East Africa: Olmotonyi to Become EAC’s Centre of Excellence

THE government is mulling over retaining Forestry Training Institute (FTI) Olmotonyi’s status as the regional Centre of Excellence.

Tourism and Natural Resources Minister Damas Ndumbaro revealed here at the weekend that the government was planning to revive the regional sleeping giant with a view of making it an entity that provides leadership, best practices and research.

“In the past, we used to witness researchers and forest enthusiasts from the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community thronging FTI to tap the wealth of knowledge and expertise housed here, however that hasn’t been happening recently,” said Dr Ndumbaro, after he briefly visited the training institute last Friday.

To start with, the Minister tasked the management of the 84- year-old facility to prepare it, saying it will be the best way to market the college and forests found in Tanzania.

“Olmotonyi must retain its lost glory, therefore you must strive to promote it outside our borders to attractresearchers and scholars who once considered this place their home,” challenged Dr Ndumbaro.

In the same vein, the minister challenged the FTI management to prepare a module hinged on honey production.

Dr Ndumbaro underscored the importance of the Arusha-based facility to have its own honey processing industry, a one of a kind in the region.

“Mindful that you are the brains behind the Beekeeping Training Institute in Tabora, you also need to have your own industry here in Arusha,” added the minister.