Zimbabwe will hold the first joint edition of the Research and Intellectual Expo – Science, Engineering and Technology (RIE – SET) expo next week to showcase creative activity and scholarship as the country bolsters efforts to tap ideas from institutions of higher learning to solve some of the country’s pressing problems.
The RIE – SET Week expo, an initiative by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development will be held from September 3 to 6 at the University of Zimbabwe and will run under the theme: “Engagement, Innovation and Diversity for National Transformation and Development.”
By Sifelani Tsiko
Engineer Quinton Kanhukamwe, Vice Chancellor of the Harare Institute of Technology and organizing committee member of the RIE – SET Week, said this was for the first time that the expo was bringing in RIE expo which had been run successful in the past three years with the SET expo component which also sought to promote science, engineering and technology in the Sadc region.
He said the major thrust of the joint expo was to create a platform where institutions of higher learning would engage with the community by showcasing research innovations that aim to solve a myriad of problems facing the country.
“In undertaking this expo we are guided by the ZimAsset blue print. All the four clusters are critical and institutions will aim to play their part in coming up with ideas that can transform our country,” he said.
“We want to tell everybody out there that we are there to respond to the national needs. There will be exhibitors from Iran and South Africa.”
Zim-Asset is government’s new economic development blueprint built around four strategic clusters, namely food security and nutrition, social services and poverty eradication, infrastructure and utilities, and value addition and beneficiation.
The strategic clusters together with two sub-clusters, the fiscal reform and the public administration, governance and performance management will guide national development for the next five years.
The RIE – SET Week seeks to harness research and intellectual work by Zimbabweans both at home and in the Diaspora for national development.
It also provides a platform for sharing knowledge, networking and collaborating by stakeholders in higher and tertiary education in Zimbabwe – Government and State agencies, industry and commerce, strategic regional and global bodies, local civil society networks, the public and higher and tertiary education institutions.
Participating institutions include all universities, polytechnics, technical colleges, vocational training centres, independent research institutions, individual researchers and academics from the region and the Diaspora.
The expo will address a range of critically important themes in the various fields that make up the humanities, science and the expressive arts today.
Plenary speakers will include some of the leading thinkers in various disciplines as well as numerous paper, workshop and poster presentations by researchers.
The thrust is to provide a platform from which Zimbabweans would find out about the new research outputs being produced in higher and tertiary education institutions.
The inaugural RIE Expo was held in 2011 and subsequent editions have established a reputation as a focal point for new ideas and new practices in research, learning and technological and socio-economic development. President Mugabe made his inaugural lecture for the expo in 2012.
Two research journals will also be launched.