The 11th Arusha Technical College Graduation Ceremony, ATC Campus Arusha Saturday 18th January 2020. Remarks by Elisabeth Jacobsen, Ambassador, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
By H.E. Ms. Jacobsen
I am aware that today four hundred and thirty six (436) graduates will be awarded certificates in various stages of their education. Including Basic Certificate, Technician Certificate, Diploma Certificate and Bachelor degree. All the successful graduates are a true testimony to ATC’s success, and shows how they continue to contribute to skills development in Tanzania.
Honourable Deputy Minister, I would like to seize this opportunity to extend Norway’s warmest congratulations to your ministry, for all the efforts made in ensuring that the education sector is lifted to greater heights in terms of sustainable development of this country. Hongera sana!
It is my great pleasure to take part in this important day in your lives. Today we see the results of your hard work over many years, and we are here to celebrate your achievements with you. I wish to congratulate you all on having completed your studies.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Yesterday, I had the chance to inaugurate the Kikuletwa Training Centre, a sub organ of the Arusha Technical College (ATC). This newly established training centre offers an opportunity for young people in Tanzania to acquire knowledge and skills that are important in contributing into the growth of this country.
Earlier this morning we also visited the college workshops and laboratories here at the campus, and I must say I am greatly impressed. It is easy to see that the teachers and students work well together in making quality products, thinking innovatively and achieving high standard training. As we did this, we had many good discussions, talking about the importance of training being labour market relevant and the cooperation between private and public sector.
Ladies and Gentlemen
I know that ATC is now positioning itself to play a leadership role in delivering renewable energy courses in the East Africa region. Norway has a long experience within hydropower – a knowledge we believe can be useful to Tanzania and assist you in your endeavors to further develop your human and natural resources. The Norwegian Embassy and Arusha Technical College entered into an agreement back in 2014 to provide technical assistance for development of Kikuletwa hydropower plant and training center.
There is a great need in Tanzania, as we understand it, for the practical vocational training and skills that technical colleges offer in this country, such as ATC. By providing a qualified workforce, promoting gender equality and developing good managers, technical and vocational training institutions can boost business development. In that regard, I would like to commend the good work the college is doing on gender equality at the college over the years. However, like always, more efforts are needed to attract more female students.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The lesson we have learned in Norway is that increased participation of women in the labour market translates directly to economic growth, welfare and sustainability. Most people assume that we are a rich country because of our oil and gas industry. What is equally important is the value of female work participation. On the global level, a study by the McKinsey Global Institute calculated that the potential benefit of closing gender gaps in the workforce amounted to a staggering $28 trillion in global GDP by 2025.
The Tanzanian government has high ambitions towards achieving a middle-income country status. In order to reach this goal, it is essential to get the women and youth on-board. The technical colleges can play an important role in the transformation of the country by educating technicians who are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to solve the society’s problems, meet the challenges and attain competitiveness at regional and global levels.
(Nelson) Mandela said that “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. You have been given the tools of change. Now the time has come to use them for the good of your country. I wish you all the best on your journey, which is about to begin.
Asanteni sana!Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
The Ambassador wished the graduates of Arusha Technical College (ATC) good luck in bringing their practical engineering skills with them into working life