When Ariane Kaligirwa emerged the best female student in sciences in the 2017 A-level national exams, she told The New Times that her dream was to pursue aeronautic engineering to contribute to the development of Rwanda’s aviation sector.
The 20-year-old, who went to Gashora Girls Academy, had no clue about the university at which she would pursue her studies to realise her dream.
Recently she applied for a scholarship in the People’s Republic of China. The feedback was positive
“My application was considered and I was contacted for an interview. I was asked some scientific questions and social ones, which I answered well, I later got positive feedback that I was offered a scholarship,” she told The New Times on Friday.
Kaligirwa was speaking on the sidelines of a function organised to bid farewell to some 12 Rwandan students who secured scholarships to pursue their studies in China. The ceremony was held at the Chinese Embassy.
Kaligirwa said that she will use her skills and exposure to contribute to the development of Rwanda’s nascent aviation industry.
“China is developed in the area (of aviation) and I hope I will acquire practical skills in aeronautical engineering, I will use the five years to get requisite skills. I will be back to serve my country,” said Kaligirwa, a recipient of several accolades from Imbuto Foundation.
Speaking at the event, the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Rao Hongwei, told the scholars they are going to study in China in exciting times when China-Rwanda relations have entered a new era following the historic visit of Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China to Rwanda last month.
“You were born in an exciting and great era. The Rwanda government attaches great importance to engage, educate and empower the youth. And China is committed to enhancing educational cooperation with Rwanda,” he said
He added: “We both believe education is of great importance in nation-building as well as personal development. It plays a unique and critical role in deepening friendship and understanding between our two peoples”.
The Chinese government has offered thousands of scholarships to Rwandans over the last couple of years. Today, China is home to over 2,000 Rwandan students, according to the envoy.