Innovation hubs prepare for Sadc exhibition

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Innovation hubs prepare for Sadc exhibition  The University of Zimbabwe boasts one of the biggest innovation hubs on the continent

Mukudzei Chingwere, Herald Reporter

ZIMBABWE’s innovation hubs have taken off and are performing well, laying a healthy seed of industrialisation that will soon have a telling effect on the economy and will be showcased to international exhibitors during the SADC Summit next month.

This was said by the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Hodson Makurira, in an interview with The Herald after senior Government officials had toured UZ to assess the institution’s readiness to host President Mnangagwa’s public lecture next month as part of the summit fixture.

Prof Makurira said its all hands on deck ahead of the summit and was confident they will be ready well ahead of time, adding that they will take the opportunity to also showcase the country’s innovation hubs.

The innovation hubs, a brainchild of the Second Republic, were created as President Mnangagwa sought to lay incubators from which ideas and science-based solutions can be nurtured to answer national economic challenges.

At the centre of these challenges, authorities noted, was the country’s knack to almost always look beyond its borders for finished products, while at the same time exporting raw products thus very little contributed back to source.

Even services, including what appeared to be basic, were being outsourced thus dampening the country’s industrialisation quest.

This, however, changed when President Mnangagwa championed the point that Zimbabwe will develop on its resources and use local expertise.

Innovation hubs have in several sectors cut the country’s export bill and this is sure to surge once they get into mass production.

“The highlight will be the public lecture that will be delivered by Head of State and Chancellor, President Mnangagwa,” said Prof Makurira.

“We are very excited that the President will be here with his colleagues from the region and for us to host the President and his visitors is an honour. We are very grateful to play that role on behalf of other tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe.

“We have taken up the challenge to be prepared so that everything is in place ahead of the said times. The areas where there will be activities we will meet the targets well ahead of time”.

On innovation hubs, Prof Makurira said they will also showcase the innovations that they have as part of the UZ community.

“We are proud of our innovations. I think you have visited our innovation hub. It’s one of the biggest in the country,” he said.

“There are a number of exciting innovations, start-up companies that have come through our students’ projects, innovations and also supported by our partners across the country. There is a window for exhibitions for innovations, we are very excited and looking forward to showcasing our innovations.

“We have already started exporting some of our innovations and this is an opportunity to widen that horizon, we are very excited to take advantage of the opportunity of the SADC Summit.

“We will be looking for partnerships and growing our exports as well as our innovations, we are also willing to commercialise some”.