A Total of 529m/- has been set aside to compensate one private firm owning 753 hectares of land in Karangai area, to pave way for the second phase of the construction of Nelson Mandela Institute of Science and Technology.
The land was formerly owned by Tanzania Plantation Limited, which has agreed to release the land for the state-of-the-art pan-African institute of technology.
“We are in the final stages of getting the land because the money for compensating the owner has been allocated,” said Frolence Turuka, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Briefing members of the parliamentary Finance committee recently, Turuka said: “Everything is going on well and very soon the institute will acquire the land and put up the required structures to accomplish its intended mission.”
He said during the 2011/12 financial year, Parliament had allocated 30bn/- for research activities, whereby part of the money was spent on supporting some Tanzanian students who are pursuing different courses at the pan-African institute in order to increase the number of experts in different fields of technology in the country and the region at large.
NM-AIST, established within the framework of the African Union (AU), started preparations five months ago when it enrolled its first batch of postgraduate students at its Tengeru campus, former premises of the Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation and Rural Technology (Camartec).
The institute has been given some 3,285 acres at Karangai, south-east of Arusha, to construct a much bigger campus. Already some 2,502 acres have been acquired while title deeds for the remaining 732 acres are still being processed.
The Tanzania government has already committed some $60 million (about 93.58bn/-) to the project. More funds are still needed and discussions are underway between the institute and development partners such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
NM-AIST is currently enjoying support mainly from the United States, South Korea, Canada, India and several other European countries. India recently granted the institute some $1.5 million (about 2.34 bn/-) for the ICT Resource Centre established at the campus.