A ‘Thumb Up’ from H.E. Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, President of Tanzania, at Education Week

Powering Potential had the honor of briefing His Excellency Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, at this year’s Education Week in Dodoma the capital of Tanzania. President Kikwete visited the Powering Potential exhibit during the closing ceremony and gave our work a thumb up, saying “Kazi nzuri! Hii ni tekinolojia tunayohitaji vijijini.” (“Good work! This is the technology which we need for the rural areas.”). This is the second time His Excellency was briefed on Powering Potential; the first time was at the DICOTA convention in 2011.
“Kazi nzuri! This is a good solution” 

Briefing His Excellency

When asked what it was like meeting President Kikwete, Country Director Albin Mathias said, “So excited!…especially when he talked to us and gave a thumb up in appreciation of our solution. I feel energized and very honored. It was my first time meeting the president and shaking hands. I hope you can feel how this was. Just after the move Prof. Mchome [Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education and Vocational Training] was watching from distance and he saluted to us three times. That was great appreciation!”

From left: Hon. Shukuru Kawambwa,
Minister of Education;
Walter Minja; and Albin Mathias 

Tanzanian national TV stations ITV and TBC conducted interviews with Albin which aired that night on the 8:00pm news and The Citizen, a Tanzanian newspaper, published an article about our work.

This year’s Education Week motto was “Elimu bora ni haki ya kila mtoto” (“Quality education for every child”). As part of Powering Potential’s commitment to this motto, we will be distributing 56 Pi-oneer units (mobile projector/Raspberry Pi computer) to 56 rural secondary schools that lack electricity and technology. This project is funded by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and the Segal Family Foundation, and will be implemented in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office-Regional Administration Local Government (PMO-RALG).

Albin and Hon. Kassim Majaliwa,
Deputy Minister of State PMO-RALG

From left: Albin; Zuberi Samataba,
Deputy Permanent Secretary (Education) PMO-RALG;
and Walter Minja

We had a number of visitors throughout the week. A group of students were surprised to see that a computer could be so small and run on such a small solar power system. They all wanted to try out the Rapsberry Pi! One woman, Miss Angelika (below) stopped by the booth full of emotion, saying “Nyinyi ni watu wa haki, mnasaidia wanafunzi wa vijijini waliokosa fursa kama wanayopata shule za mijini” (“You are the people of human rights. You give equal opportunities to rural students who miss the opportunities that urban students receive.”). We were honored by her stories and the excitement of the students and all involved. 
Walter showing students the Raspberry Pi computer
Miss Angelika and Walter Minja

We thank Professor Eustella Bhalalusesa, Commissioner of Education, for inviting us to participate in Education Week. It is a privilege for us to be partnering with the Tanzanian government to provide quality education for every child. We hope the Pi-oneer program is just the beginning!

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