What UDSM 9th Research, Innovation Week means in society

DAR ES SALAAM: IF early civilizsations hadn’t been curious about the dark sky, we wouldn’t know anything about space. Decades of research have led us to where we are today: a civilized society with the knowledge and tools to move forward.

Thankfully, schools are becoming more concerned with science and technology, and research is finding its place in the minds of today’s students. Students are eager to make discoveries, create solutions to the world’s problems, and invent the next big thing.

We’re going places, one research project at a time. That definitely must have compelled Geita Gold Mining Limited (GGML) to pledge to continue working with the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) in developing research and innovation activities in the wake of addressing challenges facing people in the country.

Banking on the idea that research and Innovation drive economic growth by fostering the development of new industries, technologies, and products, the company has taken the approach to further help in new business establishments, attracting investments, generating employment opportunities, and enhancing productivity.

Making the revelation at the closure of the 9th Research and Innovation Week at the institution in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Simon Shayo, the Vice President for Sustainability and Corporate Affairs (Africa) at AngloGold Ashanti, of which GGML is a subsidiary, noted that research and development facilitate innovation, because they provide the necessary data and insight to launch new products and services.

He not only congratulated UDSM for declaring last week as Research and Innovation Week, but also promised that GGML will continue to sponsor the event to encourage more research and innovation projects in the country.

“We think we should continue to be partners in this area because we believe that no country in the world has made a big step forward without focusing on research and innovation. Some countries like Malaysia and Singapore 20 or 25 years ago invested more in research and innovation, that’s why we see now the steps they have made,” he pointed out.

During the event sponsored by the company featuring 306 projects, Mr Shayo added: “That’s why as a mining company, we believe that our presence in this country for close to 25 years adds value in implementing and attaining the National Development Plan 2025 and we believe that we will be part of the National Development Vision 2050.”

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He also urged the students to take advantage of the opportunities for research and learning, especially considering that the results of the innovations are used in various fields, including the mining sector.

Saying: “Research plays a crucial role in healthcare, education, technology, and social policy, among other fields. Without research, we would not be able to make the significant advancements that have improved our lives and contributed to the betterment of society.”

Elaborating, he said that in order to develop the talents of the graduates and enhance their experience in their professions; GGML absorbs 50 graduates from various colleges in the country on annual basis and provides them with one year practical training courses.

He said the graduates, 50 per cent of whom are women, acquire skills and experience in various areas in the mining sector.

On his part, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Dr Franklin Rwezimula, apart from extolling the company’s sponsoring, he called for widening the scope of the Research and Innovation Week, especially by involving research partners whose activities are registered and relevant in the institution’s academic departments.

“The results of research conducted by various universities in the country, including the University of Dar es Salaam, have been important for references in the implementation of various national, regional and international policies, plans and strategies,” he pointed out.

“This event provides a good platform in encouraging a generation of young academicians to engage in research and innovation that respond to economic and social challenges in our country and the world at large.”

He said that if universities in Tanzania showcase their academic work and research results to the public, they will influence the government and the labour market, improve the existing relationship between universities and employers and donors, and ultimately create opportunities for collaboration within and outside the country.

On his part, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Research, Prof. Nelson Boniface thanked the company for making the event a success, with staff and students participating in showcasing their various research and innovation activities and projects at the appropriate level.

The Research and Innovation Week is a key university platform for promoting research and innovation through dissemination, stakeholder engagement and public awareness of important initiatives, activities and impact of the University’s research and innovation.

The theme this year was Fostering Research and Innovation through University-Industry Partnerships.

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