HARARE – University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) are set to partner and become the first state institutions in the country to offer nanotechnology, Professor Levy Nyagura said.
The UZ vice chancellor, Nyagura revealed this at CUT’s 10th anniversary celebrations in Chinhoyi last week.
Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at molecular level.
Nyagura said the joint venture will ensure that herbal medicines will be adequately utilised to benefit the indigenous people.
“We need to put to good use all our herbs that are lying dormant and refine them properly. Once this is achieved we will enter into nanomedicine,” Nyagura said.
Nyagura said nanotechnology will put some order into traditional herbal medicines which have over 2 000 medicinal plant species.
The programme will initially focus on research in nanomedicine and biosensors at UZ and energy at CUT.
He also said apart from the new scientific breakthrough, CUT and UZ had also entered into a joint venture where Chinese language and culture was offered as a class in the School of Tourism and Hospitality.
The vice chancellor emphasised how the good exploitative use of Chinese could be used by locals of Mashonaland West in their business operations with one of the fastest- growing economies in the world.
“When the local people of Chinhoyi and Mashonaland West learn Chinese it will act as a catalyst to empower them as business people to negotiate with the Chinese directly in their own language,” he said.
Governor of Mashonaland West Faber Chidarike highlighted the need for CUT to provide further training and advice to farmers in the area.
CUT contributes more than $12 million annually to the local economy, with funds emanating from accommodation rentals, food and personal expenditures from some 5 000 students staying off-campus.
The university is also the only institution of higher learning in the country that operates a successful hotel. – Helen Kadirire