Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) will be holding a Technovation Day tomorrow (19 June). This event is meant to provide companies and organisations in the science, engineering and technology sector a platform to showcase research and development outputs, products and services.
Invited to attend are University academics, students, practitioners in the field and interested parties. The other idea behind the event is to create an opportunity for networking and building partnerships with companies and organisations within the same sector thereby creating an opportunity for future clients and customers.
I have always struggled to understand how our own technology universities are not at the forefront of producing the cutting edge solution of today’s problems or as one of the platforms and partners for start-ups in innovation and technology development.
How is there no solar farm prototype for the government or other players in energy to invest in to solve today’s inadequate electricity supply? How is there no assembly plant for laptops, phones, refrigerators, televisions and other electricals? After all, we do have the Uranium deposits at Kanyemba Mine. Why did Daniel Chingoma’s plane rust and rot with no support? Why doesn’t the government have an ICT research facility providing research into the use of ICT in government departments? Why are resettled farmers still using firewood barns to cure tobacco.
This is not to say that all universities are not making inroads into those areas. Institutions like NUST have has successes through guys like the Saisai Wireless team and Takunda Chingonzo. There are cases from HIT itself, like the airtime vendor inventor, George Chingore who actually dropped out of college.
We have these schools/brain banks churning out more degrees than solutions and they are conspicuous for their absence in the community of startups and silent in the character of controlled, sponsored and directed innovations. I hope this event is driven towards answering the above questions.
I also hope this event isn’t another eTech Africa or ICT Africa exhibition for companies selling their wares, otherwise we continue to polarise the tertiary sector from active youth innovators and entrepreneurs.
The Harare Institute of Technology will provide the following
• Furniture for the stand
• Strategic points for company branding
• Client pool of over 10 000 high school pupils and students in the higher education sector
HIT is also inviting interested parties to partner with them in this exciting initiative through advertising, provision of co-branded products, transport and logistics, provision of prizes for on-the-spot competitions to be held on that day.