NATIONAL Institute of Transport (NIT) and China's Zhengzhou University of Aeronautics (ZUA) plan a joint aircraft maintenance engineering programme for Tanzanians to address the shortage of professional engineers in the aviation industry.
The two institutions announced in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that establishment of Sino-Tanzania aircraft maintenance engineering programme was on course.
The two higher learning institutions last year signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which among others, provides for the setup of the programme facility in the country.
According to NIT's Rector Prof Zacharia Mganilwa, establishment of the programme follows the fast growing aviation sector in the country and soaring demand for aircraft professionals.
The aviation industry needs more experts to facilitate economic investments. Statistics indicate that by 2016, the country had only 74 against the demand of 236 aircraft engineers.
The college will train Tanzanians to meet the demand as the government revives Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL).
The students at the college will be pursuing the four-year aircraft engineering undergraduate degree course but will spend two years in Tanzania and remaining two years in China.
"Students will be admitted at NIT and they will study the first two years in Tanzania and then complete the remaining two years at ZUA. They will then be conferred certificates by the ZUA," Engineer Mganilwa noted.
NIT and ZUA teams met in Dar es Salaam over the weekend to deliberate on modalities of implementing the MoU, including setting up the college. Prof Mganilwa noted that the envisaged college will further enhance cooperation between the two countries.
ZUA Head of delegation Fu Qiang said the college will strengthen longstanding cooperation that has existed since the era of the founding leaders of Tanzania and China. He said ZUA was established in 1949, with its current number of students pegged at 20,000.
Mr Qiang said since the two institutions signed the MoU last year, so many efforts have been made to execute the agreement. "ZUA is willing to establish the college to promote Tanzania's development," he assured.
Recently, China expressed commitment to construct a 62 million US dollar (about 140bn/- ) transport university in the country.
The mega institution will help cater for all the country's transport needs.
The transport university will greatly help Tanzania to increase the number of professionals in different sectors like aviation.