Prioritise skills development, urges China

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Chinese Ambassador HU Dingxian makes a toast with Acting Foreign Affairs and International Relations Minister Tsukutlane Au

Chinese Ambassador HU Dingxian

Limpho Sello

CHINA has called on Lesotho to prioritise human resource development (HRD) to ensure the social and economic advancement of the Mountain Kingdom.

This was said by Chinese Ambassador HU Dingxian yesterday during a seminar on the 2015 China-Aid Human Resource Development Cooperation Programme held at a Maseru hotel.

He said China strengthened relations with Lesotho, and other African nations, through HRD cooperation by training managerial and technical personnel in various fields and dispatching Chinese experts on the continent.

“In the promotion of China-Africa cooperation, China always pays great attention on HRD cooperation. As a Chinese saying goes: ‘To give a man a fish and you feed him only for a day, and to teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’,” said Ambassador Dingxian.

“China realized that HRD is crucial for national development and without HRD, there would be no national economic and social development.”

He said, since the resumption of Sino-Lesotho diplomatic relations in 1994, the Asian giant had provided study opportunities for government officials and technical personnel.

“We provide full-time Chinese government scholarships for Basotho students to study and gain diplomas and degrees in China. Up to now, there are more than 1 500 Lesotho government officials and technical personnel, and more than 150 Basotho students who have already benefited from these cooperation programmes,” Ambassador Dingxian said.

“In 2015 alone, we provided opportunities for 252 Basotho from all walks of life to participate in 63 multilateral and six bilateral short-term training courses in China, which I believe, would greatly help improve the human resources in Lesotho.”

He said the seminar was meant to explore ways to make HRD cooperation between the two countries more effective.

“Since HRD is an important and effective tool to raise the national competitiveness, many countries have placed it at the top of their national development agendas,” the diplomat noted.

“How (then) can we do a better job in our cooperation to implement these plans, to make our cooperation on HRD more systematic, more effective and more down to earth, matching the needs of Lesotho’s national requirements? This is the reason we are here today. We need to pool our vision, wisdom and strength together.”

In his remarks, Development Planning Minister, Mokoto Hloaele, said while the National Manpower Development Secretariat sponsored the education of Basotho students in Lesotho and the SADC region, resources were limited.

“We, therefore, rely on our development partners such as the People’s Republic of China for sponsorship abroad,” he said.

“We are very grateful the assistance which has gone a long way in addressing the skills shortage this country is facing.”

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