The maiden Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Research Council of Zimbabwe was held on 26 August 2016 at Cresta Oasis Hotel in Harare. Representatives from the Office of the President and Cabinet, Government Ministries and Departments, Private Sector and Sectorial Research Councils, who are the stakeholders, attended the meeting. The AGM was the first of its kind to be held at RCZ.

The Council’s financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2015 audited by the Auditor General and given an unqualified opinion were presented. The Auditor General observed the understaffing position at RCZ as one area needing immediate attention. A copy of the 2015 Annual Report, with Audited Financials was distributed to stakeholders for information. The report also featured major achievements and milestones of RCZ in 2015. A copy of 2015 Annual Report can be downloaded from the RCZ website.

Ms M Chitewe, RCZ Board Member

Ms M Chitewe, RCZ Board Member

The Chairman’s report was presented by Ms M Chitewe, RCZ Board Member with emphasis being on the need for an improvement on the RCZ funding position by Government to at least 1% of the GDP

The Chairperson also noted the RCZ provides platforms for promotion of research and uptake of research results for improved goods, services and policies. One such platform is the Zimbabwe International Research Symposia series, held biennially. Ten symposia have been held since 1988, the latest being the 10th Zimbabwe International Research Symposium (ZIRS) hosted in February 2015. The ZIRS platform is also used to celebrate research excellence, notably the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Award which was given for the first time at the 10th ZIRS for outstanding research.

Mrs Muzite RCZ Executive Director gave presentations on RCZ programmes that highlighted accomplishments of RCZ in 2015, adding to a long line of successes in the history of this organisation. Other presentations made on the day include a presentation of the financial statements by Mr Samkange, RCZ Board member. The Finance, Administration and Human Resources Chairman’s report was presented by Mr Nyarota, RCZ Board Member who bemoaned the lack of financial support towards research.

Stakeholders acknowledged the good work that is being done by RCZ to support research, with particular mention being made about the National Research Database of Zimbabwe. The NRDZ was said to be providing access to a lot of useful research to support and enable decision making in various organisations. Stakeholders adopted all reports presented at the meeting.