- Published on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 03:26
- Written by ABDULWAKIL SAIBOKO
- Hits: 983
THE Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands recently hosted a farewell reception in Dar es Salaam for over 100 Tanzanian midcareer professionals that have passed the selection for studying in the Netherlands during the academic year 2012/2013.
It was an exciting incident, as the beneficiaries wore smiling faces for having been selected out of many eligible candidates who also wished to be in the team, but failed perhaps due to limited fellowships. The Ambassador for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tanzania, Dr Ad Koekkoek says the Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) promote capacity building within organisations in 61 countries by providing training and education to mid-career professionals.
He said that the NFP which is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the budget for development cooperation has an overall aim of knowledge sharing, thus contributing to human resources development within a wide range of governmental, private and non-governmental organizations.
Fellowships are offered to mid-career professionals for diploma course, master degrees and PhDs in key international education institutes in the Netherlands. “Sharing of knowledge has proven to be a very effective tool for development. Several thousands of Tanzanian mid-career professionals have been awarded scholarships to study in the Netherlands over the last fifty years in relevant sectors such as business management, engineering, infrastructure, agriculture, health, education and governance,” he said.
The Ambassador was glad to say that in the past fifty years over 5000 Tanzanians have benefited from NFP and most of them have acquired important positions in the Tanzanian society and are contributing to the socioeconomic development of Tanzania. Dr Koekkoek pointed out that his government believes in knowledge sharing because, “Sharing and pooling of knowledge is one of the main tools for development.”
“The number of Tanzanians who have attained this opportunity makes Tanzania one of the top achievers in the programme. Although the Netherlands is a small country, we perform very well in certain areas that might be useful to Tanzania,” he said. The Ambassador specifically mentioned the knowhow in horti and agriculture, the Netherlands being the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural goods, despite its small size.
He said that as Tanzania is now venturing onto gas and oil exploration, there is a lot to learn from the Netherlands for their long time expertise in gas production and exportation, as it is also one of the biggest natural gas producers in the world with the attendant experience in related infrastructure and logistics.
The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Investment and Empowerment, Dr Mary Nagu who officiated the incident, noted that Netherland Embassy in the country has sponsored over 500 Tanzanians in the past three years, through its NFP to undertake various academic disciplines in that country.
Dr Nagu who is the NFP alumnus said this in a speech read on her behalf by the Director in the Department of Europe and Americas in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Dora Msechu. “These scholarships have been of great importance and assistance. The government attaches much hope on these beneficiaries because this opportunity will enhance their capacity of serving their nation,” she said.
Dr Nagu further commended the brilliant techniques employed by the embassy to give priorities in rare courses that will in turn help in capacity building to the country’s labour force. “These scholarships are vital in assisting the country achieve its development vision 2025 of becoming a middle income country,” she said.
The Chief Secretary, Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, who is also NFP alumnus attended the event and said that the government values the Netherland’s support and that it will help greatly in capacity building. “I am a beneficiary of the Netherlands scholarships and I can say that I benefited a lot from the knowledge I got through their support and thousands of other Tanzanians have benefited, he said.
Mr Sefue called upon those who have been lucky to know that they are privileged and make sure that they use the opportunity wisely for their own good and the country at large. Said Mkabakuli who is an officer working at the President Office Planning Commission was one of the students who were flagged off.
He expressed the opportunity as very special one, promising to do all the best in achieving his goals while in Netherlands. Mkabakuli who will be joining the Hegue University of Applied Sciences for a master degree in International Communication Management noted that the NFP has made his dreams come true. “It has been long time coming and I have been dreaming of studying abroad, but I did not know how due to financial constraints but now I have seen a light at the end of the tunnel. I thank God for this opportunity,” he said.