23 January 2019

Tanzania: Centre Wants Entrepreneurial Studies in School Curriculum

Dar es Salaam — There is a need to integrate entrepreneurship and life skills studies into the country's education system if the issue of youth unemployment is to be fully tackled and the aspirations of creating a middle-income economy are to be realised.

Mr Daniel Mghwira, who is the executive director of the Tanzania Entrepreneurship Competitive Centre (TECC), said yesterday that entrepreneurship cannot be treated as something independent of the country's education system, attributing most of the current problems facing the youth in terms of attitude and employability to that practice.

"Soft skills are what generally lack currently in the country and I think as a nation we could do ourselves a great favour if we do integrate these issues in our curriculums," Mr Mghwira told The Citizen during a visit to Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) offices in Tabata.

Mr Mghwira said that since 2015, TECC had been running various entrepreneurial training programmes in various parts of the country, including the training of 315 women entrepreneurs in Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Mwanza, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.

Officially launched in 2016 for the purpose of promoting entrepreneurship and competitiveness in small and medium enterprises (SMEs), TECC has been working in projects that aim at reducing income poverty among the youths from underserved communities.

Established as a trust body, TECC - which serves as a public-private-academic partnership between the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), the National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC), and the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) - has been working to leverage resources and skills aimed at promoting an entrepreneurship culture among micro to small business enterprises. This is expected to act as a buffer for enhancing private sector development and growth in the country.

Drawing lessons from the outreaches he and his team have been making to various youth groups, Mr Mghwira said that it was clear that the issue of unemployment is bigger than what the official statistics say. However, he is happy to find the spirit of entrepreneurship among young people growing.

"The spirit of the youth to start their own businesses in very high. Now that's a positive move. And in the near future there is a very high possibility that we can have a big number of Tanzanians being described as sound investors," he said.

Unfortunately, there are still numerous challenges that constrain the works of TECC and the most common one is finance to fund their programmes. Mr Mgwhira said that insufficient funding made the institution's programmes unsustainable. "We are calling on interested institutions to partner with us to help realise our vision," he urged.

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