Belgium envoy uncovers education opportunities for Tanzanians

24Jan 2022
The Guardian
Belgium envoy uncovers education opportunities for Tanzanians

AS the world celebrates the International Day of Education, which is January 24th every year, it is worthwhile to discuss the progresses we are making and plans for the future in regards education. Quality education is a necessity,-

Ambassador Jestas Abouk Nyamanga.

-especially for a country with dreams for a brighter future like Tanzania.

In this view, a direct phone call rang from Manchester, UK to Brussels, Belgium by Shimbo Pastory, a Tanzanian who is passionate about human integral development to Jestas Abouk Nyamanga who serves as the Ambassador of Tanzania to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union.

Ambassador Jestas Abouk Nyamanga discussed the various education opportunities that the Belgian Government and the European Union avails for Tanzanians who are interested and meet the necessary requirements as we bring them forth.

Educational diplomacy is rapidly moving beyond the realm of government sponsored initiatives to a much wider array of actors and activities beyond the national borders. Education is one of the central dimensions in the diplomatic relationship between Tanzania and Belgium as well as the European Union.

“We all believe that education is a force multiplier to turn potentials into prosperity. At the national level, Tanzania is investing heavily in the education sector in terms of both human resources and infrastructure development,” the envoy said, adding:

“The aim is to enable young people to acquire skills and knowledge that keep pace with the global dynamics and matches with the current and future global demand.  To capture the opportunities afforded by the globalisation, the government through its diplomatic missions abroad is also working hard to ensure that we cast our net wide and get prepared to look beyond our shores and learn from others.”

“It is therefore no coincidence that Tanzania through its bilateral cooperation with Belgium and the Europe Union has placed the great significance on the cooperation and partnership on education.”

Belgium offers scholarships to Tanzanians through various programmes for courses and trainings specifically aimed at students from developing countries. Tanzania is among the only 29 countries in the world that are eligible for the VLIROUS Scholarship, a Programme offered to study in Flenders higher learning institutions in Belgium.

Tanzania is also eligible for ARES Scholarship Programme.  ARES offers scholarships to study in one of the higher learning institutions of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation in Belgium. Through these programmes, Belgium offers scholarships for short courses, bachelor degrees, and master’s degrees. 

In addition, Tanzania is also eligible for the Erasmus + Programme offered by the European Union, which among others, aims at supporting through lifelong learning, the educational, professional and personal development of people in education, training, youth and sport.

The Erasmus+ which can be reached through has been offering scholarships for short- and long-term mobility to students and staff from all over the world. We know that this kind of learning mobility has a very positive impact.

There is also another program known as the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMDs). This is the EU-funded scholarships to Master students from around the world that cover tuition, travel, and a living allowance. The programmes last from one to two years in which students study in at least two different European countries, and obtain a joint, double degrees, or multiple degrees. Institutions from Tanzania can also be part of the consortia that deliver these programmes.

It is generally acknowledged that students who spend a period outside their own country develop better transversal skills. They are better at tackling new challenges, making decisions and solving problems. They have more confidence and understand their own strengths and weaknesses better. They are capable of critical thinking and more tolerant towards other people's values and behaviour.

Our cooperation also benefits young people outside academia. Through Erasmus+, Tanzanians and European youth organisations can also develop partnership projects to boost the mobility of youth workers and young people.  I urge our young people to get the best out of these opportunities, identify their own niche, and make a mark on their endeavours. It is my conviction that we can make a better future through these programs.

Research is another area of our cooperation with the Belgium institutions. Tanzania is an important partner country of VLIR-UOS. From 2003 to 2021 VLIR-UOS spent around € 21.8 million in cooperation with Tanzania, including long-term Institutional University Cooperation (IUC) Programmes with the Sokoine University of Agriculture (finalized), Mzumbe University and the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology.

The two ongoing IUC partnerships with Mzumbe University and the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology are running towards the end of a 2nd Phase of cooperation and 18 projects that started since 2017 are the cornerstones of the cooperation of VLIR-UOS with Tanzania.

It is exciting to learn of the accomplishments made by the Sokoine University in collaboration with the Belgium research institute -APOPO which save lives by training rats and other animals to rid the landmines and tuberculosis. We are proud to note from the results of this project that our acclaimed researchers have scaled new heights.

It also delighted to see our universities joining hands with their counterparts over the world in undertaking cutting-edge research projects that make significant contributions to education worldwide. It is an appeal to our universities to capitalize fully on the opportunities provided to Tanzania under the Short Initiatives (SI) Vliruos through

As the Ambassador, Jestas says, he treasures every opportunity in the education partnership, and the Embassy of the Tanzania in Brussels will keep working hard to ensure that every opportunity is secured and fully utilized.

It is unfortunate that many Tanzanians are not yet aware of these opportunities as most of these scholarships, applicationsare made online. Tanzanians should be steady in embracing these opportunities, so as to be able to acquire skills and knowledge that could be vital for their career development for the wider interest of the nation. We particularly encourage actions to be taken in this season of applications.

On behalf of Tanzanian government and all Tanzanians, Ambassador Jestas is   profoundly grateful to the Belgium government, the EU and all other development partners for being always supportive to the development agenda of Tanzania; offering of these vital scholarships and research programs is a good case.

“Our cooperation in education will remain a key in bringing our peoples closer together. As an ambassador I look forward to taking this strong bilateral partnership and friendship to the greater heights.”

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