SAIW empowers four Tanzanian students with internationally recognised certificates

The Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) is proud to announce the successful completion of core modules of the International Institute of Welding (IIW) international welder course by four pioneering Tanzanian students. This milestone not only underscores the SAIW's position as the only institute in Africa offering this globally recognised qualification but also highlights its commitment to ‘train the trainers’ a crucial step towards advancing welding skills across the continent.

The four students embarked on the IIW course at the SAIW’s Johannesburg campus in September 2024 to gain the advanced welding skills necessary to train other Tanzanian welders to meet the demands of major international projects in their country.

Opodi Ezekiel, Patrick Bandali Ngailo, and Manfred Michael Mapunda all work for the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) while Erick Suitbert Nkuna works for the Don Bosco Training Institute. They have now completed their courses and received the relevant training certificates.


Local projects, local skills base

The backdrop to the need for these types of welding skills is Tanzania’s burgeoning economy underpinned by its wealth of natural resources, including oil, gas, and minerals. The development of these resources is driving a growing demand for highly skilled welders; however, Tanzania lacks the domestic capacity to meet this demand and is often forced to rely on foreign welders.

Opodi Ezekiel explains; "The problem is these local welders are not qualified to participate in the international projects that are taking place in Tanzania. Fortunately, by completing the IIW international welder course at the SAIW, we have gained the knowledge and skills necessary to train other welders to this high standard.

"This opportunity also took us to South Africa so that we can have an education that will, first be internationally certified when we get the certificate, and when we return home, we'll train other more Tanzanians at this international level," he explains.

Ezekiel further emphasises the importance of the IIW certification. "International projects require certified welders. Without this certification, our local welders cannot participate in these high-profile projects," Ezekiel stated. This sentiment was echoed by his peers, who highlighted the comprehensive training received at SAIW, covering advanced welding techniques, safety standards, and the critical importance of following precise welding procedures.

Training the trainers

Overall, the SAIW is committed to playing a leading role in developing the welding skills of the African workforce. The institute's "train the trainers" program provides experienced welders with the necessary skills and knowledge to train others.

The graduation of the four Tanzanian students is therefore a significant milestone for SAIW's "train the trainers" program. It demonstrates the institute's ability to provide high-quality welding training that meets the needs of the African continent.

The program's success is a testament to ‌SAIW's excellence in welding training and its role in empowering African nations to develop their own skilled workforce. SAIW Welding School Manager Confidence Leokane comments; "This initiative is not just about enhancing the skill set of individual welders; it's about building the capacity of African nations to undertake their development projects with their own people.

"We aim to ensure that the continent's wealth of natural resources and infrastructure projects can be developed with local talent, reducing the reliance on international workers."

A ripple effect

What is clear is that the skills and knowledge that the Tanzanian students have gained at SAIW will have a ripple effect, as they return to their home country and begin training other welders. This will help Tanzania ‌develop its domestic welding workforce and reduce its reliance on foreign workers. As a result, the SAIW looks forward to continuing its role in this transformative initiative, working towards a future where Africa's welding professionals are internationally certified, highly skilled, and fully equipped to contribute to the continent's development projects.