Samia stresses skills, innovation

ZANZIBAR: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan underscored the importance of skilled human capital in shaping the future of the country.

The Head of State emphasised that the quality of life in the 21st century is determined by the success of the nation in developing and utilising knowledge, fostering health and educating its people.

In alignment with this forward-looking vision, President Samia said that the government has completed a comprehensive review of the education policy and curricula.

The initiative aims to ensure that the education system is well-equipped to meet the demands of the modern era, with a particular emphasis on the importance of research and innovation as driving forces for progress.

In her speech address during the 19th graduation ceremony at the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) yesterday, President Samia emphasised the significance of acting upon students’ research recommendations, citing that many valuable insights gathered through research often go unutilised.

“In the area of research within our colleges, you have to use modernised systems to ensure that the best research conducted by students is easily accessible to government leaders and other officials,” President Samia noted.

She added: “We must bridge the gap between research and implementation, especially in this age of technological development.”

Addressing the importance of the Blue Economy and tourism in Zanzibar, the President expressed commitment to promoting the sectors, insisting that more studies must be done because the Blue Economy is a vast topic that needs to be well explored.

She stressed that research studies should not only benefit students but also contribute to the betterment of society by correcting identified defects.

Furthermore, President Samia called for effective use of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)’s Zanzibar campus, emphasising its role in nurturing young talents.

She acknowledged the innate technological proficiency of today’s children and encouraged harnessing their creativity. The President specifically called for the support and promotion of startups, considering the fact that they are vital components of the country’s growth and development.

“We have a blessing in the Indian campus that will help us nurture these young talents. Let us ensure that our college gives utmost importance to startups,” President Samia stated.

President Samia encouraged everyone to focus on the promotion of young startups and the continued importance given to the IITM campus in fostering the next generation of innovators and leaders.

Currently,   the college comprises 71 students, of whom 21 are Tanzanians while the remaining are hailing from various countries around the world.

During the ceremony, President Samia Suluhu Hassan was conferred with Honorary Doctorate Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Tourism Management and Marketing (honoris causa) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to promoting tourism and economic development in the country.

In her acceptance speech, President Samia expressed gratitude for the recognition and reflected on her journey in strengthening the tourism sector.

She highlighted her collaborative efforts as the Minister for Tourism, Business, and Investment from 2005-2010, including establishing a Business Council in Zanzibar and fostering cooperation between the public and private sectors.

President Samia also recounted her initiatives to attract renowned hotels, such as Hotel Kempinski, Lagema, Zuri and Residency, showcasing her dedication to advancing the tourism industry.

Her dedication to showcasing Zanzibar as a prominent international tourist destination was underscored by her extensive visits to Arab nations, Nordic regions and Russia. She was tasked with this responsibility by former President of Zanzibar Amani Abeid Karume.

Furthermore, President Samia revealed her upcoming project, a film titled ‘Kijiji cha Milele’ with a Chinese actor, aimed at attracting tourists from China. She remains committed to sustaining and expanding Tanzania’s position as a leading tourist destination on the global stage.

“I am standing here because of the support of former President Aman Abeid Karume, who enabled me to bring about the tourism reform in Zanzibar. I dedicate this award to all Tanzanians who continue to give me encouragement and cooperation,” President Samia said.

The conferment of the honorary degree upon President Samia not only recognises her past accomplishments but also signifies a shared commitment to continued growth, development, and prosperity for Zanzibar and Tanzania.

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