Arusha — After several delays the Kikuletwa Hydropower Training Centre will finally be officially inaugurated on Friday, January17.
The facility in Hai District, Kilimanjaro Region will train artisans in electrical and hydropower engineering at Diploma level.
The project is a brainchild of the Arusha Technical College (ATC) which has radically expanded its training curricula to cover the critical sectors of the economy.
"The inauguration will be graced by the minister for Education, Science and Technology Joyce Ndalichako", said Gasto Leseiyo, the college spokesperson.
The multi-billion shilling centre initiated eight years ago has been realized through the financial and technical support from Norway.
The Nordic country granted 33.4 million Norwegian Kronor (about Sh. 8.3billion) for a host of initial preparations critical for training of hydropower artisans.
The funds was spent between July 2014 and December last year, for the feasibility studies, curriculum development and capacity building for the trainers.
The Norwegian grant also covered the preparation of the masterplan of the entire site where plans are afoot to revive an old hydro power station.
According to Mr. Leseiyo, three year training at the hydropower technicians at the centre commenced way back in July 2017.
"They are trained at Veta (Vocational Education Training Authority) level", he said, noting that the trainees will work in hydropower stations and allied installations.
The Kikuletwa facility will also be dedicated to research on renewable energy under the Sh. 37bn World Bank-supported programme
The 42 year old autonomous college has been earmarked as a centre of excellence through the East African Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP).
ATC is among the 16 proposed centres of excellence in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia selected under which each country will get $ 50m, $ 90m and $150m respectively.
Two other local institutions to benefit from the skills development project are the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) and the National Institute of Transport (NIT).