British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Philip Parham, said his country’s move was aimed to facilitate efforts by the countries to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Education is a key tool for attaining the MDGs. Mr Parham made the remarks in Dar es Salaam at the weekend when awarding certificates to Tanzanian students who have excelled in Cambridge examinations at the weekend in Dar es Salaam. The examinations were done last academic year.
He said his country, in recognition of Tanzania and other developing countries’ efforts to fight poverty, has made an additional pledge of 4.5 billion dollars to enable them achieving universal Primary Education targets by 2015.
In total, new commitments worth 16 bn dollars were made towards the MDGs and our Prime Minister, Mr Gordon Brown, was widely and rightly identified as a mobilising force behind the event, he said.
He said at a High Level meeting on MDGs held in New York last Friday, Premier Brown and the British Secretary of State for International Development. Mr Douglas Alexander, emphasised on education for developing countries to realise a promising step in the implementation of MDGs come 2015.
The importance of education is insisted by our country that is why the British Council is so active in facilitating and supporting links between British schools and schools in many other countries including Tanzania, said Mr Parham.
Mr Parham said Tanzania has made some visible developments in the sector, despite being faced by extreme poverty.
He, however, said the country had abundant resources which if well managed, the country could record tremendous achievements in the near future.
He compared Tanzanians 2008/2009 budget of $6bn, saying it was just about 3 per cent of the United Kingdom’s funds allocated for National Health Service and about one third of the estimated value of food thrown away in the United Kingdom each year.
And with this amount the government has to provide healthcare, education, security, infrastructure and so on to nearly 40 million people in a country four times the size of the UK and whose GDP is roughly the same in real terms as in 1966, we believe this has to change but only if the country invests seriously in education, he said.
Mr Parham said his country and other developing partners were confident with various campaigns currently engineered by the fourth phase government, but cautioned that the latest World Bank’s Cost of Doing Business index and that of the Transparency International on perceptions of corruptions, Tanzania had slipped down.
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