Dar es Salaam – The Copperbelt University (CBU) Senate will on Tuesday 10 January 2017 be the first ever organisation to take an orientation and conduct a teambuilding workshop aboard the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Mukuba Express Passenger Train.
The trip for the 31-member delegation led by the University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Naison Ngoma, is intended to kill two birds with one stone.
On one hand, the University management team will be undertaking a tour to understand the operations of TAZARA and lay ground for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed soon between TAZARA and CBU to establish a joint training institute at TAZARA’s Training Centre in Mpika, offering various programmes, including in-service training and short courses in mechanical engineering.
On the other hand, the University will also be undertaking an orientation workshop to enhance teamwork and skills of members of staff, as well as create a common understanding of the delivery framework of the strategic plan.
The six-day workshop aboard the Dar Es Salaam bound Mukuba Express is expected to be graced by the Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Nkandu Luo, who will board the Train at New Kapiri-Mposhi Station and ride 440km with the team before disembarking at Mpika Station.
A Beautiful Journey
While in Dar es Salaam, the team will tour TAZARA’s Dar es Salaam workshops and the University of Dar es Salaam.
TAZARA Managing Director, Eng Bruno Ching’andu, who will personally receive the delegation at New Kapiri-Mposhi and see them off, was delighted to welcome the team to TAZARA. “This is the beginning of a beautiful journey of collaboration between two public institutions. It is another model of Public-Private-Participation, if you like, where one institution will creatively leverage its capacity to expand its services using the underutilized vast resources of the other. And there is no better way of starting this journey than by jumping onto the train and sampling the services for which purpose we shall be jointly training personnel,” said Eng. Ching’andu.
CBU Vice Chancellor Professor Ngoma said, “This is the start of a great new and exciting adventure between ourselves and TAZARA.”
TAZARA and CBU intend to enter into business agreements for joint university programmes at the TAZARA Training School in Mpika, which currently has the capacity to accommodate at least 300 students, with plenty of scope for expansion.
The joint programmes will also have access to TAZARA’s vast engineering workshops, which were originally set up to provide all kinds of engineering services to TAZARA from inception.
In this way, observed Prof Ngoma, the CBU programmes will be greatly enriched with this practical approach that will enable its graduates to be appropriate to the workplace upon being employed or indeed if they choose to employ themselves.
TAZARA is bi-national railway jointly owned by the Governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Zambia on a 50-50 shareholding basis. The 1,860km-railway connects landlocked Zambia to the seaport of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and further provides road and railway inter-connectivity to other parts of Southern Africa. In essence, TAZARA provides a communication backbone for the three regional groupings of SADC, COMESA and the East African Community. TAZARA has huge support infrastructure in Tanzania and Zambia that remain largely underutilized, including the Training Centre in Mpika; Workshops in Mpika, Mbeya and Dar es Salaam; Quarries in Mbeya and Mpika; 6 large fuel storage facilities and several warehouses located throughout the line.
CBU is a public university based in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia with a student population of about 10,000 as at 2016. The University has 10 faculties offering programmes ranging from Diploma to Doctorate levels, which are taught through Part-time, Fulltime and Distance Education modes. Minimum entry requirements into the University are Five O Level Credits for Diploma and Undergraduate, first degree for Postgraduate and Masters Degree for Doctorate studies.