Tanzania’s Zanzibar will be home to the first Indian Institute of Technology campus to be established outside of India. In the presence of Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar, and Dr S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of an IIT Madras campus in Zanzibar, Tanzania, was signed on Thursday between the Ministry of Education (MoE), IIT Madras, and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT), Zanzibar, Tanzania.

This campus serves as a reminder of the importance India places on fostering relations between its citizens and those in Africa and the Global South.

High-performing Indian institutions should be encouraged to open campuses abroad, according to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which focuses on internationalisation.

In recognition of the strategic partnership between Tanzania and India, the relationship of educational partnership has been formalised through the signing of the document that provides the framework for the Parties to detail out the establishment of the proposed campus of IIT Madras in Zanzibar, Tanzania, with plans to launch programmes in October 2023, according to a MEA statement.

Through this special collaboration, IITM’s esteemed educational experience will be brought to a key African location to meet the urgent requirements of the area. IIT Madras will be in charge of the academic programmes, curriculum, aspects of student selection, and pedagogical details, while the government of Zanzibar-Tanzania will cover the capital and running costs. A degree from IIT Madras will be given to the students enrolling on this campus. It is anticipated that the cutting-edge interdisciplinary degrees will draw a broad cohort, which will include students from Africa and other nations. According to a MEA statement, students from India are also eligible to apply to these programmes.

Along with improving India’s standing abroad and its diplomatic ties, the establishment of the IIT Campus would also broaden IIT Madras’ global reach. Due to the diversity of the professors and students from the foreign campus, it is also anticipated to improve IIT Madras education and research quality further. It will also help to strengthen research partnerships with other highly regarded academic institutions throughout the world.

The IIT campus in Zanzibar, Tanzania, is envisioned as a top-tier institution of higher learning and research with a broader goal to foster international understanding, promote regional research and innovation, and build capacities in response to evolving global requirements.