President Jakaya Kikwete on Monday granted the Aga Khan University a charter, making it the first foreign-based institution to officially receive the accreditation in Tanzania.
Mr Kikwete handed the certificate to the Aga Khan at a ceremony held at State House, Dar es Salaam.
The president acknowledged cordial relations his government has had with the Aga Khan Foundation — the body that runs the university and other Aga Khan projects in the country.
He said granting of the charter opened a new chapter in the ongoing efforts to improve the lives of all Tanzanians. Mr Kikwete, however, emphasised that the charter was not dished out to the institution but was rather a well-deserved achievement.
“We have granted this charter because of the confidence we have in the Aga Khan University,” he said.
The Aga Khan, who was the initiator of the idea of the university’s expansion to Africa, described the award of the charter as being of “immense importance to the Aga Khan University.”
“We reached the decision after realising that there was a need to invest in human capital here especially in the areas of health and education,” he said, adding that for Tanzania to make progress in improving the well-being of its people, it was important to have higher education programmes available for people who are in employment.
He said that the university had lined up nine postgraduate programmes identified to suit Tanzania’s needs.
Earlier, the Minister for Education and Vocational Training Dr Shukuru Kawambwa said the Aga Khan University had met all requirements to be granted the charter as per sections 25 and 27 of the Universities Act Cap. 346.