The University of Ibadan and the University of Dar es Salaam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the teaching of Kiswahili language.
The symbolic virtual signing of the document was facilitated by the High Commissioner of Tanzania to Nigeria, Dr Benson A. Bana, who set up the virtual meeting between the two universities.
Dr. Bana said it was part of his Commission’s efforts to advance Tanzania/Nigeria bilateral ties.
The MoU will take the form of development of joint research activities; exchange of undergraduate and postgraduate students; exchange of staff on sabbatical basis; mutual assistance in the establishment of new programmes; exchange of information and publications; and organisation of seminars, colloquia, symposia, conferences and workshops.
The Vice-Chancellors of both universities said they were happy about the MoU, given that both institutions are the oldest public universities in their different countries.
The University of Ibadan and the University of Dar es Salaam have shared antecedents. The University of Ibadan was established as a college of the University of London in 1948 and became a full fledged University in 1962.
The University of Dar es Salaam was established as a campus of the University of London in 1961 but became a full fledged University in 1970.
The Vice Chancellor of Dar es Salaam University, Professor William A. L. Anangisye said the understanding will afford both institutions to learn more about each other.
He said he was pleased that the MoU would allow the teaching of Kiswahili, the lingua franca of Tanzania, and one of the official languages of the Organisation of African Unity.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode O. Adebowale, mni, FAS, was represented at the ceremony by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Professor Oluyemisi A. Bamgbose, SAN.
Professor Bamgbose stated that mutual understanding had existed between the University of Ibadan and Tanzania long before now.
She recalled that the University of Ibadan in 1976 conferred the Honorary Doctor of Laws on the late President Julius Mwalimu Nyerere in recognition of his contributions to the development of Africa.
She said this was an indication that the two countries shared values.
Professor Bamgbose appreciated the efforts of the High Commissioner to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
The newly signed MoU will lead to the teaching of Kiswahili as an African language in the University of Ibadan’s Department of Linguistics and African Languages.
The Head of the Department, Professor Oye Taiwo, assured that necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the course is approved soon by the University of Ibadan Senate.