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The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology has officially launched the Centre for Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE), which aligns well with the government’s aspirations to rally excellence in the three domains of education, science, and technology.

Speaking at the opening ceremony on 2nd October, 2023, the representative of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, who is the Director of the Department of Science and Technology, Professor Ladislaus Mnyone, explained that the government is very keen to ensure that every Tanzanian child has enough opportunities to get an education, and the centre is a great success in achieving that goal.

"This centre will not only help shape the provision of education and provide better education, but it will also make our young people learn and thus gain enough knowledge and skills to bring positive results through technology," says Professor Mnyone.

He has given an opinion to various stakeholders in the country to use the Centre as an opportunity to support the efforts of the Sixth Government under President Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan in bringing about the development of the education sector by ensuring that Tanzanian youth are reached in large numbers by getting education using digital

And the Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Professor Maulilio Kipanyula, has explained that the opening of the Centre is historic, and the institution will be providing digital education, thus enabling Tanzanians to gain knowledge equally from anywhere in the country.

"For a long time, we had intended to establish this centre to provide education in a digital way, and our Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology emphasized this issue, and we are happy that we have succeeded," says Professor Maulilio.

For his part, the representative of the Swiss Embassy in Tanzania, Mr. Holger Tausch, has congratulated the Nelson Mandela Institution of Science and Technology for successfully opening the centre, which is important for the development of the education sector in the country.

The Centre for Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE) has been funded by the Swiss Government in collaboration with two universities, EFL from Switzerland and Mohamed the Sixth from Morocco.

The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) Vice Chancellor, Prof. Maulilio Kipanyula, and Dr. Sifundo Chief Moyo, Secretary General of the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU), met for further collaborations between the two Pan African institutions.

Prof. Kipanyula briefly provided institutional history as well as an overview of the 5D business model and addressed four possible areas for collaboration between NM-AIST and PAPU on the provision of digital postal solutions, capacity building, data storage and analytics use of international conferences, and promotion of conference tourism.

"We have gladly received the idea with enough zeal to implement it and see the tangible results out of it, and going forward, our technical experts have to come up with a draft memorandum for formalizing this partnership, "said Prof. Kipanyula.

On his side, General Secretary of PAPU Dr. Sifundo stated that PAPU has 45 member states represented by ministries, designated postal operators, and regulators. This visit is being propelled by our strategic objective of promoting research and development in the postal sector as well as the development of new postal products and services.

“Taking that into account, we at PAPU consider the postal sector a powerhouse of modern logistical, digital finance, and e-commerce services, which entails that it is more than just the wide narrative of parcels and letters,” asserted Dr. Moyo.

In order to accelerate the exchange of services and for the postal sector to maintain its relevance to society, collaboration as well as partnerships with research institutions such as the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology are important.

Profesor Maulilio Kipanyula urged CENIT@EA, EAC-GIZ, and the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology to extend further to focus on solution provision to public institutions and private sectors (industries), which will encourage industries and the private sector to bring more students to the program.

Prof. Kipanyula said that during the meeting with delegates from Cenit@EA and EAC-GIZ on September 20, 2023, at his office

He also emphasized the sustainability of the program. Regardless of the achievement, having a sustainable plan and package program in a way people will see the achievement will focus on strengthening the program to encourage partners.

On his part, Program Manager, CENIT@EA, EAC-GIZ, Mr. Simon Hochstein, highlighted that the program organized different conferences to ensure sustainability. Programs that organize study tours in terms of capacity building, networking, and partners in Germany and have full-time support and outreach will help the sustainability of the program.

He also expressed that the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology has to make sure Cenit@Ea never ends.

Prof. Kipanyula encouraged the sustainability of the center by engaging the private sector and reaching more partners in the industry.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Research, and Innovation, Prof. Anthony M. Mshandete, urged that it is part of the NM-AIST to prepare the young scientists right from the primary and secondary school to equip them with an innovative mindset before they come to universities.

Prof. Mshandete said that during the closing of the 2023 Interschool Competitions, which were held on September 23, 2023, at the NM-AIST Conference Hall.

The competition involved four primary schools, which were St. Magreth, Sombetini, Lenganga, and Kilimani primary schools, and five secondary schools, which are Losirway, Mlangarini, Arusha Meru International School, Arusha Secondary School, and Sombetini. St. Margreth emerged as the first winner in the primary school category, while Mlangarini Secondary School emerged as the first winner in the secondary school category.

The competitions are aimed at bringing together secondary and primary schools to do exhibitions to showcase their biofuel innovations for the judges to decide the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd winners to be provided with trophies, certificates, and cash money.

On his side, EXAF-JFD Project Manager Dr. Michael Haule assured the participants that these efforts will continue and will be scaled up to more schools.

He added that the winners of the competition will showcase their innovations during Nelson Mandela Week, which takes place from July 18 to July 22 every year, and in other institutional and national forums.

The Excellence in Africa-Junior Faculty Development (EXAF-JFD) project, led by Prof. Thomas Kivevele as a Project Investigator (PI), is one of the projects at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), which is focusing on evaluating the potential of underutilised African plants and agricultural wastes in biofuel production.

Representative of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning, Finance, and Administration Dr. Mussa Dida, has urged the Heads of departments, Schools and Units to focus on the training of the new Electronic Public Procurement system ( NeST ) in order to improve the institution's procurement.

Dr. Mussa said this today, September 19, 2023, while opening the five-day training of the system coordinated by the Purchasing Unit (PMU).

"This system is friendly and will greatly help to simplify institutional purchases, increase transparency, and increase work efficiency," says Dr. Moses.

He has explained that the NeST System has many advantages, including increasing the transparency of competition and equality in procurement activities, thus reducing the loopholes of corruption and getting the real value of money in public procurement.

On his part, the facilitator of the training, the Acting Head of the Procurement Unit (HPMU), Mr. Albert Mrema, has asked the participants to use their knowledge for efficient purchases based on the principles of the system.

And one of the participants in the training, Prof. Liliane Pasape, has thanked the leadership of the institution for seeing the importance of providing the training and promising to implement it effectively.

The NeST system will start working officially after the TANePS system reaches the limit of purchases by September 30, 2023, when public institutions will not be allowed to make public purchases outside the NeST system.

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