Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Local Scientific Researchers Seen 'Under-Utilised'

THE government has urged public institutions, agencies and departments to make the best use of local researchers as one of the requisites that are essential to attaining sustainable development.

The challenge was thrown by Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda when speaking during the official inauguration of Mzumbe University, Dar es Salaam campus, at the weekend. He also opened a five storey new building at the campus.

Premier Pinda said there was no reason for the government to hire researchers and consultants from outside the country to do things which could be done by experts within the country.

"The government has faith on local experts. They are the ones who know our environment better," he said. Giving the example of Mzumbe University, Mr Pinda said the higher learning institution has for the past 60 years evolved to become one of the strongest and most reputable academic institutions in Tanzania.

He challenged leaders in the country to make good use of institute. "Utilise the brains at Mzumbe," he told some of the senior government officials present at the event.

He added that the varsity has capacity to conduct studies that can help the government solve various problems in various fields. The Premier also urged Mzumbe leadership to come up with tailor-made leadership and management courses for leaders and other officials in the government.

"Such courses will help shape people in the government positions but who have never had such skills," he said, adding that some people work out of sheer experience.

Mr Pinda hailed Mzumbe for their decision to start training people who will be able to manage huge projects in mining, gas and oil fields but urged the academic institution to seek partnerships with countries that have more expertise in such fields.

"Countries such as Norway and others know the sectors better. Seek partnerships with them if you must know the nitty-gritty of the sectors," he noted.

The Premier hailed the university for doing well in gender balance but called for more efforts to increase the number of female students in the various programmes offered.

Earlier, the varsity's Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Kuzilwa, said the decision to build the complex was taken after determining people's zeal to pursue studies at Mzumbe which increased the number of enrolment.

The building houses three lecture theatres capable of taking 132 students each; twostorey modern library; vice chancellor and campus Principle offices and a conference hall.

Prof Kuzilwa said the completion of the building will enable the campus to use it effectively from this academic year for all programmes. "This will help the university to save more than 300m/- per annum that was being spent on rent," he noted.

He said that the university seeks to expand more in terms of infrastructure, new programmes and developing human resources as a way of implementing the government's will of expanding higher learning education to reach out to as many citizens as possible.

"Mzumbe is ready and committed to expanding higher learning to many people in the country as a way of advancing progress," he said. Dar es Salaam campus was started in 2005 with 146 students and only two masters degree courses.

A total of 1,052 students were enrolled by the Dar Campus this academic year of which 504 were women and 548 were men studying in the more than 10 masters degree programmes offered now.

The Dar Campus expansion has contributed to the growth of Mzumbe University which has a total of 8,000 students.

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