JPM opens east-central Africa's biggest university library at UDSM

28Nov 2018
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
JPM opens east-central Africa's biggest university library at UDSM

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday inaugurated the largest library in east and central Africa at the University of Dar es Salaam, directing the university to ensure that the newly built library with the storage capacity of 800,000 books is full of reading materials.

President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli assisted by China Ambassador to Tanzania Wang Ke to sort out books at the shelf shortly before officiates the University of Dar es Salaam largest state-of-art library yesterday. Photo: State House

The 93.6bn/- worth library at the country’s long-time university becomes the largest library that China had ever built in Africa.

Built  with  the support from the Chinese government, construction of the two-storey state-of-art facility started in December 2018 and  was completed in July this year.

According to Magufuli, the library should be a catalyst for improvement of the quality of education in Tanzania.

He also directed UDSM management to adhere to standards, so that the university remains one of the Africa’s centre of excellence.

Earlier, UDSM Vice Chancellor Prof William Anangisye said the construction of the library, which was funded by the Chinese government kicked off in 2015.

The VC said the library, which covers 20,000 square metres in area, can accommodate 2,100 students at once and is connected with 160 computers.

It also has 160 internet-connected computers.

Furthermore, the UDSM don said that the library has a conference hall that can accommodate 600 people at a time.

Anangisye explained that some 78bn/- was set aside for purchasing of books for the library in 2017/18 fiscal year.

He added that during the 2018/19 FY, the government allocated 1.1bn/- for the same purpose.

Prof Anangisye lauded China for the financial and technical support as the facility has been built by Chinese construction firm--Jiangsu Jiangdu.

He pledged that the UDSM management will ensure the library buildings are maintained and utilised as required.

For her part, Minister for Education, Science and Technology Prof Joyce Ndalichako also commended the President for priotising education, vowing that all institutions under her ministry work efficiently.

Ndalichako also used the platform to commend the Chinese ambassador to Tanzania for ensuring that the library facility  was completed on time and releasing 50.8bn/- for the construction of Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA) college in Kagera Region.

For her part, Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, Wang Ke, said that library should act as a catalyst for production  of more talented and innovative Tanzanians.

She expressed her optimism that the newly built library will be useful for the academicians and the public in general.