Jamaica has pledged to provide Tanzania with an athletics coach as its contribution towards the development of the sport in the country.
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller gave the pledge when she met with President Jakaya Kikwete in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the side lines of the African Union’s 50th Anniversary celebrations over the weekend.
The Jamaican Prime Minister asked President Kikwete what assistance Tanzania needed from Jamaica, to which President Kikwete outlined science teachers and an athletics coaches in order to revive the sport that made the country proud in the 1970s when it was one of the athletics powerhouses in the world.
Prime Minister Simpson-Miller told the Tanzanian President that Jamaica was capable of assisting in both fields, adding she would ensure an athletics coach was sent to Tanzania.
President Kikwete has been in the forefront in developing sports in the country by engaging expatriate coaches and paying their salaries. On June 29, 2006, Marcio Maximo from Brazil was appointed head coach of the national football team, Taifa Stars, with the government paying his salary and other benefits.
In august 2010, Kikwete extended the offer to Maximo’s successor Jan Poulsen from Denmark, with incumbent national coach Kim Poulsen also on the government’s payroll.
The Netball Association of Tanzania also enjoyed the President’s generosity when in 2010 it was allowed to engage an Australian expatriate, Simone McKinnis, who, however, stayed in the country for four months only.
Under the president’s initiative, the government had also hired athletics, boxing and judo coaches from Cuba and recently, President Kikwete agreed to pay the salary of national basketball team coach Albert Sokaitis from the United States of America.
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