The government will provide free land to investors intending to build facilities for innovation, research and development, while equipment and materials for such centers will be imported duty-free, targeted to promote science-led development. As part of the stimulus, President Mnangagwa has said.
Among other uses in these facilities, a research and innovation fund will be set up to bankroll research and innovation, while the government will bear the costs for patent registration and roll-out and application of research in commercial applications.
Writing in his column for The Sunday Mail, the president, who said local scientists should be at the center of a transformational program, called for diaspora experts to move back home and leverage on science, technology and innovation. Called to be a part of the revolution. for development.
“First of all, we provide facilities for innovation, research and development. Additionally, we encourage, through incentives, any Zimbabweans who wish to complement the government in building such facilities and innovation centres. The land will be provided free of cost,” he said.
“Whatever technology, mechanical support and materials would be required for such facilities would be made duty free in the country. My government is ready to provide research parks across the country, so research and development is conducted in situ. ”
He said that the benefit of the research fund would go to the local scientists based abroad who intend to relocate home.
It will also be used by local scientists in the diaspora to sponsor research with implications for the Zimbabwean economy.
Visiting experts who “cross-fertilize” with local scientists will also be catered for.
“Our industries will be primed to accommodate trials and industrial applications as we seek to transform and modernize our economy.”
He said the strategy would be biased towards development of technologies needed to modernize the operations of small farmers as well as small to medium enterprises.
These two sub-sectors are considered major drivers of economic change.
“State procurement policies will develop a clear bias towards buying local technologies and solutions, and will fund fairs and platforms where local inventions are displayed, both here at home and abroad.
“Both our Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and our agricultural show annually should develop categories where local inventions are showcased and rewarded.
“So, too, should our mining entrance and other fairs start focusing on innovation in the industry.”
The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development is currently preparing for a major conference on Science, Technology and Innovation.
The conference will attract local scientists including expatriates.
President Mnangagwa directed government ministries to collaborate with industry to identify potential research areas and engage local scientists and innovators to develop solutions.
He said that the strategy of transformation should be based on good deployment of information communication technologies.
“Research has shown that a 10 percent increase in broadband penetration is associated with a 1.4 percent increase in GDP growth in emerging markets,” the president said.
“This is no small contribution of technology.
“The transition to technology-driven production processes is essential to digitizing Zimbabwe economically.
“It’s a major enabler.”
President Mnangagwa called on Zimbabwean scientists living abroad to return home.
He said that his administration is establishing an ideal living and operating environment which is conducive to his work.
Zimbabwe’s economy, he said, is “a vast laboratory and innovation hub” that requires its innovative citizens.
“We have decided on value addition and beneficiation.
“We have decided on local value chains. We have decided on technology-assisted transformation of our economy.
“All of these make our economy a giant laboratory and innovation hub that all our creative citizens cry out for.
“As your president, I say come back from wherever you went.
He said, ‘I say come forward from wherever our inaccessible attitude and policies have sent you.
“There is now a place for you in the sun in your country.”