left upon completion of my desired studies," said Abdulkadir.

Abdulkadir said he acquired tremendous experience during his study tour in China.

"I sampled different types of food and appreciated the richness, diversity, and authenticity of Chinese culture," he said.

During his time in China, Abdulkadir was an active member of the Somali community, and oftentimes he could offer tutorials to classmates.

In the past five years, Abdulkadir has operated in one of the privately owned hospitals in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, named Shifa Clinic, helping the sick and the most vulnerable members of society.

As the chairman of the Somalia-China Friendship Association, Abdulkadir concentrated on building strong connections between the people of the two brotherly nations.

"I work on the relationship and friendship of the two countries in terms of culture, business and education," said Abdulkadir while hailing China for not meddling in Somalia's internal affairs and respecting its sovereignty.

Abdulkadir is now planning a trip to China to pursue a postgraduate degree in cardiology and boost his career mobility.

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