Leather centre construction reaches 20 pc

CONSTRUCTION of Leather Products Competence Centre at the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) Mwanza campus has reached 20 percent with the government commending the progress.

The construction is part of implementation of the   East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) which is sponsored by  the World Bank (WB) at a cost of  37bn/-.

The centre’s construction is composed of academic and teaching blocks, female and male hostels with capacity of 150 students, each, as well as leather tannery building, the Campus Director, Dr Albert Mmari said during Inter-University council for East Africa (IUCEA) members tour this week, to inspect the project.

“The construction will be in two phases. The current one costs 19bn/- and the second is expected to cost 7bn/-. All works are scheduled to be completed in the middle of next year,” he said.

Dr Mmari further explained that, the rest amount of WB sponsorship has been channeled to other EASTRIP activities.

Among the anticipated outcomes upon completion of the Competence Center, is an increase in students’ enrollment at the campus, from the current 200 to 2000.

At the same time, leather tannery is expected to increase professionals in the leather sub-sector as well as employment opportunities for young Tanzanians.

The Director for Vocational Education and Training in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Dr Noel Mbonde, stressed that the Competence Center is of importance since the sixth phase government strongly emphasizes skill building to youth, to fight unemployment challenges.

Dr Mbonde clarified that, the WB has offered the same amount to DIT Main Campus (Dar es Salaam), for various EASTRIP activities.

“The presence of this center here, the campus is moving to practically support the Tanzanian industrialization agenda,” he commented.

The Project contractor of Comfix and Engineering Limited, Engineer Allen Magoma, assured timely accomplishment of the work that kicked-off September last year.

“My team is well organized to make it as we are here day and night,” he stressed.

IUCEA Deputy Executive Secretary, Professor Idris Ahmada, called on youth to grab leather processing skills to gain opportunity upon completion of the center, in an effort to broaden the self-employment scope.

It was further noted that EASTRIP beneficiaries are Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia, aiming at the increase of access and improve the quality of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes in the selected centers of excellence and to support the regional integration.

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