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MSU’s innovation hub targets expansion

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THE Midlands State University (MSU) believes the implementation of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) will enable the institution to diversify into other projects, chief among them the production of pharmaceuticals.

This comes following the successful establishment of their industrial park — an innovation hub focussing in manufacturing, chemical production, infrastructure and printing among other things and is being tipped to play a huge developmental role in the Midlands province and the country as a whole.

The industrial park has developed road surfacing material, for which MSU holds a patent, and is now awaiting certification, in a development that could save the country millions of dollars.

The innovation hub which employs more than 100 people has also produced face masks, PPE and hand sanitisers in the wake of Covid-19 which are being sold to different sectors across the country.

As the country prepares for the implementation of the NDS1 next month, MSU Hub executive director Alex Mukwembi is anticipating an even huge growth for the learning institution in terms of production.

NDS1 which is replacing the outgoing Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), is the government’s economic blueprint for the next five years.

“Basically, we are saying we want to make sure we produce everything that is required by the nation. We want to be one of the best manufacturers of whatever is needed in response to the national requirements.

“Over and above what we are currently doing, the next programme that we are looking at is the production of pharmaceuticals from indigenous herbs.

“We realised that we have a lot of resources that can be converted into medicinal products. Gone are the days where we would look outside the country for assistance. Already, we have our team which is currently carrying out research and we hope NDS1 will actually help us realise our dreams,” Mukwembi told the Daily News on Sunday last week.

Apart from pharmaceuticals, Mukwembi said they also intend to move into water bottling.

“We want to have a water bottling plant. We have realised that sometimes we import a lot of water, we also buy from different manufacturers around even for the university’s use and thus we want to cut on those unnecessary costs and also welling to others,” he said.

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