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Kikwete begins UDSM Chancellorship with a bang

By   /  June 6, 2016  /  No Comments

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  • Wins $41m Chinese financing
  • Obtains 10bn/- Dr Magufuli’s support

By Damian Justin

CHINA continues to be a truly development partner to Tanzania following a donation of USD 41m, equivalent to 90bn/- which will facilitate construction of state of art library at the prestigious University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM).

11The new facility will have a capacity to accommodate over 800,000 books and can host up to 6,000 people, a conference room and Confucius Centre that can accommodate 2,100 and 500 people respectively.

President Dr John Magufuli who was the guest of honour during the colourful foundation stone laying ceremony last Thursday said UDSM, which has a global history, aims at remaining the leading higher learning institution.

“I understand all the challenges and problems faced by both students and the university. I have been here and you voted me to become your president so I can address these challenges,” he said as he took the podium at the university’s playgrounds.

President Magufuli announced a 10bn/- support to help improve students’ hostels. He however urged social security funds to consider investing at the university where there is a huge demand for residential accommodation, stressing that, government needs complements from other stakeholders.

The decision by the president followed a concern raised by the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rwekaza Mukandala, and the chancellor, Professor Kikwete that the institution is in critical demand of students’ hostels.

“Only 30pc of our students have secured hostels, with the available hostels being in dilapidated condition.

“Figure shows that, the university’s admission has jumped from the first 14 students to 7,000 students, necessitating renovation and investment in infrastructures,” the University Chancellor Professor Kikwete told the president.

He further noted that, staff houses for the lecturers were also in bad condition, adding that some institutions had adopted the 4G technology; the university still applied analogue technology.

The chancellor asked the President to immediately reconsider addressing the challenges faced by the university for it to retain its position at global level. Already, he said, the university had established special schools of Health; and Science and Agriculture.

The demand for improving infrastructure at the institution is projected at 42bn/-, according to the former president.

In addition, Prof Mukandala noted that about 600 lecturers at the university needed government support to further their knowledge. He went on to explain that the construction of the library will help improve academic quality at the institution.

The Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Professor Joyce Ndalichako, on her part acknowledged the government’s commitment to support the construction of the library, saying it was a top priority towards the country’s industrial economy process.

Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Lu Youqing, expressed his country’s continued support to Tanzania, saying the two countries have been friends for over 50 years.

He announced that a Chinese firm, Jiansi Jiangdu Construction Group Company Limited, will collaborate with the government and the university administration to complete the project in time.

 

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