Z’bar, India sign deal to establish technical college

ZANZIBAR and India on Wednesday signed an agreement to establish Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ (IITM) Zanzibar Campus, with President Hussein Mwinyi pledging 6.3bn/- to support the initial establishment of the world’s prestigious technological school.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training Khamis Abdalla Said and Indian High Commissioner to Tanzania Binaya Srikanta Pradhan inked the deal as President Mwinyi and the visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, among other dignitaries, witnessed.

“It’s a great honour for Zanzibar hosting this prestigious institution in the world; it will stimulate Zanzibar’s fourth industrial revolution through creation of skilled experts in data science and artificial intelligence,” Dr Mwinyi said in his brief post-signing speech, noting that the 6.3bn/- will be invested in key infrastructure, equipment and communication systems.

He said IITM Zanzibar Campus will transform the Spice Islands into home to the world’s prestigious technological school and attract more students from all corners of the world.

Graduates from the institute will also help the islands towards the social and economic development through technology.

Already the institute has offered 50 scholarships for qualified Zanzibaris to pursue various technology related studies at the institute, Dr Mwinyi revealed, appreciating India for the gesture.

The revolutionary government has offered a building at Bweleo area to temporarily accommodate the institute but President Mwinyi said procedures are in the final stages to provide land for construction of the permanent campus.

“The government will provide every support to make this institute a great success in Zanzibar,” assured the president.

IITM is one of the world’s most prestigious technological schools, which receive thousands of applications annually, with majority of applicants left out due to stiff entry competition.

Minister Jaishankar arrived here yesterday for a two-day visit in the islands. The visiting minister is scheduled to make a tour of a water supply project under the funding of Indian government; call on top leadership and last evening attended a reception onboard Indian Naval Ship Trishul, which docked at Malindi Port yesterday.

The minister who arrived in Tanzania on Tuesday will also visit Dar es Salaam city and co-chair the tenth India-Tanzania Joint Commission meeting with his Tanzania’s counterpart Stagomena Tax. During the visit he will also address members of the parliamentary friendship group for India and inaugurate an India-Tanzania business meeting before addressing the Indian diaspora.

Minister Jaishankar’s visit is expected to further consolidate the bilateral relations between Tanzania and India, which have traditionally enjoyed close and cordial relations.

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