The Government of the Republic of Korea, through its grant aid and technical cooperation agency, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), has awarded fully-funded scholarships for Master’s degree programs to 29 Nigerian government officials under its Capacity Improvement and Advancement for Tomorrow (CIAT) programme.
On Wednesday, a pre-departure orientation was organized at the KOICA premises in Abuja, to provide useful information about travel logistics and stay in Korea.
During the session, KOICA Country Director, Son Sungil, emphasized the importance of investing in Human Resource Development (HRD) and Korea’s unwavering desire to support Nigeria to achieve its overarching development goals and objectives.
A knowledge sharing session was presented by the KOICA Alumni Association members (South Korea International Cooperation Association of Nigeria, SKICAN) to share their first-hand experience obtained in Korea.
The KOICA Country Director stated that the scholarship program aims to support the capacity development of partner countries. To meet this goal, qualified government officials are admitted into leading Korean universities to acquire professional and systematic knowledge that will play a critical role in their home country’s socio-economic development.
Also, the beneficiaries will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the Korean people and culture, he said.
Led by the KOICA Country Director, Son Sungil, the beneficiaries paid a courtesy visit to Kim Young-Chae, South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria.
The Ambassador welcomed the scholarship beneficiaries and congratulated them on their success.
He noted that the KOICA Scholarship program is globally competitive and merit-based, thus the beneficiaries must be hardworking, diligent and dedicated to be awarded the scholarship.
His Excellency Kim Young-Chae shared a brief history of Korea’s rapid economic growth, and Korea’s desire to support partner countries to achieve their development goals agenda.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the world-class educational facilities provided by this program for the future benefit of themselves, and Nigeria at large, assuring of the Korean government support to the participants and the Country at large.
“This year, twenty-nine (29) government officials from 22 various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria are scheduled to study in 18 leading Korean universities for approximately 18 months.
“The beneficiaries are scheduled to undertake studies in Education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Health, Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Environment, Energy, Urban and Regional Development, Public Management and Public Reforms, Public Administration, Aviation, Women and Rural Development.
“The Republic of Korea hopes that these programs will improve participants’ knowledge in their respective fields, as well as enrich the country’s human resource capacity, which is necessary to propel economic growth.
“Since 2008, approximately 98 Nigerian government officials have received KOICA scholarships to study in Korea. Also, approximately 2,500 officials have participated in various capacity building programs provided by KOICA.
“This is the highest number of fully-funded scholarships given to Nigerian officials in the last 5 years,” Son Sungil said.