DAR ES SALAAM, March 17 (Xinhua) -- A Tanzanian cabinet minister has urged academic institutions and private sector companies in the East African Community (EAC) to develop strong partnerships to produce graduates with skills to succeed in employment, the EAC said in a statement on Friday.
Adolf Mkenda, Tanzania's Minister for Education, Science and Technology, has urged educational institutions and the private sector to work together to produce market-driven programs that are responsive to the dynamic needs of the labor market and train graduates that are relevant for the socio-economic development of the region.
He made the remarks at the 12th Academia-Public-Private Partnership Forum (APPPF) and Exhibition held in Dar es Salaam, said the statement.
Irene Isaka, the director for Social Sectors at the EAC secretariat, urged academic institutions to work with the private sector to develop curricula that are in tandem with the requirements of the labor market.
"I would like to encourage you to continue to work together to constantly review and adapt your curricula to remain in tandem with the current development agenda of the region, and requirements of the labor market," said Isaka.
John Kalisa, the chief executive officer of the East African Business Council (EABC), said to achieve greater productivity, countries must focus on demand-driven technical and vocational education, entrepreneurship, and business training programs tied to sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing.
"Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines require special attention focusing on the transfer and adoption of technology," said Kalisa.
The APPPF is a biennial forum that brings together universities, technical and vocational colleges, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and the private sector from the East African region to deliberate on how to foster joint dialogue and enhance the linkage between the private sector and higher education institutions, as well as government institutions. ■