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5 Feb, 2024 13:08

Russian university strikes deal to train hundreds of African students

The five-year scholarship scheme will see around 600 Ghanaians studying at the People’s Friendship University in Moscow
Russian university strikes deal to train hundreds of African students

A new educational initiative has been launched at the Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, also known as RUDN University, that will offer scholarships to hundreds of students from Ghana.

The five-year scheme was finalized at a ceremony in the West African nation’s capital, Accra, on Friday between RUDN and the Asian African Consortium (AAC), a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies.

Under the agreement, 120 beneficiaries will attend RUDN each year beginning from 2024 to pursue degrees in various fields, including agriculture, information technology, waste management, and climate change, until 2029.

Ghana’s Parliamentary Speaker Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, who attended the signing event, hailed the move as the “beginning of great things to happen,” adding that Moscow had always been a friend to Accra.

Ghanaian Education Minister Yaw Osei Adutwum described the partnership as novel and unique as it involved an actor from the private sector leading the charge in such a large-scale higher education scholarship.

“We try to link tertiary education in Africa with industrial companies in the way that the education system and education process support the development of specialists who can seamlessly go into employment with the right skill set of theoretical and practical knowledge,” said Masamba Kakh, a representative of RUDN University.

In November 2022, Moscow increased the scholarship quota for Ghanaian students to study medicine and engineering at Russian universities from 75 to 110. The move fulfilled a commitment made at the first Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi in 2019 to strengthen scientific and educational cooperation between Russia and African nations, including Ghana.

Last June, Russian Ambassador to Ghana Sergei Berdnikov announced that more than 900 Ghanaians are presently pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist’s programs in Russia; over 300 of them have full scholarships.

At the ceremony in Accra on Friday, Berdnikov pledged to ensure that documents for the RUDN-AAC scholarship recipients are processed swiftly at the embassy to allow them to travel for their studies.

The Executive Chairman of Jospong Group, Joseph Siaw Agyepong, also declared his company’s readiness to offer employment opportunities for the students after the completion of their education in Russia to “develop Ghana together.”