28 June 2024

The United Nations Development Programme -UNDP has picked Zambia as the host of a Center of Excellence for Mining in Africa which will be located in Lusaka.

Technology and Science Minister Hon. Felix Mutati says UNDP has provided one billion dollars for 10 African countries to set up various Centers of Excellence with Zambia focusing on mining.

Mr. Mutati says the Center of Excellence will be called Timbuktoo and it will offer guidance on best mining techniques and operations across the continent.

Speaking on a panel discussion at the ongoing 58th Zambia International Trade Fair in Ndola this morning, Mr. Mutati said the setting up of the Center of Excellence along Airport Road in Lusaka is on course.

He disclosed that the Engineering Institution of Zambia has already presented the drawings for the center and final details are now being worked on.

Mr. Mutati also disclosed that a Kenyan venture capitalist is expected in the country in October to meet local innovators for possible funding.

Mr. Mutati said his Ministry will facilitate for innovators to meet the venture capitalist and showcase their ideas and prototypes in the hope of getting funding.

And UNDP Resident Representative James Wakiaga says the UN body wants to collaborate with both government entities and the private sector to strengthen the innovation ecosystem.

Mr. Wakiaga urged innovators on the Copperbelt to utilise the UNIPOD which the UNDP has set up with the Ministry of Technology and Science at the Copperbelt University in Kitwe.

Meanwhile, Zambia International Trade Fair Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chabuka has pledged that the Trade Fair will always offer an opportunity to innovators to showcase their works.

Mr. Chabuka says innovation must be supported because they offer solutions to society’s problems.


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