Copperbelt University (CBU) Vice Chancellor Naison Ngoma has disclosed that the University will soon be opening a school of Engineering at the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) in Mpika, Muchinga Province.
TAZARA Mpika workshops built in 1975 is the biggest in Central and Southern Africa occupying a total distance of 1.3 kilometre and has machinery capable of making various products and tools such as hammer mills, bicycles, wheel barrows, bolts and nuts as well as mill balls used by mining companies in the mining of minerals, among many other products.
Professor Ngoma says the opening of the CBU school of Engineering at TAZARA Mpika workshops follows the successful signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between The CBU and TAZARA management.
Professor Ngoma said a CBU lecturer has since been stationed at Mpika to kick start the programme adding that students in their second and third year of study will be learning and doing their practical work at TAZARA Mpika workshops.
The CBU Vice-Chancellor further disclosed that that many other courses such as Human Resource Development, accounts and many others, will also be introduced at the CBU Mpika Campus in due course.
Professor Ngoma added that the TAZARA Mpika workshop is the biggest workshop on the African continent, and that the university’s intention is to fully utilize the facility by training a cadre of engineers capable of contributing to the economic growth of the country.
Professor Ngoma was speaking in Chinsali recently when Muchinga Province Minister Malozo Sichone called on him at Kapasa Makasa University.
And Muchinga Province Minister Malozo Sichone has commended the CBU management for the initiative of opening up a school of Engineering at TAZARA Mpika workshops.
Mr. Sichone says operationalizing of the TAZARA Mpika workshops will enhance revenue base for the railway company which has been struggling with finances.
Mr. Sichone said TAZARA workshop has capacity to repair vehicles adding that personal and government vehicles can be repaired from the TAZARA Mpika workshop and what is only required is to put things in order.
Mr. Sichone further disclosed that the TAZARA Mpika workshop also has capacity even to make bicycles, slushers, hoes, and hammer mills, among others products.
Mr. Sichone also suggested to the CBU management to consider offering mechanical engineering course so as to fully utilize the facilities available at the workshop and enable them use the same facility to repair various types of vehicles and heavy machinery in collaboration with TAZARA.
He said that the workshop can be used to service even government vehicles saying currently government is spending huge sums of money through servicing of vehicles which is usually done in Lusaka and the Copper belt.