THE National Institute of Transport (NIT) has moved to build local capacity in the gas and oil sectors by introducing new courses, some of which aim at producing specialists in pipeline engineering.
NIT Rector Zacharia Mganilwa said in Dar es Salaam that the new courses would produce local specialists in pipeline engineering, railway, airport and harbours engineering, urging gas and oil companies to look nowhere else for human capital, when such services would be highly needed.
The country is currently preparing for a vibrant gas sector and local capacity is severally singled out as a challenge, at a time when various local and multinational companies are investing heavily in exploration works. The government recently raised its estimate of recoverable natural gas reserves to 33 trillion cubic feet (tcf) from 28.74 tcf following fresh big discoveries offshore.
Dr Mganilwa said that while the courses would target the vibrant gas sector, they would also aim at producing competent managers in transport and logistics sector. The four postgraduate diploma programmes are in the areas of Transport economics, Railway Transport Management, Road Transport Safety and Management and Transportation Engineering.
Speaking at a stakeholder workshop on developing the post graduates' diploma curricula, he noted, "We believe that these programmes will provide experts within the transport sector who can help to meet the challenges facing the sector. "There is a big gap when it comes to planning of transportation systems - this training will be for planning of transport systems."
The Institute's Governing Council Chairperson, Ms Priscilla Chilipweli said the four new postgraduate course programmes in the fields of logistics and transport technology, would be critical to promoting inclusive growth and sustainable development. She said high cost of transport, energy and internet access is a major economic growth deflator and is partly connected to Africa's continued marginalisation.
She said this has compelled governments to upscale infrastructure for Africa to become more competitive in the global marketplace. Investments in roads reduce transport costs while ports, railways and other logistics infrastructure reduce the cost associated with trade and improved competitiveness of the firms.