Tanzanian President John Magufuli (3rd R, front), Tanzanian former President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (2nd R, front) and Chinese ambassador to Tanzania Lv Youqing (3rd L, front) attend the foundation ceremony of China-aided Chinese Library at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania, on June 2, 2016. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)
DAR ES SALAAM, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli has laid the foundation stone for the construction of a new library at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), the biggest of its kind in Africa to be built at a cost of about 40 million U.S. dollars.
President Magufuli said project, wholly funded by the Chinese government, had come at the right time as the government was working hard to improve the country's education standard.
Once completed, the state-of-the-art facility will boast a space of 20,000 square meters and house over 800,000 books, he said on Thursday in the project's ground-breaking ceremony.
The planned mega-library will also be able to accommodate 2,600 university students at any one time, officials said.
Students of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) participate in the foundation ceremony of China-aided Chinese Libraryat the UDSM, Tanzania, on June 2, 2016. (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)
The ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the library was also attended by former president Jakaya Kikwete, who is the chancellor of the UDSM.
He appreciated the efforts by the Chinese government to fund various development projects in the country.
The Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, Lyu Youqing commended Tanzania's efforts towards the promotion of its economy which grew at high rate in the last 10 years.
Lyu commended President Magufuli's speedy transformation of the east African nation which aims to fulfill the Development Vision 2025 that would see the country developing into a middle class economy.
President Magufuli said his government had been providing 9.4 million U.S. dollars every month to fund free education.
"Increased enrollment in primary schools have left us with challenges of shortage of classrooms and desks. We request education stakeholders to keep on supporting the government," said the President.