The Research Council of Zimbabwe recently signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe Open University and Lupane State University. The MOUs signed with the three institutions are for linking the RCZ National Research Database of Zimbabwe (NRDZ) to the respective Institutional Repository (IR).

The NRDZ developed and launched by the RCZ in 2011 is an online platform for research promotion and publicity through open access sharing of research information among researchers in Zimbabwe and globally. The facility allows data from all other research databases in Zimbabwe to be accessible from one portal, the NRDZ.

First to be signed was the MOU with the Great Zimbabwe University that was signed on 23 June 2017. This was followed by the MOU with Zimbabwe Open University signed on 04 August 2017. The MOU with Lupane State University was signed on 08 August 2017. The MOU between RCZ and GZU was signed taking advantage of the advent of information and communication technologies where the MOU was signed at GZU first and mailed to RCZ to sign.

The main objective of linking all institutional repositories in Zimbabwe to the National Research Database is to promote and publicise research work done by Zimbabwean through voluntary sharing of research information.

Speaking at the signing ceremony held at ZOU offices on 04 August 2017 Prof. Ncube, ZOU Acting Vice Chancellor acknowledged the RCZ’s efforts and support for research in the country. Prof Ncube stated that coming on board of ZOU on this project was a result of the level of confidence with RCZ programmes and activities. The RCZ Executive Director Mrs S Muzite added that signing of the MOU showed the two organisations’ commitment of working together more closely in increasing visibility of research undertaken at ZOU while enhancing collaboration among government agencies, research institutes and universities.

The signing ceremony held at LSU was combined with a the presentation on the National Science Technology and Innovation System (NSTIS), the “Great Indaba” for launching the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) in this sector for strengthening linkages among players.  The meeting was informed of the pending Great Indaba scheduled for 04 October 2017 in Harare. The LSU community was invited to be part of the process for setting up Zimbabwe’s NSTIS. Linking of the LSU IR to the NRDZ was a significant step in the right direction towards solidifying collaboration among players in the NSTIS.