Maputo — Eleven young Mozambicans are travelling on Wednesday to Cuba where they will study medicine under an accord reached between the Mozambican and Cuban governments covering education.
The medical degree courses began last year following agreements reached during a three day visit by President Filipe Nyusi to the Caribbean island in 2017. The scholarships are paid for by the Mozambican state and include a maintenance grant covering living expenses, transport, tuition fees and other costs.
Speaking at a farewell ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Science, Technology, and Higher, Technical and Professional Education, Leda Hugo, urged the students to focus on their studies to ensure that they graduated with merit. She stressed, "Your responsibility is to study and for that you need to know how to take care of yourselves and behave with integrity. We do not want to hear that you have given up or have lost your scholarship due to non-compliance with the law".
The Deputy Minister explained that the selection process took place throughout the country by panels presided over by heads of the Provincial Directorates of Science, Technology, and Higher, Technical and Professional Education.
Currently, 43 Mozambicans are in Cuba studying medicine, nursing, tourism, veterinarian science, and economics.
Relations between Mozambique and Cuba were established shortly after the foundation of Mozambique's liberation organisation Frelimo in 1962 and greatly expanded after Mozambican independence from Portugal in 1975. In the late 1970s, the government of Samora Machel sent 3,700 young Mozambican for training in Cuba in various fields, at a time when Mozambique was desperately short of trained staff. In addition, over the decades thousands of Cuban doctors have worked in Mozambique's hospitals and health clinics.