The government of India is set to officially commence operations of the long-planned Centre of Excellence in Information Technology in Namibia, a partnership campus between the two governments.
The centre will begin offering programs in ICT from July 31, opening with 125 students, in what is a wider part of India’s strategy for transnational education. The Namibia University of Science of Technology in Windhoek will host the institute.
However, unlike in previous cases, the institution will be managed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, the technical arm of India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, as opposed to one of India’s many acclaimed ICT specialised higher learning institutions.
According to the African Intelligence newsletter, the Indian Foreign Affairs ministry is financing the project, including equipping it, in what is being seen as a step beyond TNE to becoming part of “knowledge diplomacy” by the Asian giant.
In pipeline since 2016, the INCEIT operations will be foreseen by ICT expert Arpit Jain, on secondment from CDAC, following inauguration by Namibian foreign minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
The institute is coming at a time when India is establishing two campuses on the continent, in Tanzania and Uganda. The latter was inaugurated in April, in a partnership between India’s National Forensic Sciences University and Uganda Defence Forces, becoming the country’s first-ever state institution to launch a campus abroad.
On its part, the IIT Madras is set to launch its foreign campus in the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania, in October, following the signing of an agreement between the two countries in a high-level event, attended by Jaishanakar earlier in July. To be known as IIT Madras at Zanzibar, it will open with 50 undergraduate and 20 MSc students.
“For the first time ever, the IIT is going abroad and we are very, very pleased that this should take place in Zanzibar, because in many ways Zanzibar is a meeting point of African and Indian cultures,” the minister said.
While financing and other operating costs will be covered by the government of Tanzania, IIT Madras will be responsible for the academic programmes, curricula and for selecting students.
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