TANZANIA is poised to become a digital hub within the East Africa Community (EAC) following the inauguration of the Centre of Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE).
Hosted by the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), the centre is established within the framework of the Excellence in Africa initiative, collaboration between Mohamed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) of Morocco and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) of Switzerland.
It is specifically designed to support the transformation of training and educational practices through digital tools and technologies in Tanzania and the EAC region.
With a construction cost of over 100,000 US dollars (about 250bn/-), the state-of-the-art facility will be equipped with a professional studio complete with camera setups, lighting, internet access and soundproof materials.
This setup will enable live streaming and recording of educational content.
Speaking during the centre’s inauguration on Monday, the Director of Science, Technology and Innovation at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Professor Ladslaus Mnyone underscored the role of the facility in advancing education provision in Tanzania.
He said that embracing technologies and coping with rapid technological advancements had significant impact on both professional and personal experiences.
“We must prioritise the digital education agenda to enhance learners’ capacity while being mindful of addressing potential negative impacts of Information Communication Technology in the learning process,” he insisted.
Prof Mnyone equally challenged stakeholders in the ICT sector to come up with a national strategic plan in science, technology and innovation to strengthen digital literacy in Tanzania.
“Our differences notwithstanding; our shared desire to provide opportunities to address socio-economic challenges will drive us forward,” he observed.
Earlier on, NM-AIST’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Maulilio Kipanyula noted that the centre was then a mere physical structure, saying it will serve as a research hub that inspires the next generation of learners, equipping them with invaluable tools and knowledge to address pressing societal issues.
According to Professor Kipanyula, the facility will propel digital literacy to greater heights, by focusing on providing learners with authentic knowledge through cutting-edge digital facilities.
“In a world increasingly powered by technology, digital education knows no boundaries,” he opined.
A total of 44 applications from 19 countries were submitted, but it was NM-AIST’s proposal which sailed through and was declared as one among six universities to benefit from the programme.
The facility becomes the fifth Centre of Excellence to be hosted by NM-AIST, after the Centre for Research Advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability in Food and Nutrition Security (CREATES-FNS), Centre of Excellence for ICT in East Africa (CENIT@EA), Data-Driven Innovation incubation Centre (DDI Incubation Centre) and Water Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy Futures (WISE-Futures).