Grab available opportunities, young innovators urged

DAR ES SALAAM: YOUNG innovators in the country have been urged to seize available opportunities, to contribute to propelling the country’s development at a rapid rate.

This was said on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ms Caroline Nombi as she officially opened the 2024 Innovation Week at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC).

Ms Nombi said that Tanzanian young innovators should take the lead in solving the country’s development challenges by creating innovations that address those problems.

She said the government appreciates and acknowledges the contribution of the young innovators, saying as the country prepares the Vision 2050 agenda, it cannot reach its target without the contribution of the innovators.

“These young people, through this meeting, have been aware of what is required for the country to successfully achieve its Vision 2050 strategy, and that without innovation, or science and technology, we will not succeed,” she said.

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She said that the pace of change in today’s world means that learning cannot be confined to the classroom or to a certain phase of life, saying that the country must promote continuous learning opportunities for individuals of all ages, whether through formal education, vocational training, or online platforms.

“In parallel, we are investing in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education to cultivate a workforce that is equipped to tackle the challenges of the future economy. By fostering a strong foundation in STEM disciplines, we empower our youth to contribute to innovation, research, and technological advancements that will drive economic growth and social development,” she said.

The PS said that the government recognises the importance of nurturing critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills among our learners, adding that these are the skills that will enable them to adapt to unforeseen challenges, seize opportunities and contribute meaningfully to society.

“As we look to the future, collaboration will be key. We must work hand in hand with stakeholders from across sectors – including government, academia, industry, and civil society – to co-create solutions that address the evolving needs of our human capital,” she said.

The meeting was the lead up to the National Week for Education, Skills and Innovation being organised by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and UNDP through its Funguo Innovation Programme.

The Innovation Week Tanzania 2024 sets the stage for a week-long exploration of innovative solutions to drive economic competitiveness themed “Speed Date with the Future: Navigating Tanzania’s Innovation Journey to 2050,” where Mr Sergio Valdini, Deputy Resident Representative – UNDP said this session aims to inspire, inform, and engage stakeholders in the exploration of global and national technological and innovation trends, and exploring how the country is poised to navigate through them on its economic growth path to 2050.

He said meeting current and future human capital needs through a progressive educational system requires a holistic and forwardthinking approach which demands innovation, collaboration and a steadfast commitment to excellence.

“As we continue on this journey, let us remain guided by the principles of inclusivity, quality, and lifelong learning, ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to fulfil their potential and contribute to the sustainable development of our nation,” he said.

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