Samia visit to India ushers in new era in education sector

DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan’s recent State visit to India has started ushering in a new era of strategic partnership, as the Asia nation has increased a number of civilian scholarships for Tanzanians by 44 per cent.

India High Commissioner to Tanzania Binaya Pradhan said on Thursday that the country has decided to increase the number of scholarships to 650 from current 450.

The High Commissioner said out of the total 650 scholarships, there is an increase in the number of long-term scholarships offered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) from 70 to 85 for the year 2023-24, as part of its commitment in supporting education sector.

Mr Pradhan said India will continue offering scholarship programmes, mindful of the demand of different courses to Tanzanian students.

“Tanzania remains our number one partner in matters of education and we want to assure you that we will continue rolling out more courses and programmes to attract more students from your country,” explained the envoy.

Mr Pradhan further assured that his country was committed to tighten the comprehensive partnership with Tanzania.

He said the recent visit to India by President Samia has proven to be an exceptional success, solidifying the India-Tanzania relationship.

“Our two countries continue to enjoy long-standing relations, in a special way, this is why we commit to support the education sector among many others,” he added.

Apart from that, the envoy said that India is among leading investors and trading partners of Tanzania, with trade volume in 2022-23 registering 6.4 billion US dollars.

The High Commissioner said the foundation of the strategic partnership is built upon various facets: maritime security, defence, development partnership, people-to-people contact and trade & development, each aligned with the Tanzania Development Vision 2025.

According to him, India and Tanzania have a shared historical experience, whereas the traditional ties and the spirit of mutual cooperation have been consistently reinforced through various international co-operations, such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), decolonisation, liberation movements and many others.

“The major objective of the visit was to strengthen and uphold the existing relations between the two countries particularly in key strategic sectors like health, education, trade, security and defence, blue economy, water and agriculture sector,” said Mr Pradhan.

He said the collaboration in the area of maritime security and defence is of utmost importance, given the shared maritime borders.

“Tanzania, with its significant offshore resources, has faced challenges such as illegal activities like smuggling, drug trafficking, and IUU (Illegal, unreported, unregulated) fishing by foreign countries, which pose a serious threat to its sovereignty,” he said.

He said the White Shipping Agreement signed with the Indian Navy enables Tanzania to access information about civilian vessels in the Indian Ocean.

Moreover, an MoU for cooperation in cybersecurity was signed during the visit, enhancing India-Tanzania cooperation in the critical arena. India’s recognised expertise in Information Technology and cybersecurity will bolster Tanzania’s security, the High Commissioner said.

Additionally, he said the establishment of the first offshore campus of India’s prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Zanzibar, commencing classes in Data Science & Artificial Intelligence in October 2023, further strengthens this partnership.

President Samia aims to attract an annual investment of 15 billion dollars by the end of 2025, with at least 3 billion US dollars per year coming from India. She urged businesses on both sides to increase trade, with the goal of making India the largest trade partner of Tanzania, surpassing the 6.4 billion US dollars trade volume in 2022-23.

Recently, during the visit to India the Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister, Mr January Makamba said Tanzania is currently promoting its new foreign policy which aims to promote economic diplomacy.

According to the minister, trip sought to promote opportunities in the area of trade and investment by encouraging investors from India to come and invest into the country including in the area of establishing industrial parks.

The minister revealed that a-1,000-acre of land had been designated for the India business community to set up an industrial park in Coast Region.

He also underscored the plan for Indian investors to come and put up a workshop for the production of maritime vessels.

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