By Columbus Mabika
Zimbabwe needs to do more scientific and technical research as this is vital for national growth and the nation cannot rely on importing skills, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda said recently.
Officiating during the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between the ZDF and Scientific Industrial Research and Development Council (SIDRC), Gen Sibanda said investing in research and development was key for African nations in eradicating the dependency syndrome.
Under the agreement, the two organisations are set to cooperate in various areas of scientific research and development.
“Research is crucial for sustainable development of any nation or organisation,” said Gen Sibanda.
“Countries and organisations which neglect research today do so at a big cost to the welfare of the future. This is because they remain reliant on other countries and organisations without the intellectual development of their own human capital and products base.
“The ZDF and SIRDC have just made a strong statement through this MoU to the effect that we want to reduce our continued dependency on other organisations and countries.”
Gen Sibanda said failing to sponsor research and development programmes, had seen countries and organisations export jobs and development opportunities to those supporting research and development programmes to the detriment of their economies and citizens.
Research and development was key to the attainment of Vision 2030, and the ZDF will contribute through strategic innovative research, he said.
“While Vision 2030 seeks a middle income economy for Zimbabweans, the ZDF sees strategic and innovative research as a key component to the achievement of these objectives,” said Gen Sibanda.
“We as the ZDF, we should be able to play our part in the achievement of this vision through such collaboration as this one with SIRDC.”
SIRDC chief executive Professor Robson Mafoti said the agreement formalises and consolidates the various working relationships his organisation has had with the ZDF.
“The scope of the MoU entails comprehensive partnerships for strategic engagements between our two organisations,” he said.
“Under the provisions, the parties will cooperate and collaborate by conducting joint research and development in the area of science and technology to achieve and fulfil agreed goals and objectives as spelt out in the agreement.”
Prof Mafoti said the agreement was also an opportunity for ZDF and SIRDC to pool resources and engage in a strategic research for the development that solve problems Zimbabwe is facing.
“Our joint research will be focused on resolving the challenges facing our nation and also contributing to the national blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1, leading to the realisation of Vision 2030,” he said.