26 January 2014

Tanzania: Call to Transform Nation in Science and Technology

GRADUATES in technical training colleges should create employment opportunities and help in transforming the nation in the areas of science and technology, the Vice- President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal said in Dar es Salaam .

In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, Prof Makame Mbarawa during the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) seventh graduation ceremony, Dr Bilal said technical and vocational trainings were vital in ensuring meaningful development of any nation.

"Vocational and technical trainings are the basis of humankind development. Such trainings bring creativity on how to deal with problems. Creativity is a major secret behind developments in science and technology," he added.

Dr Bilal noted that the government understands the major contribution made so far by DIT, adding that various technological experts in the government have been produced by the institute.

"We are doing all we can in ensuring that the country produces its own experts who will find solutions to problems facing our people," he said.

He added that the government believes that having local experts in place will increase efficiency and transform the nation.

"In Tanzania, the ratio between students in technical studies and population is 1:1,618 compared to Zimbabwe which stands at 1:248," he said.

Dr Bilal emphasised that increased investment in science and technology was vital in ensuring quick development.

In another development, Dr Bilal hailed the institute for strides made in the science and technology where through its ICT centre of excellence it has connected four hospitals in Dar es Salaam, one in Coast Region and Mbeya referral hospital with telemedicine technology.

"The government is happy with the telemedicine pilot project because in the future it may spread all over the country and eventually help in improving service delivery," he said.

The move has enhanced efficiency and also reduced unnecessary transfers of patients. The Tanzania and India ICT Centre of Excellence located at DIT is powered by a supercomputer.

Dr Bilal also praised the institute for various researches which have so far helped in addressing challenges faced by members of the society.

"We have all here witnessed the traffic light projects made possible by DIT and are now installed in various areas in our towns and have proved to be of international standards," he said.

The DIT Principal, Prof John Kondoro said that the institute was facing various challenges, including lack of enough posts for the students to undergo practical trainings.

"Getting chances for our students to undergo practical trainings has been a challenge but I would, however, like to thank employers, companies and organisations which have accommodated our students who are graduating today for industrial practical training," he said.

He called on the graduates who were 682 in total to be good ambassadors of DIT and ensure they work hard and efficiently.

He noted that in 2013/14 academic year the institute introduced various new courses including Master of Engineering in Maintenance Engineering and Bachelor of Technology in Laboratory Technology.

Others include Diploma in Multimedia and Film Technology, Diploma in Renewable Energy Engineering and Diploma in Communication Systems Technology.

In 2014/15, the institute will introduce Diploma in Food Science and Technology, Diploma in Biotechnology and Diploma in Highway Engineering.

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