Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will this Friday officially commission the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Innovation Hub here during the institution’s 25th graduation ceremony. Nust director of communication and marketing Mr Felix Moyo said all is set for the commissioning.
“President Mnangagwa, who is also our Chancellor, will commission our innovation hub on Friday during the university’s 25th graduation ceremony,” said Mr Moyo.
“The building that will be commissioned is part of several hubs that will be built at the institution. This one in particular will house software developers as well as AGTC among other researchers.”
Mr Moyo said the innovation hub is of strategic importance to Nust as the institution seeks to locate its place in the industrialisation of the country.
“The innovation hub is a brainchild of our parent ministry, which is driving innovation and industrialisation of the country through novelty in higher and tertiary institutions,” said Mr Moyo.
“Nust being a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) institution is also trying to locate its position as far as industrialisation of Zimbabwe is concerned while configuring itself towards implementing the ministry’s Education 5.0 vision where universities are required to address socio-economic problems affecting the country.”
President Mnangagwa is spearheading the country’s economic transformation with institutions of higher learning playing a leading role.
This thrust has seen the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development introducing Education 5.0 whose aim is to produce goods and services as opposed to just churning out graduates who have no capacity or entrepreneurial skills to create jobs.
Nust’s innovation hub will incubate brilliant ideas from students and staff before they are developed into new business enterprises.
Government has already commissioned the University of Zimbabwe and Midlands State University’s innovation hubs and the President has reiterated that universities should drive the transformational trajectory towards an upper middle income economy by 2030.
Recently, Nust Pro-Vice Chancellor Innovation and Business Development Dr Gatsha Mazithulela revealed the innovation hub’s plans including coming up with a local software to address delays in payment systems via banks.
The innovation hub will also house the university’s pacesetters, including the Applied Genetic Testing Centre (AGTC), popularly known as the DNA lab, which is already involved in groundbreaking national projects.
Students will develop prototypes at the innovation hub before they are fine-tuned for commercialisation and industrialisation.
Meanwhile, the Nust Faculty of Communication and Information Science is also set to launch the Southern African Journal of Communication and Information Science whose aim is to address information and communication challenges affecting the region.
The journal’s editor-in-chief and lecturer in the Department of Records and Archives Management, Dr Peterson Dewah yesterday said the journal was initially set to be launched last month, but the launch has been deferred to next year.
He said the journal would seek to tackle fake news, proper usage of social media as well as using records to fight endemic corruption.
“Records keeping is very important. There are some corruption cases that just collapse because there is no evidence. But if there is proper records keeping, the courts might be provided with correct records that show the fraud that took place, the malpractice that may have taken place and someone can be convicted.
“Corruption can be fought using correct record keeping,” Dr Dewah said.
“For anything to be achieved you need information. Information plays a very important role when it comes to tackling structural issues like poverty, availability of medicine, people need information on healthy nutrition.
“We will be providing the necessary information so that society is aware of what is happening. The availability of information is good for development.”
Dr Dewah said the journal would also improve the university’s global ratings.