President of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, has underscored the need for national efforts by developing nations, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean, towards leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the academic programmes of their schools.
In an address at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) on Thursday (November 26), on the theme: “Africa and the Caribbean in the Age of Globalisation”, President Kikwete noted that ICT developments have created “unprecedented opportunities”.
He added that leveraging it was critical to developing nations’ efforts at strengthening their capacities to compete in the global marketplace. He was, however, quick to point out the challenges arising from this.
He said that there is the need for financial resources to access the technology, as well as the capacity to keep pace with the speed with which it is changing.
“When you are poor, like we are, catching up or keeping in step with what is going on is a momentous challenge,” he indicated.
President of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (left), is introduced to the Registrar of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, Dr. Camille Bell-Hutchinson, by Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI, Professor Gordon Shirley (centre), and on his arrival at the institution on November 26, to address members of the university community on the theme: ‘Africa and the Caribbean in the Age of Globalisation’. The visit to the UWI formed part of the itinerary for the President’s three-day State visit. He left the island on November 26.
The Tanzanian President said that rapid changes in information technologies and the eminence of knowledge-based industries have caught many countries education systems off guard. It is important, therefore, for Africa and the Caribbean to reorganise their education and training systems, to exploit the opportunities provided by globalisation in this area.
This would also usher in new, appropriate technologies and approaches relevant to each country’s situation as, unless the knowledge base is enhanced, these countries will not be able to compete and survive in the globalised age.
“To accomplish this task, we need to invest more in education, particularly science-based studies, and in quality education, from the lower levels to the highest level of the education ladder,” the visiting President said.
He added that the challenge for countries of the Caribbean and Africa was how to get the financial resources to do this.
“What is required of us is to re-arrange our priorities properly, and give due regard to this important tool for our development,” he emphasised.
The President and Tanzania’s First Lady, Her Excellency Salma Kikwete, departed Jamaica Thursday afternoon (November 26) for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Trinidad and Tobago.