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Working with eager entrepreneurs in Tanzania
May '11
The University of Bolton is helping young people in Tanzania build their own businesses.

With the University of Dar es Salaam, the University has developed workshops where students learn textile technologies, fashion and garment technology, as well as entrepreneurial skills.

The workshops started in January, aiming to launch with 50 students but the project has been so successful enrolment had to be stopped when hey reached 160 delegates.

Funded by the British Council and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills for £60,000, the 18-month project included curriculum development and teaching programme time. Teaching started in January and the first programme will run for nine months and should see the first students receive awards in October.

The proposal is that the programme will continue to run at its present location and then transfer to other sites in the future.

Workshops are taught by staff from the University of Dar es Salaam, under the guidance of Leonard Mwaikambo, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Dar es Salaam, and Trevor Rowe, Senior Lecturer in Textiles at Bolton.

Trevor Rowe was Leonard Mwaikambo's own lecturer when he studied at Bolton in the 1980s. The two kept in contact and were eager to develop closer ties between their two universities.

'The workshops will merge international knowledge and expertise,' said Trevor. 'From the University of Bolton we bring our skills and technical understanding in textiles and fashion technology and business. In Dar es Salaam, tutors provide local industrial and craft knowledge.

'We hope this is the start of a partnership that will develop over the coming years and lead to further opportunities for new courses and training that will benefit the Tanzanian economy.

'Tanzania is eager to build and develop its economy, to move beyond exporting its raw materials, such as cotton, to developing the export of products created with those raw materials.

'Unemployment in rural areas is rife but, as we've seen from the success of our enrolment programme, the eagerness to learn is great.'

Mr Mwaikambo added: 'This partnership brings many benefits. It will give teaching staff here in Dar es Salaam the knowledge and skills in textiles design and curriculum development. In addition, it will support economic development in the region by providing new skills, employment and income to young people looking to start their own business.'

University of Bolton

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