Zimbabwe University Leads the Way in Scientific Innovation Science and Technology

GZU registers nine trademarks with ARIPO and develops various products from local heritage.

by Motoni Olodun

The Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) has achieved remarkable scientific milestones in various fields, including agro-innovation, herbal medicine, language translation, and intellectual property. The university in Masvingo has registered nine trademarks with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and has six more pending certification.

The trademarks are for beverages, health supplements, and skin care products derived from local heritage and natural resources. The university’s innovation hub has also developed other products such as chilli sauce, wezhira wine, jiri jam herbal mahewu, and nyanda spice.

According to the university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Rungano Zvobgo, the products can create employment, improve the nutritional status, and enhance the well-being of the people. He also said that the university was researching various agro-innovations at different stages of development.

Some innovations include organic fertilizer from sugar cane filter cake mixtures, herbal medicines from indigenous plants, and a digital application that can translate between different languages in Zimbabwe.

The university has also made strides in rural industrialization and community development. It launched its traditional grains milling company in Chiredzi in August 2023 and is set to establish a poultry abattoir at the same site. The project promotes mass production and consumption of indigenous products while leveraging cultural heritage for industrialization.

In addition, the university is playing a role in training broadcasters and media practitioners. It offered free training to broadcasters from 14 licensed Zimbabwean community radio stations at its radio station. The training was aimed at promoting solution journalism that contributes to the national vision of achieving middle-income status by 2030

The university is also embarking on an ambitious project to establish the first-ever national center of excellence in journalism and broadcasting. The center will house the first campus television, radio station, student-run newspaper, and content hub under one roof.

Professor Zvobgo said the university was guided by the Education 5.0 model, which emphasizes teaching, research, community service, innovation, and industrialization. He said that the university was committed to fostering creativity and innovation for the socio-economic growth of its member states through an effective intellectual property system.

He also expressed concern over losing staff and students due to various factors such as greener pastures and death. He said that drug and substance abuse had also accounted for some of the deaths and appealed for stricter laws and penalties for drug peddlers. He urged all adolescents and stakeholders to stop abusing drugs and other substances.

He congratulated the 4,899 students who graduated at a colorful ceremony that was presided over by President Mnangagwa, the Chancellor of all State universities. He said 64.5 percent of the graduates were female, up from 61 percent last year. He also highlighted two students who received the coveted Chancellor’s Award for being the overall best graduates.

The achievements of GZU are commendable and inspiring for other universities in Zimbabwe and Africa. They show how scientific innovation can be harnessed for sustainable development and social transformation.

Source: The Herald

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