14 May 2019

Youth Innovators Awarded at Annual National Science & Technology Innovation Competition

Youth Innovators Awarded at Annual  National Science & Technology Innovation Competition

Merchades Method Rutechura- Dar es Salaam

The Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) was among the institutions that participated in the Annual National Science, Technology and Innovation Competition (MAKISATU) at Nyerere Square in Dodoma from 5th – 7th March 2019. The event was inaugurated by the Deputy Minister for Education, Science and Technology Hon. William Tate Olenasha and concluded by the Hon. Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Joyce Ndalichako. Delivering the introductory remarks, the Deputy Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Prof. James Mdoe briefed that MAKISATU was organised as a way to compliment the current President of the United Republic of Tanzania Dr. John Magufuli’s Agenda on industrialization and also as a directive from the Minister for Education, Science and Technology as part of implementing the Ministry's Instrument.

 “MAKISATU is an Annual event with the objectives of identifying, strengthening, celebrating and developing the innovation spirit among Tanzanians. This year, it is managed through a category of levels starting with innovators from Secondary schools, Informal sector, Vocational colleges, Technical (tertiary) colleges,  Universities and Research and Development institutions,” 

Speaking during the launch, Honorable Olenasha said that in order for any country in the world to be able to make progress, it has to depend heavily on the contribution of science, technology and innovation. “With the trend that Tanzania is currently taking, investing in science, technology and innovation, we have no doubt that we can reach the middle economy that is led by industrialization,” he assured the participants. Honorable Olenasha also encouraged the innovators to come up with more innovative solutions that will address challenges in society. “I am grateful for the innovations that are exhibited and will be more grateful for innovators out there if they will continue to come up with innovative solutions for challenges that are troubling our communities,” he added.

During the competition, ten national innovators from the categories of Secondary schools, Informal sector, Vocational colleges, Technical (tertiary) colleges, Universities and Research and Development institutions were selected to showcase their innovations for three days. The innovators were evaluated based on various criteria including the originality, the rate of innovation, the impact to community development, the science behind, usability on community, and cost of production among others. Exhibition competition ran for two days and in the third day, the Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Prof. Joyce Ndalichako awarded the best three winners in each category.

Addressing the masses during the award ceremony, Prof. Ndalichako revealed that her ministry has long been concentrating in education but has now decided to focus on science, technology and innovation so as to explore and identify Tanzania's potentials the field. “As a ministry, we are currently creating conducive environment that promotes innovative ideas; the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics among students, and we will continue to engage STI stakeholders in funding and promoting STI activities for industrialization,” she revealed adding that the annual national STI exhibition competition was one of the means that her ministry will utilize to identify, cherish, nurture, develop innovative spirits in science, technology and innovation among the youth so that they can contribute to industrialization.

The Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Prof. Joyce Ndalichako waves to the participants while enjoying a ride  in an electric car innovated by a student from Tanzania’s National Institute of Transport.

In addition to presenting the awards to MAKISATU winners, the guest of honour also handed over the checque worth of 1.9 billion shillings to innovators who won the project write ups for 32 innovation projects and 15 projects aiming at establishing innovation centres. The funds was a support from the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). The Annual National STI Competition was organised by COSTECH in collaboration with Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) and the Vocational Training Authority (VETA) with close supervision from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI). Attended by more than 500 participants, the event featured more than 65 exhibition pavilions, 120 innovations and 1,000 individual visitors. A total of 18 innovations (3 from each category) were awarded prizes by the Guest of Honor, Hon. Prof. Joyce Ndalichako , during the closing ceremony.

The Deputy Minister for Education, Science and Technology Hon. William Tate Olenasha  officiates the competition