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[DAR ES SALAAM] The government of South Korea has offered Tanzania US$36 million to build four technical institutes — two technical colleges and two institutes for information technology. This is the first time another country has offered to fund such an institute in Tanzania.


Ban Ki-Moon, South Korea's minister for foreign affairs, officially presented the offer to Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa at a ceremony last week (22 January).


Ki-Moon said he believes that Tanzania can follow South Korea's lead, and boost its economy by investing heavily in science and technology. He indicated that his country is ready to share its skills and expertise in the sector.

"Science and technology is the gateway in everything," he told Mkapa. "With your economy growing by six per cent each year, there are all the signs that Tanzania is making a great development economically, and we are ready to support you."

South Korea will provide continued support after the institutes are built, and send a team of scientists to train their counterparts in Tanzania, Ki-Moon added.

Accepting the offer, Mkapa stressed the need for Tanzania to gain new technologies and strengthen its scientific skills base in order to attract foreign investment and make the country more competitive on international markets.

Mkapa's press secretary, Maura Mwingira, says work on the new institutes is set to begin soon.