In its efforts to contribute to the country’s development, the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), in collaboration with Barrick North Mara Gold Mine, recently held a training on project management to village leaders in Tarime District Council.
The training, which was attended by 63 village leaders and community development committee officials from 11 communities in five wards surrounding the North Mara Gold Mine, aimed to provide leaders with improved tools for managing social and economic initiatives.
In his opening address, the Tarime Rural MP, Hon. Mwita Waitara said the training was important as it introduced participants to proper mechanisms for developing and managing the implementation of social and economic projects, that could help them view and manage projects funded by Barrick through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) function.
He emphasized that the training was very relevant and timely as it would assist village leaders in addressing corruption and other related acts that affect social initiatives funded by CSR funds.
“This is a critical learning opportunity for us to move forward. The people of Tarime want to realize that they want to see projects implemented properly and CSR funds used properly", said Waitara.
He pointed out that the core mission of the North Mara Mine was to provide executives with skills to plan and manage CSR projects, particularly strategic ones, so that they could be implemented quickly, completed on time, and provide high productivity and community benefits.
The University of Dar es Salaam experts who facilitated these training included Dr. Hezron Makundi, a lecturer from the Institute of Development Studies and Manager of UDSM Consultancy Bureau and Dr. Theresia Busagala and Dr. Fred Okangi – both from the University of Dar es Salaam Business School (UDBS).
Establishing and managing productive projects
Meanwhile, the Senior Community Relations Officer of the Barrack North Mara Gold Mine Mr. Zachayo Makobero said the programme was crucial for preparing local leaders to establish productive projects and manage professionally their implementation for the community benefits.
“The goal of the North Mara mine is to impart these leaders with skills to develop and manage CSR projects, including strategic ones, so that they are implemented efficiently, completed on time, but also have great productivity and benefits for the community”, said Mr. Makobero.
He also emphasized that the collaboration between the University of Dar es Salaam and Barrick North Mara Mine demonstrated the relevance of public-private partnership projects and activities in enhancing socioeconomic growth in Tanzania and empowering local communities to foster sustainable development.
Participants in this training thanked both Barrick North Mara and UDSM for supporting the workshop and sharing their valuable knowledge and skills respectively, stating that it was an eye-opener to help them execute projects derived from CSR funds effectively.
"I am very grateful to the Barrick North Mara mine. This is because since we began our CSR activities, we have had never received a training like this. We believe it will help us a lot to develop many projects, including economic ones, and manage them well”, said one of the participants.