By Juma Magambo
DIT Mwanza Campus has established strong collaborations with several key stakeholders in the Leather Sector, both inside and outside Tanzania with the aim of ensuring the development of high quality and market relevant training programmes at DIT Mwanza Campus.
The collaborations are aimed at enabling DIT Mwanza Campus to consistently provide the leather industry in Tanzania and with high skilled labour force who are equipped with relevant skills and knowledge. This partnership, which has been made possible with support from the EASTRIP Project, will also speed up the transformation of the Campus into a Center of Excellence in Leather Processing and Allied Technologies in Tanzania and the region.
One of the major partnerships is with Kilimanjaro International Leather Industries Company Limited (KILICL) which has been very useful to DIT in several ways. Firstly, the partnership has significantly contributed to the increase of student enrolment at DIT Mwanza especially in short term programmes such as the Footwear and Leather Goods Making as wells Leather Processing courses, where the enrolment has increased from around 100 students per annum in previous years to 300 plus students in the academic year (2020-2021). This is enabled by mutual agreements and collaboration between the two institutions to identify suitable courses for the leather industry. DIT Mwanza and KILICL also jointly design and promote the identified courses which has contributed to increased publicity of DIT Mwanza Campus as well as increases student enrolment.
The collaboration has also helped in provision of placements for industrial attachments for both students and staff. To-date, DIT Mwanza Campus has been able to attach its three staff members to acquire and enhance their practical skills; one of whom is a leather products technology technician and two academic staff members. Additionally, the Campus sent all second and third year students pursuing Ordinary Diploma in Leather Products Technology from August to November this year, 2021, to KILICL so as to attend their industrial practical trainings as part of their training requirements in order to cement on class room lessons and enhance their skills.
To-date, over 60% of KILIC machine operators are graduates from DIT Mwanza Campus professional courses. This academic – industry linkage has created a positive impact on the Tanzanian leather sector in provision of skilled labour force as well meeting the project objective for EASTRIP while transforming the Campus to become a Centre in Excellence in Leather Processing and Allied Technologies (CELPAT).
The Writer is a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at DIT Mwanza