NIT set to become training centre for Airbus, Boeing in Africa

Monday July 12 2021
By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam. The National Institute of Transport (NIT) may become a training centre for Airbus Aircraft in Africa, it was revealed in Dar es Salaam at the weekend. This comes when NIT has already trained 75 aircraft maintenance engineers since 2015.
Speaking shortly after receiving aircraft engineering training equipment as support from the government through the Tanzania Education Authority (TEA) in Dar es Salaam, the NIT rector, Prof Zacharia Mganilwa, said the Institute has been selected to become the Airbus training centre for Africa.
“We are looking forward to speaking with Boeing Aircraft so that they can also accord us such a rank,” he said.
He said currently a total of 49 students have graduated with a Bachelor’s degrees in Aircraft Maintenance, while 26 more have made it to Diploma level since the establishment of the School of Aviation Technology at NIT in 2015.
“A similar course costs up to Sh200 million a year as tuition. But, at NIT, it costs only Sh6 million a year,” he said.
Currently, Tanzania has a 60 percent shortage of aircraft maintenance engineers - a shortage that is being filled by expatriates.
The Higher Education Students Loans Board (HESLB) supports only 50 percent of the country’s requirements.
Prof Mganilwa requested the government to look into the possibility of raising the support - and also to see if the same support could be granted to those studying a Diploma course.
He nevertheless thanked the government for granting the requisite practical training equipment to NIT.
The planned pilot training programme, he said, would start before mid-2022, pending the arrival of three aircraft that are to be purchased under the Wold Bank-funded East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP).
The TEA director general, Ms Bahati Geuzye, said the equipment, which was handed over to NIT for aircraft maintenance engineering practical training courses, cost Sh245.4 million in total.
Granting the equipment to NIT is one way to improve the teaching environment at the National Institute in the area of safe air transport.
In her remarks, the minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, said the training offered by NIT reflects the vision of the sixth-phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan, in power since March 19 this year.