On 14th December 2015, the newly appointed Deputy Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Eng. Stella Manyanya visited the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) to introduce herself as well as get a sense of what is going on at the COSTECH. Upon her arrival, Eng. Manyanya met with the COSTECH Director General, Dr. Hassan Mshinda who briefed her on the overview of the COSTECH and was later taken to the COSTECH’s Dar Teknohama Business Incubator (DTBi) where she met with the DTBi CEO Eng. George Mulamula along with the incubatees who showcased their innovations.
The Deputy Minister was then introduced to the Innovation space (BUNI), a Tanzania Information Society program (TANZICT) sponsored by the Finish government. BUNI is a meeting place for local ICT and developer community whereby registered Dar es Salaam residents utilize it free of charge to work on their ICT projects ideas, develop applications and business ideas.
Introducing the core activities of the BUNI to the Deputy Minister, the innovation manager, Mr. Jumanne Mtambalike said that space runs various events including meetings, conferences, workshops, competitions and training workshops that aim at encouraging young people to explore new mobile phone or computer software for the purpose of solving the problems facing the community. He also mentioned that currently, the space is embarking itself on manufacturing 3D printers using e-wastes and also, it is running a trial run of drones. “We have managed to come up with more than three 3D printers and two unmanned aerial vehicles, simply known as drones,” he marked.
The Deputy Minister was then introduced to the Management team and staff, whereby Dr. Mshinda delivered a presentation on the status of implementation of various projects at COSTECH, including its roles and functions, organization structure, performance of its strategic objectives for financial year 2015/16, achievements, challenges, and ways forward. Among other issues, the Deputy Minister was briefed on the main challenge facing the COSTECH being the delay, decrease and sometimes unavailability of research fund which sometimes fails the Commission to undertake some of the research activities, including providing scholarship to researchers and supporting R&D infrastructure rehabilitation.
COSTECH Director General Dr. Mshinda (far right) delivers a presentation on the status of implementation of various projects for the year 2015/16 during the visit of the Deputy Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Eng. Stella Manyanya.
The Deputy Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Eng. Stella Manyanya addresses the COSTECH employees during her visit to COSTECH. ON her left is the COSTECH Director General Dr. Mshinda
Winding up her visit, Eng. Manyanya commended the COSTECH management team on what they have achieved despite of various challenges they are facing. She assured the management that she will do her best to work closely with them in order to make sure that science, technology and innovation prevail in the country. “There is no way we can move from a low income country to a middle income country without investing on science, technology and innovation. We are glad that we have a president who is himself a scientist. He knows what research is, how long it takes and how much is needed to invest in order to get positive results,” she commented.
She also added that she will do what it takes to persuade the private sector contributes to research and innovation activities. “I trust if private sector such as banks provides soft loans to innovators and researchers, we will see the impact immediately,” she concluded. Eng. Manyanya also reminded the COSTECH employees to work relentlessly in order to go hand in hand with the president’s slogan “Hapa Kazi Tu.”