Former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has faulted colonial powers for not educating Africans during their rule in the continent, saying the lack of education meant Africa remained well behind other continents in matters development.
Kikwete particularly noted that his country, despite being colonized by two powers – Germany and Britain – had only two engineers by the time it gained independence.
“Tanzania has been a German colony and later a British colony. Germany colonized Tanzania from 1884 to 1918 and then it [Tanzania] became part of the British Empire from 1980 to 1961. But by the time we got independence in 1961, there were only two engineers. This is the level where we started,” the former president who also served as the African Union chairperson said in Durban, South Africa, where he was attending the World Economic Forum.
Kikwete recognized Africa’s efforts in the education sector, but said a lot still remained to be done.
“First, you have to acknowledge that we inherited a very poor education system. African countries have invested so much in the education of their people, but it’s not enough. At independence, we were only 9 million. Today we are 50 million. So the obligation becomes even bigger.
The WEF on Africa forum drew to a close on Friday, having attracted more than 1,000 global leaders.