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China set to build Africa’s largest library costing $40m in Tanzania

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BooksThe Chinese government is set to fund the construction of Africa’s largest library in Tanzania.

According to Chinese News Agency Xinhua, the new library at the University of Dar es Salaam would cost $40 million (£27.5 million) and would hold 800,000 books when completed.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli who laid the foundation stone of the library at the university, was quoted as saying that the project was coming at a time when his government was striving to improve education in the east African nation.

Officials said the state-of-the-art facility would cover 20,000 square metres and accommodate 2,600 students at a time.

The ground breaking ceremony on the facility was attended by former  Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who now serves as the University’s Chancellor.

China’s ambassador to Tanzania, Lyu Youqing commended Tanzania’s efforts at developing its economy which grew at a high rate over the last 10 years.

Tanzania’s annual GDP growth rate averaged 6.72% from 2002 until 2015, according to the country’s national statistics bureau.

Like other African nations, Tanzania is focusing on building an educated and thriving middle class.

According to President Magufuli, his government is spending $9.4 million monthly to fund free education nationwide.

“Increased enrolment in primary schools have left us with challenges of shortage of classrooms and desks. We request education stakeholders to keep on supporting the government,” the President said.
China and Tanzania have had diplomatic relations for more than 30 years now.

Source: GNA

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