The tape was finally cut at the new National College for Tourism yesterday by none other than Tanzanias President Jakaya Kikwete, who officially declared the new facility open a day after celebrating Tanganyikas 50th anniversary and Golden Jubilee of Independence from Britain.
The college, built with substantial assistance by the French Government, cost in the end nearly 8 million Euros, with the Tanzanian government meeting part of the expense through material and other contributions worth nearly 2 million Euros.
The college, dedicated for tourism and hospitality education on certificate, diploma and degree level, complements the long existing Mweka Wildlife College outside Moshi, finally offering comprehensive tertiary and vocational education opportunities for all those wishing to make a career in the tourism and wildlife sectors, which are hugely important to the Tanzanian economy.
Over 300 students are already enrolled in the new college but over 1.000 more are expected to be on campus soon when the next and following academic years start and intake levels have reached the projected capacity.
The new college is after the Kenya Utalii College the second major public tourism training facility in East Africa, now leaving Uganda trail in their wake and probably regretting, why the erstwhile offer of support for the Jinja based Hotel and Tourism Training Institute was not taken up in 2003/4, when France initially offered to build the new college in Uganda, but then walked away for an apparent lack of interest and the existing institute not being given the required land by government, leaving HTTIs management and board hugely disappointed. Here, ones folly ended up to be anothers success and the opening of the new National College of Tourism in Dar es Salaam is reason to celebrate there with best wishes from this correspondent, in both his writing as well as in his past academic capacity as former chairman of HTTI in Jinja.