THE Institute of Finance Management (IFM) and the National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for strategic partnership in implementing various economic empowerment initiatives.
The MoU, which was signed on Friday, aims at linking IFM students and staff with public and private sector institutions for practical learning, which will address skills mismatch in the labour market. It will also extend financial management education and promote economic inclusion to a wider population.
“This MoU signed today (Friday) will also impart transferable skills from our graduates to local entrepreneurs on how to manage businesses and handle financial matters, and thus increase economic participation by members of the public,” said IFM Lecturer, Professor Josephat Lotto during a signing ceremony held in Dar es Salaam.
He added that there are approximately five million entrepreneurs in the country who lack business skills.
“This programme will help them gain such knowledge through IFM graduates and thus grow their businesses, increase their incomes, and thus be part of the country’s economic growth,” he said.
IFM, according to him, has secured more than 25bn/- from the government to implement the Higher Education for Economic Transformation Project (HEET) that is a government’s loan from the World Bank and will be implemented for five years.
“We will spend nearly 300m/- of the funds to improve our curricula to meet market demands, train our staff and build functional linkages with the private sector,” said Dr Julius Raphael, the IFM’s HEET Project Coordinator.
He added that the remaining amount will be spent on building various infrastructure.
For her part, NEEC Executive Secretary, Ms Beng’i Issa said that IFM is one of the country’s pillars of economic empowerment for the many entrepreneurs in the country who lack financial education.
“Financial management education among entrepreneurs in the country is still very low. This MoU will come up with methods of narrowing such a gap and enable citizens to make informed decisions in their businesses,” she said.
Ms Issa added that, such skills will also increase citizens’ access to formal financial services such as banks for access to credit and savings, a move that will increase economic participation.