TANZANIA has acquired two strategic projects and four centres of excellence that would be major drives in the envisaged industrial economy and would see the World Bank (WB) pump in 144 million US dollars.
Launching the Tanzania Eastern and Southern Africa Centres of Excellence Project (ACE II) and Education and Skills for Productive Jobs (ESPJ) at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NMAIST) yesterday, the Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Professor Joyce Ndalichako, said the projects would target increasing necessary skills in research and in the labour market.
Prof Ndalichako thanked the WB for the support, applauding NMAIST and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) for being selected with two centres each, in an international competitive exercise that had brought along 108 competitors from different countries.
The ACE II will receive a total of 24 million US dollars that would be issued in phases depending on previous results by respective participants. Consequently, the minister cautioned that stakeholders should work hard to ensure they see the projects through and anybody failing to make quick and right decisions would be dealt with accordingly. The initiative is out to enable the country respond to the demand of advanced skills and applied research in science, technology, agriculture, health and related fields.
The upshot now is to strengthen the centres so they deliver quality, market relevant post-graduate education and build collaborative research capacity in three priorities -- industry, agriculture and health.
NMAIST will host the Centre for Research Advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability in Food and Nutrition Security (CREATES) and Water Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy Futures (WISE).
SUA will host Innovative Rodent Pest Management and Biosensor Technology Development and the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS).
Prof Ndalichako called for lecturers in the respective universities to work hard in research by writing proposals and should present them to different institutions within and outside the country as well as writing books instead of going for extra time teaching or doing other personal businesses.
As for the ESPJ the WB will offer 120m US dollars so as to support students in agriculture, tourism, construction, energy and minerals whereby there will be expansion and modernisation of training facilities with high technology equipment and technology.
She noted that the ministry would work diligently to ensure the funds are used for the targeted people and within timelines to drive forward the country's industrialization agenda.
Speaking at the occasion, the WB Country Director, Ms Bella Bird said that development of workforce is crucial so that the country could meet the labour market.