The Commission for Science and Technology (Costech) in partnership with the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), a UK aid investment in innovation in Tanzania, launched the third innovation showcasing platform to celebrate and foster cross-sectoral collaboration in the country.
Costech Director General Dr. Hassan Mshinda told the media yesterday in Dar es Salaam that innovation week will link Tanzanian researchers, technology experts and entrepreneurs.
The linkage will also include creative designers, development professionals and policy makers under one roof where important and necessary partnerships will be born.
Dr Mshinda added that the exhibition will run for five days effective next Monday, with most events taking place at COSTECH.
For his part, Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) Team Leader David B. McGinty said, “This year more than ever we are striving to reach out to people and organisations willing to take ownership of the conversation and create new connections across the Tanzania innovation ecosystem,”
The HDIF Team leader added: “HDIF’s vision is that together Tanzanians can continually collaborate to design, test and scale innovations that help Tanzania accelerate human development.”
McGinty said that about 35 grantees were part of HDIF’s £30 million investment fund who will be showcasing their work throughout the week.
This year’s theme centres on five components including development, research, entrepreneurship, design, and technology.
He added that participants will get the chance to be involved in creative storytelling workshops for development, co-create an episode on innovation with Ubongo kids, listen to promising university student-led start-ups, explore research driven innovations by the Ifakara Health Institute, and get an insight into development partner’s donor-funded approaches including the ‘Principles for Digital Development’.
Among highlights of the innovation week will be the launch of Fursa Youth Summit that will bring together youth, leaders in the society, development partners, entrepreneurs and academia to start a dialogue on youth entrepreneurial opportunities and challenges.
HDIF supports Tanzanian innovators with opportunities to find new solutions to the country’s health, education, water and sanitation challenges.
The Human Investment Team Leader in Tanzania for the Department for International Development (DFID) Jane Miller, for her part, commented, “I have been so impressed by the many Tanzanian innovators that I have met across the country. These people know firsthand the problems and therefore can create solutions that really work.”
She explained that not all ideas will be successful and hence HDIF allows innovators to take risks and try things out.
“From what I have seen, innovators work best when they collaborate with people from other sectors.”
Jane said that innovation week in Tanzania is the time when innovators come out of the woodwork where people with ideas can become inspired.
“ I believe that strengthening innovation in Tanzania is a way to accelerate the countries growth, raise the profile of the country across the world, as well as tackle some Tanzania’s most difficult social and economic challenges.” she said, adding: “I applaud COSTECH for the critical role it plays in inspiring, encouraging, and supporting innovators and innovation in Tanzania.”