K-VIS BLOG/Khalfan Said
THE University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) has signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Acacia Mining that would support 52 students and staff in various areas hence improve quality of engineering sector .
Speaking shortly before signing of the MoU on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam , Deo Mwanyika , who is Acacia Vice President (Corporate Affairs) , said there are a number of aspects that the company and University are partnering.
He mentioned some of aspects as a two year practical work experience for 2nd and 3rd year students, funding for university laboratory equipment, sponsorship of postgraduate mining/mineral process engineering students and bursary for six students.
He said the two year practical work experience for the mentioned students in the chemical and Mining engineering department in various fields of significance to Tanzania’s development agenda in relation to the mining sector.
Mwanyika congratulated the first 52 students who will be part of the program and asked them to apply the knowledge and experience gained from practical training for the development of Tanzania.
Further more, he said Acacia is committing more than 22m/- finances for purchase of laboratory equipment, student site visit and practical experience at its mine sites and helps supervise final year students on their project works.
“This support , exposure and experience are critical to our students the future professional workforce of our country Acacia creates that solid foundation one needs for their career ahead”, he said.
Under the two year signed Mou, he said the company has for the new study year allocated 6 scholarship for students at CoET.
Mwanyika noted that education is an important factor for economic development , but most students are not in a position to pay for their tertiary education due to lack of funds.
“As Tanzania’s leader in the mining sector , the firm is committed to further increase its investment in higher education ,” he assured.
He urged students at UDSM and other institutions of higher learning in Tanzania to realize that they are honored a lot , having access to education that is distant dream to many others in the country.
“Whoever will be beneficiary of the next two years Acacia internship and scholarship programs you have a responsibility to give back to our community and county imparting the knowledge you have gained,” he said.
The firm has run the scholarship program with UDSM since 2009 , which supported top undergraduate students and offered scholarships to academic staffs to pursue postgraduate studies.
Speaking earlier , the Principal of College of Engineering and Technology (CoET) Prof Ignas Rubaratuka, said the support from Acacia has focused in practical training, industrial oriented students projects and provision of engineering and design and modeling software.
He said the University through the CoET has always been seeking to forge productive and constructive partnership with the industry for the mutual benefits of all
He said the collaboration between UDSM and Acacia Mining has been an exemplary partnership that they are proud of and need to be consolidated in order to continue training mining engineers.
“This is huge obligation that if left alone, without support of the industry like Acacia, we can hardly make meaningful contribution as it is understood all over the world that training of engineers is an expensive though necessary undertaking”, he said.
He added that, there fore most of time , universities are obliged to seek partnerships with industry and tend to orient their training to solve problems of the industry so as to attract the industry to fund their activities which eventually benefit the industry.
Explaining further he said some of the graduates from mining programs have secured employment in various countries namely Australia, South Sudan, Mali, Ghana, South America and South Africa.
He noted that one of the objectives of the MoU that has not been fully realized to the satisfaction of both sides is the component of staff training.
Like any other organization, the University is constantly striving to train younger staff as part of its succession plan.
“You will agree with me that the quality of the graduates will depend partly on the quality of instructors that the University engages, we are committed to this and any funds set aside for training will be used only for this purpose,” he concluded.