FOR Tanzania to record great strides in its education and employment sector, more effort should be put on Public Private Partnership (PPP).
This was said on Thursday in Dar es Salaam by the Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adolf Mkenda when he officiated at 12th Academia-Public-Private Partnership Forum and Exhibition, where he said that the government can benefit more by engaging the private sector.
He said that by involving PPP, the government can allow students to select universities of their choice, which can include higher learning institutions in the East African Community, instead of relying only on local universities.
Prof Mkenda said that apart from allowing Tanzanian students to attend foreign universities, the government can also allow Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) to expand and exploit opportunities through student and staff exchange in the EAC.
“It has to reach a point when a student can finish high school in Tanzania but is enrolled at the Nairobi University of Kenya and vice versa, which will allow our youths to have a wider choice on the quality of education but also in the field they want to pursue,” said the minister.
He said this will allow healthy competition within universities in East Africa, allowing Tanzanian universities to be universal instead of confining themselves on the local population.
The minister said that by doing so, it will further forge stronger identities of the EAC, where a Tanzanian can decide to go to Rwanda, Burundi or Kenya for further education.
The minister further said that apart from allowing students to study in other EAC countries, Tanzania should also allow lecturers to venture to other higher learning institutions, instead of localising them, giving an example of renowned Kenyan Professor Ngugi wa Thiong’o, who plies his trade in the United States of America.
He urged IUCEA to try, explore and expand these opportunities, so that students can be able to choose universities in the region and beyond and engage also in staff exchange.
“So, let us work together as the private sector and the government of Tanzania and support those who would want to move from one country to another and avoid being parochial,” he said.
EAC Secretary General Dr Peter Mathuki through his speech read on his behalf by EAC Director Social Sectors, Dr Irene Isaka said that EAC envisions a community that is people centered, market driven and private sector led.
He said that the EAC Vision 2050 has put emphasis on developing skills to meet the current and future demands to absorb the growing EAC labour force and address the issue of unemployment.
“The theme of this forum ‘Nurturing Sustainable Skills Development for Graduate Employability Through Academia-Industry Partnerships’ is a testimony that the academia, public and private sector are working together to support EAC to attain its Vision 2050,” he said.
He said developing a skilled workforce requires training that is consistent with the emerging development opportunities that is why at the EAC they are focused on infrastructure development, industrialisation development sustained energy in natural resources and management of skilled human capital.