Focac to boost Dar-Beijing education ties

Tuesday September 18 2018
DAR PIC

The permanent secretary in the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation ministry, Prof Adolf Mkenda.

Arusha. Plans are afoot for China to host more Tanzanian students at its universities as well extend technical support to local higher learning institutions.

This would be undertaken within the framework of the recent Forum on China-Africa Cooperation 2018 (Focac) under which Beijing pledged $ 60 billion financial support to Africa.

The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) would be the focal institution in tertiary education support from the Far East country.

“More students from Tanzania are destined for universities in Shanghai under the Tanzania-China cooperation,” said Prof Anthony Mshandete, the deputy vice chancellor of the Arusha-based university.

He told reporters at the start of consultations with the visiting academicians from China that cooperation between the two countries would also centre on collaborative research.

The vice chancellor of Shanghai Municipal Education Centre (SHMEC), Mr Li Yongzhi, said at least 500 courses in the province were offered in English, making it easier to enrol the students from Tanzania.

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Kiswahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, is also taught in various universities around Shanghai and other provinces in China.

According to him, over 50,000 students from Africa have been admitted in various universities around Shanghai since 2005 and that the number will keep rising.

Mr Yongzhi noted, however, that cooperation in higher education would centre on science, technology and applied research for industrialisation.

Plans are also underway to establish a Sino-Tanzania Joint Research Centre at NM-AIST to foster cooperation in areas of science, technology and innovation.

Sub-Saharan Africa has seen increased investments from China in the last 15 years, which have boosted the demand for greater technological skills and applied research.

During his visit to NM-AIST recently, the permanent secretary in the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation ministry, Prof Adolf Mkenda, challenged the academic centres to use research findings to drive industrialisation.

He said China, which was largely underdeveloped until the 1970s, leaped to become the second strongest economy in the world after investing heavily in skills development.