GOVERNMENTS of Tanzania and France have agreed to cement existing bilateral relations by fostering partnerships and strategies between higher learning institutions and research entities from the two countries as a winwin strategy.
Through the arrangement, France would provide scholarships for Tanzanians to undertake Masters and PhD courses in the European country. The government of France would also support teaching of French in Tanzania's higher institutions of learning.
Representatives of higher learning institutions from the two countries started a series of meetings in Dar es Salaam yesterday, to chart models of implementing the partnership between Tanzanian and French universities, as well as research institutions.
In an address to officiate the meeting, the Deputy Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Mr William Ole Nasha, pointed that France was already a significant partner of Tanzania in education, noting further that the French had one of the best education systems in the world.
"Tanzania aims at attaining middle-income economy by the year 2025 through industrialisation ... and this can be possible only through skilled manpower," he urged. The deputy minister emphasised that labour markets require highly-trained professionals for both public and private sectors, noting that the inter-university link was crucial in enabling Tanzania to produce required professionals
"Very few Tanzanians have attended studies in France since the country previously offered courses in French, which is mastered by few people here. The good news is that public varsities in France have opened up courses at Masters and PhD level in English," he explained.
The French Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Frédéric Clavier, said his country was committed to fostering bilateral cooperation in education and research with the government of Tanzania. "Our main priority will be on access to higher education by women, provision of scholarships for Tanzanians to study in France, as well as training of health practitioners to serve in rural areas," the envoy declared.
Mr Clavier further said that some students from his country were currently undertaking Kiswahili courses in various universities in Tanzania. The Acting Director General of the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Dr Amos Nungu, pointed that science, technology and research were crucial for Tanzania to attain the industrialisation agenda.
Dr Nungu expressed satisfaction that the cooperation with the government of France will also benefit Tanzanian's research institutions. Ms Oumou Diakite, the Deputy Head of Africa Unit for Campus France, an institution charged with promoting higher education, said there are currently over 102 courses currently being taught in English at Masters and PhD levels.