Burkinabè students raise problems with visiting president

Students from Burkina Faso studying in Egypt took the opportunity to complain about their conditions to their president who was on a goodwill trip.

Most of the 1,000 or so Burkinabès living in Egypt are students, and while their president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, was visiting Cairo, Haoud Zoungrana, head of the Burkina Faso students’ association in Egypt and community representative, presented him with a list of grievances demanding better study facilities, reported Sidwaya of Ouagadougou.

Their demands included recognition of university degrees of Arabic speakers, establishment of a French-language education centre for Arabists, construction of a ‘Burkinabè house’ in Cairo, and improved communication with the Burkina Faso embassy in Egypt to deal with bureaucracy. They also asked for easier enrolment in Egyptian universities and the right to study at the Egyptian police academy, reported Sidwaya.

Kabore said his visit was aimed at improving cooperation between Egypt and Burkina Faso. “I have met the Egyptian authorities to discuss several issues, including students’ education and cooperation in fields including health, agriculture and the military. All of your concerns have been the subject of discussions with the Egyptian authorities.”

He said integration of Arab speakers was an important issue which had already been discussed through the Cercle d’Études, de Recherche et de Formation Islamique, the Burkinabè Circle of Studies, Research and Islamic Education.

He recognised that the demand for a Burkinabè house was shared by the whole community, but “first it’s necessary to have the resources before taking on commitments to satisfy everyone. We’ll see how that can be done,” he said.

He had already known about the communication problem between the Burkinabè community and their Cairo embassy, and he had asked both parties to be ‘understanding’ and ‘respectful’ and bear in mind the need to present a good image of their country in Egypt.

The question of supplementing the grants of students studying in Egypt had also been raised with the Burkinabè ambassador, who said the higher education ministry refused to help students who it had not been told had gone to study abroad, reported Sidwaya. More than 200 students were attending the University Al-Azhar who had not informed the authorities in Burkina Faso, but had completed the formalities at the embassy in Cairo.

This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.