The Egyptian Embassy in Malawi has presented the last batch of academic scholarships for 2017 to Malawian students.
The students leave on January 12 for Al Azhar University for four or five years depending on their studies.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Deputy Egyptian Ambassador Abdallah Hosny said the scholarships cement the good working relationship between Cairo and Lilongwe.
“The 12 scholarships fully-sponsored by the oldest and prestigious university in Egypt bring the total to 25. The first crop left for Egypt in December. We are offering the scholarships so that in turn, the awardees contribute to the growth of the country,” he said.
However, conspicuously absent among the recipients were females whom, according to the deputy ambassador, did not apply.
“We ask the Ministry of Education to nominate beneficiaries of the scholarships. They shortlist and then we make the final selection. We choose according to the grades of the applicants.
“As for the absence of females, that is the issue with the Ministry of Education. But I have taken it up with them and on our part, we are looking at having half males and half females in future. Of course, the first batch had one girl,” he explained.
Director of higher education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Samson MacJessie Mbewe, said Egypt continues to be Malawi’s strategic partner in the area of education.
“The Egyptian government has been offering both short and long-term scholarships for capacity building of Malawians. For any country to develop, we need to invest in people in different ways including education,” he said.
One of the recipients, Yusuf Samson, could not hide his excitement of travelling abroad for studies. n