Two marathons later, nearly 20,000 runners and over USD200,000 raised, the six Rotary Clubs of Dar es Salaam and their partners including Bank M, officially launched a well-equipped state-of-the-art Rotary Entrepreneurship Centre at the University of Dar es Salaam, at a colorful ceremony on 29 August 2015.
The 600 sq. mts Entrepreneurship Centre (UDEC) curved out at the library of the University of Dar es Salaam has been modernly refurbished and equipped with 80 thin client networked computers geared at improving the quality of training offered by the Centre whose goal is to promote entrepreneurship among young people by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to set up and run successful businesses.
The Guest of Honor and Rotary Dar Marathon Patron the former President of Tanzania Alhaj Ali Hassan Mwinyi was present to officially launch the Centre at a ceremony which was very well attended by Rotary District 9211 Leadership as well as Rotarians from all six clubs, partners and other guests.
President Mwinyi thanked his ‘fellow’ Rotarians as he jokingly put it, for their continued efforts in various community programs. “When I heard of this project two years of setting up a Rotary Entrepreneurship and Resource Centre at the UDSM to further improve the facilities, I was really pleased and saw it as an excellent example of how the society at large can be supportive of our educational establishments and of youth in general. With the current unemployment rate, through the Centre, we hope the University will produce graduates who are job creators rather than job seekers,” said President Mwinyi in his speech.
On his part the UDSM Vice Chancellor Prof. RwekazaMukandala while giving the vote of thanks to the Rotary clubs, he said he appreciated the support and encouraged the clubs to consider continuing the relationship as the University is planning to build a modern university hospital and a college for Health science.
The Entrepreneurship Centre project was financed by the funds collected through the famous Rotary Dar Marathon (RDM) of year 2013 and 2014 which were organized by all the six Rotary Clubs of Dar es Salaam. Additional funds were provided through an additional grant from the Rotary Foundation.
The Centre will run entrepreneurship courses for students from various faculties at the university and the Student Training on Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) which is an entrepreneurship incubator with an active online business training component. Furthermore the Centre will also run courses for youths selected in the Rotary VijanaPoa project.