NAIROBI, 3 February (IRIN) - The
governments of Sweden and the United Republic of Tanzania signed an agreement
on 31 January under which Sweden will provide 455 million kronor (US $50
million) to support Tanzania's 2003-06 Primary Education Development Plan.
A joint statement by the governments said this had been the largest-ever sum approved by Sida, Sweden's international cooperation and development arm, to any partner country in the field of education. It added that Sweden had supported Tanzania in the field of education since the 1960s, since which time it had provided at least $110 million for a wide range of projects, including vocational training centres, teacher training, and the import of printers and paper for the production of schoolbooks.
The agreement was signed at the finance ministry in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, by Swedish Ambassador Sten Rylander and Tanzanian Finance Minister Basil P. Mramba, in the presence of Tanzanian Education and Culture Minister Joseph Mungai.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Rylander called the event "a real breakthrough, in the sense that we are now engaging in the most substantial, positive and clear-cut example of a true Sector-Wide Approach Programme Support in the field of education in Africa, a modality which strengthens national ownership and which should be very much part of a modern partnership-based development cooperation. Tanzania has been able to set a very good example in the regional context."
"We are very pleased to be able to respond in a massive, generous and long-term way," he added.
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