Manchester grad takes skills back home to Tanzania

Engineer Ray Kileo is helping to transform the transport network of his home country of Tanzania, using skills he acquired while studying at Manchester University.

Having grown up in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, Ray graduated as a civil engineer from Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology in 2011. After being informed by a friend about Manchester’s Equity and Merit Scholarships, he successfully applied to study for an MSc in Construction Project Management at the university. The scholarship, funded by Mrs Josie Rowland, helped fund Ray’s fees for the year, as well as a bursary to cover his living costs.

Upon completion of the course, Ray returned to the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam to assist with the development of the growing city’s transport system. He is now managing the construction of Africa’s first-ever bus rapid transit system, ‘DART’ (Dar Rapid Transit). Inspired by similar systems in Latin America, DART is helping to make the city more accessible for its 4 million inhabitants, as well as improving journey times.

“Dar es Salaam’s future is very promising,” said Ray. “Its rapid growth is forcing policymakers to ensure improvements in planning, infrastructure and environmental management, and to correct mistakes made in the initial planning of the city. Other improvements are also being made in sectors like shipping, housing and commercial building.”

“The Equity and Merit Scholarship has made a tremendous change in my life, and studying at Manchester gave me the advantage of project management skills, in terms of contracts and resource allocation. It has made a big difference to my career, my experience, my family and my society.”

Rob Summers, the university’s head of development also commented: “We are extremely proud of our Equity and Merit programme, and hugely grateful for our donors who help fund it. Education is one of the most powerful gifts you can give, and Ray’s story is testament to the transformative impact these scholarships can have not just on the students who receive them, but on their entire countries.”

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