Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adolf Mkenda recently launched the National Institute of Transport (NIT)’s Transport Excellence Scholarship (TES) Programme which aims to increase access and enrollment for female students in niche and priority area programs.
Speaking before the launch at the Institute’s main campus in Mabibo, Dar es Salaam over the weekend, Prof Mkenda applauded NIT for introducing such a scholarship programme, saying many female students will benefit from the proramme, including those from rural areas.
The Minister also congratulated the Institute for being a beneficiary of the Eastern Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) of which the TES programme is part of the project.
“I congratulate you for getting 21.25 million US dollars (almost 50bn/-) as financial support from the EASTRIP project, it is more than what other beneficiaries from Tanzania, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) and Arusha Technical College received,” he said.
He also tasked the Institute to continue producing sufficient human resources aimed at meeting the high demand in transport and logistics, saying there is a huge demand of manpower in the industry.
The Minister who was on his first visit at NIT, said the government is proud of what NIT is doing in managing funds,and it will do all it can to satisfy their demands, saying he was sure NIT will continue be a technical college.
“The government is now giving much attention to technical education and for starters we will introduce technical studies from form one to form four….and in future, we will have three years in high school,” he said.
He further said that the aim of the government is to see more Tanzanians getting international certification and become capable of working outside the country.
“The government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan is now giving diploma students chances to get loans. And most of the courses that we have chosen are here at National Institute of Transport,” he said.
While at NIT, Prof Mkenda also laid foundation stones for buildings which are currently under constructing by CRJE (East Africa) Ltd, which include two male and female hostel buildings while other buildings are under construction by NANDHRA Engineering Construction Company Ltd, including Centre of Excellence Buildings (three storeys); Hi-Tech Workshops and Laboratory Building (two – storeys) and a Mock-up building and wet drills facility (Two -storeys).
The construction is part of the support from the World Bank’s EASTRIP project which intends to make sure the Institute meets its obligation of preparing transport professionals as well as conducting research and consultations for the nation’s development.
On his part, NIT Rector, Prof Zacharia Mganilwa told the Minister at the sideline of the event: “Our vision is to be a Regional Centre of Excellence in Logistics, Management and Transport Technology and our mission is to conduct flexible and sustainable high quality Education and Training, Research and Consultancy in Logistics, Management and Transport Technology for Sustainable Socio-economic Development,”.
Prof Mganilwa also said that the Institute has established two Centre of Excellency in Transport for sustainable economy including Centre of Excellence in Aviation and Transport Operations (CoEATO) established through the EASTRIP project financed by the Word Bank as well as Centre of Excellence in Road Safety (CoE-Road Safety) established through a Road Construction project under TANROADS financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Speaking on NIT future plans, The Rector said that the Institute is planning to establish a campus for training Maritime Skilled Labour Force on 125 acres at Kikwetu-Lindi Region.
“Feasibility study for establishment of the campus is under procurement process funded by the government,” he said.
He noted other future plans, including the transformation of NIT to University of Transport, saying the United Republic of Tanzania has received financial grant from the People’s Republic of China to transform the National Institute of Transport to University of Transport.
Briefing the Minister on EASTRIP project, Dr Robert Msigwa, Deputy Center Leader, Center of Excellence in Aviation and Transport Operations at NIT said: “On Tracer Studies Findings, in 2018/2019, the employment rate for our graduates was 55.4 percent with employment rate for female being 32.2 percent, in 2019/2020, the employment rate was 60 percent for males and for female being 33 percent, in 2020/2021 the employment rate was 66 percent with employment rate for female being 34 percent and in 2021/2022 the employment rate was 74.1 percent with employment rate for female being 40 percent.”
He went on to say that NIT as also managed to sign MoUs with 15 industries and 10 institutions, including Kenya Coast National Polytechnic (KCNP), Kenya Aeronautical College (KAC), Dire Dawa Polytechnic College (Ethiopia), Arusha Technical College, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, Kombolcha Polytechnic College (KPC), National Meteorological Training Center (NMTC), Meru Technical Training Institute, Kenya Institute Of Highways and Building Technology and MS-TCDC Training Center.
Others include 15 industries such as Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), National Aviation Services (NAS), Songoro Marine Transport, Marine Services Company Limited (MSCL), Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA), Superstar Forwarders Co. Ltd (SSF), Project Concern International, Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA), Simba Supply Chains Solutions (SSCS), Z.H. Poppe Limited, Legal Human Rights Center (LHRC), Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA), Dar es Salaam Merchant Group (DMG), Global Communities (GC), Sun-Maker Oil and Gas /ZIBO.
Dr Msigwa said that the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration (EASTRIP) is a Five Year (2019–2024) Project Funded by the World Bank launched in June 2019 to increase access and improve the quality of TVET programmes in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia.
He said that EASTRIP project was also established to support regional integration in East Africa through establishment of Centers of Excellencies focusing in Transport, Energy, Manufacturing and ICT.In Tanzania, he said four centers, ATC, DIT-Mwanza, DIT-Dar es Salaam and NIT are beneficiaries of the project.