May 5th 2015, The Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) in partnership with the US Embassy Dar es salam have awarded a total amount of 15,000 USD to the Winners of the Powering Africa Research Competition in a special ceremony at COSTECH Head quarters Kijitonyama Dar es Salaam. Powering Africa Research Paper Competition was a competition designed by COSTECH and US Embassy Dar es Salam to stimulate and gauge innovative ideas from Tanzanian’s on how the Power Africa initiative could be realized.

Jury Chairperson of the Competition Prof. Prosper Ngowi from Mzumbe said the main objective of the competition was for the University students to address the potential impact of power availability, demand, supply as well as consumption in the selected regions as a reflection of economic and social development by 2025. He said the Competition was for undergraduate students for the three selected regions and three Universities located in those regions. He said the selected Universities were University of Dar es Salaam in Dar es Salaam, St. Augustine university of Mwanza and Stella Maris university college of Mtwara.

The University of Dar es Salaam winners are Mr. Nickson Moses and Ms Angela Edes, Mr. Daudi Nkubile and Ms Neema Msemwa, Mr.    Emanuel Mmole and Mr. Emanuel Mchau. The St. Augustine University Winners are Mr. Fredy Peter and Mr. Kelvin Wagara, Mr. Nyanga Clarence and Ms Labule Beatrice. Others are Ms Agnes Msemo and Ms Irene Kabyemela.

Winners from Stella Maris university College are Mr Stephano Elias and Ms Euphranzia Robert,Ms Catherine Lukowa and Mr. Aluto Nyambo. Others are Mr. Bunde Sylvano and Ms Machoe Charles.

Delivering a speech on behalf of the Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology, the Director of Science and Technology in that Ministry Prof. Evelyn Mbede said the US State Department – US Embassy of Dar es Salaam together with COSTECH have demonstrated an innovative way to address future scenarios using research. Prof. Mbede said it was not common for young minds to be tasked to think forward using research. She said it was more common to solve current problems using research than looking into research to solve future challenges.  “I congratulate all the undergraduate students  from University of Dar es Salaam, St Augustine University and Stella Maris university college, They have participated well in this paper competition; What I can all say is  “ Research which will help to solve future challenges is the way to go for development”. She said.

She further encouraged the Youth to have the ability to see the future, analyze it and then reposition themselves towards positive goals for development. “You currently hear the slogan ‘Vijana ni Taifa la Kesho’ and its modification ‘ Vijana ni Taifa la Leo’ whichever you use, you are indeed the nation and thus need to be involved in not only reaping the benefits of what your parents have worked towards but contribute to ensuring sustainable socio-economic development and competitiveness of our country.”She noted. She reminded about the role of higher learning institutions to guide and assist students in implementing different projects and take on the challenges and leverage opportunities of development.  “I urge all higher learning Institution in Tanzania to use student projects to analyze and research on the varied challenges that face the respective regions where they occur, the communities and nation as a whole.”She said.

She further added that High learning Institutions have an important role to play in energizing young people to like research, science and technology. “No one undertakes research in physics with intention of winning a prize. It is the joy of discovering something no one knew before”. She noted reminding people to love research in order to solve their problems regardless of prizes “She insisted.

Referring to what Neil Armstrong once said Research was creating a new Knowledge” and in this case Prof. Mbede said Research should be used to create relevant knowledge. Prof. Mbede further stated that Students research projects that focus towards solving those challenges would accelerate the rate of development in different parts of our country.

The Guest of Honor, Director of Science and Technology from the Ministry of Communication Science and Technology, Prof. Evelyn Mbede delivers a speech during the Award Ceremony at COSTECH

The Guest of Honour,  Director of Science and Technology from the Ministry of Communication Science and Technology, Prof. Evelyn Mbede (Centre) Smiles when handing over a Cheque worth 1500 USD to Mr.  Cralence Nyanga (in a Black Suit) and Ms Labule Beatrice from St Augustine University of Tanzania. Looking on is a Power Africa Tanzania Inter-Agency Coordinator Ms. Sharon Pauling and Prof.  Ngowi from Mzumbe

A group photo

For her part, Power Africa Tanzania Inter-Agency Coordinator Ms. Sharon Pauling said the challenge of power was a big problem likely to affect the African economy. She said in order for any country to grow, Power and Energy is very important and that is why they decided to support the Students Research  Paper Competition.

She said in 2013, the President of United States of America Barack Obama visited Tanzania and announced the Power Africa initiative that would be supported by the USA. “In his announcement he said “It’s a win for Africa – families get to electrify their homes; businesses can run their plants; investors can say if we locate in an African country, that they’re going to be able to power up in a reliable way.  All this will make economies grow” Ms. Sharon Pauling noted.  COSTECH Acting Director General Dr. Ismail Tibazarwa said COSTECH would continue working with different stakeholders to coordinate and develop different research activities in the Country.

 “At COSTECH, We believe in Research as a solution to different problems in our country. We have been supporting different Research projects in the Country to find solutions in different sectors especially agriculture.”She said adding the move to support power and energy Research is something which can transform the Tanzanian economy” She said