Rabat – “Since the establishment of our diplomatic relations, Morocco has attached great importance to education cooperation with Ghana, and that has become a very important part of our relations,” announced Imane Ouadiil, Moroccan ambassador to Ghana, at a soiree at the Moroccan embassy in Accra in honor of former and current participants of a scholarship program funded by Morocco.
The Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation started the Ghanaian scholarship program in 2002 as a part of the initiative to provide opportunities for students across the continent.
On the morning of Friday, November 29th, the embassy announced that scholarships will this year be awarded to 106 students from Ghana to study at Moroccan universities. The scholarship beneficiaries are set to travel to Morocco on December 10 to begin their studies at university.
Seventy students are slated to study undergraduate courses, 16 will undertake postgraduate courses and the remaining 20 are set to partake in vocational studies. This will be the largest Ghanaian group set to study in Morocco in the history of the program.
Ghanaian student Emmanuel, a current recipient of the scholarship, told Morocco World News that “qualifying for this scholarship … after a lot of ups and downs … felt great … at least changing the environment, and at least to a comparably developed nation than my country.”
However, he described his studies as, “very stressful for Anglophones … we might be struggling to understand the French but … some profs (sic) might even be teaching in Arabic which you know nothing about … There’s no board/association in the schools to seek the needs of foreign students, No special treatment.”
Another Ghanaian scholarship recipient, Judith, told Morocco World News, “as an anglophone student in a francophone country, it wasn’t easy integrating into the Moroccan system of education as well as their culture.”
She stated, “Though education is free, their education system is particularly focused on marks and demotivates students who think outside the box. However, the large amount of pressure coming from professors puts students at (sic) the spot, where they master (sic) up courage to study even harder than they have ever studied in their entire lives.”
With a focus on pan-African unity, Ouadiil stated at the soiree that “this cooperation scheme is meant to be a proactive, youth-oriented policy … for the achievement of our continent’s development.”
Peter Panyin Anaman, president of the Ghana Morocco Old Students Association, a club composed of former scholarship recipients, expressed pleasure at celebrating the 17th year of the scholarship program with the awardees. “I hope you will study hard and come back to contribute to Ghana’s prosperity and development and to the enhancement of friendship and mutual understanding between our two countries,” he said.
Ouadiil stressed Morocco’s status as an African hub of education, stating, “the Kingdom is now the top African provider of study grants targeting African students … Morocco has trained over 25,000 graduates from 47 African countries including Ghana.”
Moroccan scholarship programs are not new, as programs for students from Africa and Carribbean countries such as Antigua and Barbuda alongside Jamaica have existed for years and continue to gain support.
Lavinia, an Antiguan student awarded a scholarship several years ago to study in Morocco, told Morocco World News, “It has been amazing to experience a new culture and educational environment, and also to meet so many people whom have become dear friends to me.”