Home Africa Indian Institute of Technology Madras Opens First Offshore Campus in Africa

Indian Institute of Technology Madras Opens First Offshore Campus in Africa

The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, officially launched its offshore campus in Zanzibar, Tanzania, on November 6, 2023. At the moment, the institute has around 50 students enrolled. 35 students have enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science course, and 15 students are enrolled in a M.Tech. course in the same courses. Zanzibar President and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, Hussein Ali Mwinyi, was the chief guest at the inauguration. The institute witnessed around 500 applications for enrolment; the applicants were selected after a rigorous eligibility test and interview. Among the selected, 15 Indian students have enrolled in the undergraduate course and 8 in the postgraduate course. 40% of the total students are women.

Among the dignitaries present during the inauguration were Adolf F. Mkenda, Minister for Education Science and Technology of the United Republic of Tanzania, Lela Mohamed Mussa, Minister of Education and Vocational Training in Zanzibar; Binaya Srikanta Pradhan, the Indian High Commissioner to Tanzania; former IIT Madras directors M.S. Ananth and Bhaskar Ramamurthi; and Dean of the School of Engineering and Science and Director-in-charge of Zanzibar campus, Preeti Aghalayam.

Bweleo Campus:

The current campus is built in Bweleo district, situated 15 km south of Zanzibar town. The Zanzibar government has promised an investment of ₹1,000 to ₹1,500 crore and 232 acres of sea-facing land to build a permanent campus. The permanent campus will be jointly built by the governments of India and Zanzibar. For now, the Bweleo campus has adequate amenities suited to the needs and requirements of students. The institute is open to students of all nationalities.

Improved Partnerships between India and Tanzania:

Indian Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced the inauguration of the offshore campus of IIT-Madras on October 10, 2023, while felicitating Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan with an honorary doctorate from Jawaharlal Nehru University. An MoU regarding the same was signed by both countries in July 2023. Shri Dharmendra Pradhan had also noted that “this institute will prove to be a milestone in educational cooperation between two nations and continents by providing students from Tanzania and other African countries access to world-class engineering and technology education, which will help in nation-building and drive economic growth, technology, development, and research and innovation in Africa.” This exchange of academic ideas is in consonance with the New Education Policy 2020, which encourages the globalization of educational prospects. The Government of India already offers scholarships to numerous students from Tanzania to study at IIT-Madras. Its Zanzibar campus is also set to provide deserving students with fee waivers and scholarships.

This is a milestone not only for the IIT-Madras campus but also a historic moment for the educational partnership between India and East Africa. It will bring the in-depth academic rigour of the Indian University to the distant shores of East Africa and at the same time facilitate teacher and student mobility across the countries. It will facilitate the sharing of knowledge systems and a holistic approach to higher education across continents.