TANZANIA is set to host East Africa's Centre of Excellency in Renewable Energy training.
The centre will be at Hai district, Kilimanjaro region, thanks to the World Bank's support in improving the Kikuletwa Training Centre that runs under the Arusha Technical College (ATC).
The ATC Acting Rector, Engineer Dr Masudi Senzia broke the news recently during an inauguration of Kikuletwa Training Centre.
"The World Bank has agreed to support us in the efforts to turn the Kikuletwa Training Centre into a Centre of Excellency in Renewable Energy in the coming five years, through the Eastern Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP), a move that will make it a centre of excellence in hydro-power related training in the East African region," he said.
The engineer noted that plans were also underway to expand the training centre that would make it increase the number of students to 1,500, who will be pursuing different technical subjects, including that of hydro power training.
"We thank the Norwegian Government for laying the foundation stone as far this idea is concerned through its five years funding worth Norwegian Kroner 33.4348 m (8.3bn/-) between July, 2014 and December, 2019 which led to the establishment of the hydroelectric power training at the Kikuletwa Training Centre," he said.
Royal Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Elizabeth Jacobsen said that Norway supported Tanzania's goal to become a middle-income country, less dependent of aid and that ATC should be proud to have been selected for the World Bank Programme.
"ATC should be proud to have been selected as one of the four high quality institutions in Tanzania to receive funds from the World Bank Programme. I am certain that the high ambitions to develop Kikuletwa further into a centre of Excellency in hydro power for the region can be realized," Ms Jacobsen said.
One of the successes of the co-operation between Tanzania and Norway which is in its 50 year, she said, is the Kikuletwa Training Centre; Since 2014, the Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam has cooperated with ATC to support the development of the Kikuletwa Hydro power Plant and Training Centre.
The ambassador noted that the cooperation had, among other things, improved education facilities for the centre, such as classrooms, students' dormitories, housing and access roads.
"We have increased the competence of the ATC academic staff in hydropower engineering through various tailor made trainings, such as the collaboration with the Norwegian International Centre for Hydropower and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology," she added.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Joyce Ndalichako, her deputy, Mr William Ole Nasha hailed ATC for introducing trainings at the Kikuletwa Training Centre, a move that he said would increase experts in the renewable energy field.
"Reliable source of energy and of the highest quality is essential to boosting the country's development and this is the reason why the Government has embarked on the Julius Nyerere Hydropower mega project," he said.
The move by ATC through Kikuletwa Training Centre to introduce renewable energy training, he said, would complement the Government's efforts in the area by producing more experts.