Zimbabwe’s Innovation Fair: A Showcase of Heritage-Based Education

President Mnangagwa to preside over the second edition of the annual event that celebrates the country's scientific and technological achievements

by Victor Adetimilehin

Zimbabwe is gearing up for the second Presidential Innovation Fair, an event that aims to highlight the country’s progress in science and technology, driven by the Heritage-Based Education 5.0 philosophy.

The fair, which is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2024, will bring together students, researchers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers from various sectors and institutions, both local and international, to exhibit their innovations that are market-ready or already at the commercialization stage.

The event is also an opportunity to attract venture capital, share ideas, benchmark standards, and recognize the best performers in the innovation landscape through the Presidential Innovation Awards.


Heritage-Based Education 5.0

The Presidential Innovation Fair is a manifestation of the Second Republic’s vision to transform higher education in Zimbabwe to promote the production of qualified specialists and technicians in fields such as natural and applied sciences, engineering and technology, medical and health sciences, and agriculture.

The vision is based on the Heritage-Based Education 5.0 model, which was adopted four years ago. It anchors teaching, research, community service, innovation, and industrialization.

The model seeks to leverage the country’s rich heritage and natural resources to solve national problems and create value-added products and services that can compete in the global market.

The model also aims to produce graduates who are not just job seekers, but job creators and innovators who can drive the country towards Vision 2030 of an empowered upper-middle-income economy.


Zimbabwe’s Scientific and Technological Achievements

The adoption of the Heritage-Based Education 5.0 model has already yielded positive results, as evidenced by the achievements of various institutions and individuals in the field of science and technology.

Some of the notable examples include:

– The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) developed a solar-powered electric car. They unveiled it at the inaugural Presidential Innovation Fair in 2023.

– A team of researchers from the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) discovered a new species of frog. They named it after President Mnangagwa in honor of his support for scientific research.

– The invention of a smart irrigation system by a young entrepreneur from Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE), which uses artificial intelligence and sensors to monitor soil moisture and crop growth.

– The winning of several awards and accolades by Zimbabwean students and researchers at international science competitions and fairs, such as the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the Africa Science Week, and the World Robot Olympiad.


Zimbabwe’s Innovation Ecosystem

We expect the second Presidential Innovation Fair to showcase more of Zimbabwe’s scientific and technological achievements, inspiring more young people to pursue careers and ventures in STEM fields.

Additionally, the event will strengthen collaboration and synergy among various stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem, including the government, academia, the private sector, and civil society.

President Mnangagwa, a champion of innovation and a patron of the Heritage-Based Education 5.0 model, will preside over the event.

Also, the President has repeatedly urged higher and tertiary education institutions to play a more significant role in national development and provide the essential knowledge and skills needed for the industrialization and modernization of the nation.

He has also expressed his confidence and optimism in the potential of Zimbabwe’s young innovators to make a positive impact on society and the economy.

Source: The Herald 

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