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Community colleges scarcity hampers development, says minister

The Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, Sophia Simba has said that acute shortage of community development colleges is hampering government efforts in promoting youth participation in economic development, especially in rural areas.

Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, Sophia Simba

Ms Simba told the head of German Conrad Adeneur Foundation who is also a Parliamentary State Secretary, Dr Hermann Kues, in Dar es Salaam on Friday that if such community colleges were in abundance, new initiatives such as Kilimo Kwanza would succeed.

”There are only nine community development colleges and 53 folk development colleges in the country to cater for a population of over 45 million,” she said.

Since most people are not literate especially in rural areas, they are unable to utilize resources in their environment effectively, hence the need to build more folk development

”Since we are now trying to revolutionize agriculture and if these colleges were spread all over the country, it will help people exploit resources in their environment extensively,” Simba noted.

Folk development colleges impart skills on better farming, carpentry, poultry and other basic skills relating to socio-economic activities while community development colleges produce social and community officers who work with local people to understand policies on health, economy, education and other areas.

The minister appealed to the German delegation to consider supporting the country’s community institutions and pointed out that Tanzania ratified the international Bill of Rights since the 1980′s.

”Since socio-economic development goes hand in hand with the Bill of Rights, the government has entrenched it in the country’s constitution,” she added. Among other things, the Bill helps development of the country as all citizens have a right to participate in political activities and join parties of their choice.

As a multiparty democracy, the country holds free elections every five years with international and local observers allowed to witness the process.

By JAFFARI MJASIRI, Tanzania Daily News