The RCZ successfully hosted the 11th Zimbabwe International Research Symposium on 16 and 17 February 2017 at the Harare International Conference Centre. The Symposium was held under the theme “Research for Unlocking Entrepreneurship: Bridging the Gap”.
In presenting the objectives of the 11th ZIRS, RCZ Executive Director Mrs S Muzite stated that the symposium sought to bring the research results to entrepreneurs for socio-economic transformation.
As key players in the economy, entrepreneurs increasingly need to acquire new knowledge to innovate. RCZ, therefore, wants to promote the uptake of research findings by entrepreneurs.
The importance of entrepreneurs at the 11th Symposium was again echoed by Dr Garwe, the 11th ZIRS Organising Committee Chairperson in her welcome remarks where she indicated that RCZ collaborated with a number of partners to bring the event to fruition.
Of particular mention are the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises Cooperative Development, Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, UNICEF, Tobacco Research Board and the Indian Embassy who ensured that we brought together entrepreneurs from Zimbabwe and India to meet with researchers. This created a platform for sharing of entrepreneurial knowledge between Zimbabwean and Indian Entrepreneurs.
The 11th ZIRS programme included a Plenary Session that featured a presentation by Professor Gudyanga, the Secretary for Mines and Mining Development, on Small Scale Mining in Zimbabwe. The Secretary highlighted opportunities in the sector emphasising the importance of value addition and beneficiation of minerals. The presentation was concluded by proffering Government’s interventions towards the sector’s viability.
The Chief General Manager of the National Small Industries Corporation of India, Mr. Satvinda Singh presented on the Indian Incubation Programme for Entrepreneurs. Mr. Satvinda reaffirmed the Indian Government’s support to local entrepreneurs through the Incubation Centres Programme. The Incubation Programme will result in ten countries receiving support to set up incubation centres for entrepreneurs with Zimbabwe being one of the beneficiaries. The presentation also shared success stories of the Indian entrepreneurial experience
Engineer G. Magombo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) presented on the importance of Research and Development in the energy sector. Particular focus was on research in renewable energy in line with the ZIMASSET target of increasing the country’s energy generation capacity by 300MWi. She also mentioned ZERA’s contribution in supporting renewable energy projects in Solar Biogas Tobacco Curing, Solar water heating efficacy, Jatropha Multi- Purpose Plant, and increased production of biofuel.
The 11th ZIRS held over two days saw a total of 97 papers being presented under Social Sciences and Humanities, Sustainable Environment and Resource Management, Promoting and Maintaining Good Health, and the National Security of Zimbabwe theme areas.
Over forty companies took part in this year’s exhibitions. Of particular note were the displays by the entrepreneurs in manufacturing, engineering, mining and agro-processing sectors. The exhibitions also included universities, colleges, research boards, parastatals and government ministries.