Tanzania: JPM Drums for Skilled Labour

Government's initiative of building more Vocational Education Training Centres (VETA) is aimed at supporting the country's industrialisation drive, President John Magufuli said here on Monday.

He said with the sufficient number of vocational training colleges across the country, Tanzania will be able to feed all the factories with skilled and competent labour force.

The Head of State made the remarks in Bukoba during an event to inaugurate the reconstructed Ihungo Secondary School that was smashed by 5.9 magnitude earthquake in 2016.

The inauguration event was held after Dr Magufuli had laid a foundation stone for the construction of a 22bn/-VETA centre in Bukoba, being support from the Chinese government.

The centre, which has reached 50.7 per cent of its accomplishment set for August this year, will be able to accommodate between 800 and 1,000 students pursuing long and short courses, a move that would complement the government's industrialisation drive.

Speaking of the project, President Magufuli said the government has thrown full weight on vocational education training centres, as they are the right platforms for youth to acquire technical skills.

"For us to achieve industrialisation, we need to invest more in vocational training colleges and this is what the government is doing, and we shall maintain the spirit," he said.

Right now, there are 712 vocational training colleges across the country, up from 672 that were recorded in 2015 and 62 of them are owned by the government, the President said.

"Out of 62 colleges, 20 serve the regional level, while the remaining 42 are at the district level," noted President Magufuli, adding that a total of 226,767 students have been admitted for vocational training in the country.

This is an increase from 96,697 students, who were admitted for studies in 2015. Currently, government-owned colleges have a total of 56,400 students.

President Magufuli's administration has embraced industrialisation as part of the panacea for unemployment among the youths, as sufficient number of factories guarantees job opportunities for locals.

During his recent tour to Tanzania, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi explained his impression of Tanzania's initiatives to create more skilled workers, saying the move was crucial for the country's industrialisation drive.

He also commended President Magufuli for his efforts on bringing development in all sectors, describing him as a visionary and focused leader.

"A country, if it has to develop needs professional talent, for Tanzania to achieve industrialisation it needs a big number of skillful youth," Mr Wang stated shortly after he inaugurated the Chato Vocational Education Training Centre, Geita region.

The Chinese minister also donated around 350m/- for the training centre, while pledging further support whenever asked to. He insisted on the cordial and long-standing friendship between the two nations.

Speaking yesterday, Dr Magufuli said the government is also constructing 33 more VETA centres among which, four are regional and 29 at district level, insisting that the aim is to have at least one college in each district countrywide.

In another development, President Magufuli showered praise for the United Kingdom (UK) for supporting Tanzania in various sectors including education, health and the infrastructure.

This comes after the UK donated 6.1bn/- for the re-construction of Ihungo Secondary School, for which, the government topped up some 4.8bn/- that together makes a total of 10.1bn/- that was spent on the project.

"When Tanzania approached the UK after the September 10, 2016 5.9 magnitude earthquake they responded quickly by donating a total of 6.1bn/- for the rehabilitation of the school while the Tanzania government contributed about 4.8bn/-. A friend in need is a friend indeed," he said amid applause.

Dr Magufuli appealed to Tanzanians to grab the attractive investment opportunities by increasing production of cash and food crops to enable the nation to get raw materials needed in its industrialisation drive.

He directed authorities to ensure that a 10-kilometer road from Bukoba town to Bulugo village, where the VETA is located, is improved to tarmac level.

Also, a one-kilometre road leading to Ihungo Secondary School will get tarmac, as he tasked the Tanzania Building Agency (TBA) to ensure that people who worked and those who supplied materials during the rehabilitation of the school be paid their outstanding dues within seven days.

President Magufuli, who is on a two-day tour will today morning witness the signing of a multi-billion nickel mining contract before proceeding to Karagwe District, where he will launch a milk processing factory.

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