business meeting 20.09.10.jpgThe lack of consensus between the government, the private sector and research and development institutions has emerged as a major stumbling block curtailing ability of local scientists to help industry overcome production challenges.

Local industry is facing viability constraints which have been exacerbated by ageing equipment and the inability to repair machinery due to inadequate working capital.

This has been coupled with debilitating effects of illegal sanctions imposed on the country which have induced economic challenges over the past few years. 

However, the local research and development fraternity has been powerless in helping industry solve its challenges leading to calls for a concerted approach to enhance the contribution of local scientists and researchers to economic development.

Speaking at a workshop to revise the National Science and Technology Policy and Implementation Plan as well as the launch of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Status Report, Science and Technology Development, Permanent Secretary, Professor Francis Gudyanga said there is need to revise implementation strategies.

Zimbabwe has a high potential to thrive in research and development boasting the highest literacy rate in Africa, 13 universities and several polytechnics.

However, partnerships between institutions and the private sector are lacking.

UNESCO International Consultant, Professor Micheal Khan said countries such as South Korea immensely benefited from co-operation in research and development, emerging from an agro-based economy in the 60s to become a manufacturer of export products.

Endowed with vast mineral resources such as gold, diamonds and platinum as well as vast land for agricultural activities, Zimbabwe has a huge potential to be a net exporter of commodities.

To achieve this, urgent intervention is needed from the all sectors to mechanise local industry.