In a bid to improve hospitality and tourism in the region, Tanzania’s VETA Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (VHTTI) and Kenya’s Utalii College (KUC) agreed to start training competent together for hotel and tourism professionals.
The decision was driven by the East African Community’s regional integration process which aims at growing the cooperation among member states in various fields such as social and political cooperation for mutual benefits. Under this agreement, the two training institutes will be exchanging notes on how best to improve human resources working in the sector.
The new partnership embodies the spirit of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community article 115:2 which states that: The EAC Partner States shall cooperate in the promotion of standardization and harmonization of professional standards and hotel classifications, among other objectives. .
Utalii College is East Africa’s leading hospitality and tourism training institution and is an affiliate member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
speaking on the sidelines of the signing the MoU, said the decision was anchored by East African Community’s regional integration process, aiming at widening and deepening cooperation among the Partner States in political and social fields for mutual benefits.
“This was the driving force behind the need for collaboration and the fact that way back in 2008, VETA and KUC held discussions on collaboration whereby KUC agreed to train VHTTI teaching staff,” VHTTI’s Principal, Flora Hakika said.
VHTTI is East Africa’s third biggest public institution for hospitality and tourism training. It is based in Arusha. It operates under the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA), Tanzania’s agency in charge of coordinating, regulating, financing, providing and promoting vocational education and training.
This partnership was formed as a result of a research study that revealed that there is a shortage of appropriately skilled personnel in Tanzania’s tourism and hospitality industries. Ms Hakika believes that Tanzania will benefit a lot from Utalii’s long experience.
Improvement of hotel services and tourism services and product will go a long way in improving tourism in Tanzania and making it more marketable.
The students were appealed to become job creators rather than job seekers. The Minister for Education and Vocational training, Dr. Shukuru Kawambwa said students should be trained entrepreneurship with focus being placed more on practical hands on training than in class theories. This should combat the problem of unemployment which many developing countries have. Entrepreneurship programmes that will equip the trainees with basic business knowhow.
The EAC has been working on implementing a common market protocol that allows labour migration across EAC borders so the students were encouraged to study hard so that they can be allowed to go and work in other countries as well.