The Herald (Harare)

31 October 2012

Zimbabwe: Zim Embraces Nanotech

Photo: Zahur Ramji/AKDN
Class science programs assist in expanding training for women.

The Government last week launched a national nanotechnology programme which seeks to anchor development of the science in the country.

Nanotechnology is an emerging technology, which involves undertaking processes and producing products at the atomic and molecular levels.

Under the national programme a Nanotechnology Directorate housed under the Ministry of Science and Technology Development has since been established.

Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Heneri Dzinotyiweyi said the directorate had agreed to explore projects on water purification, energy generation and medicine development.

"This calls for institutions, industrialists, and investor's and others to work with the national nanotechnology programme to achieve mutual benefits," he said.

"It is in this regard that we are interested in collaborating with the industrial sector, the mining sector and other productive sectors in order to initiate meaningful projects that can accelerate the growth of our economy," he said.

Professor Dzinotyiweyi said the programme would focus on learning the subject of nanotechnology as well as promoting commercialisation of new findings on the science.

Embassy of Iran technology co-operation attaché Mr Morteza Rastegaran said his country was ready to co-operate with Zimbabwe in the field of nanotechnology.

"Twelve years ago we did not know about this technology but we have had research and continue to learn about this subject.

"Our countries already enjoy good relations there is no way we cannot go on to extend co-operation in the field of nanotechnology. We are ready to assist with technology transfer or even set up a plant for nanomaterial," he said.

Countries that include China, Iran, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and South Africa have already embarked on nanotechnology initiatives.

Through nanotechnology objects become smaller but more durable, effective and refined.

The science has made a huge impact in the textile and health sectors in production of lighter but stronger clothing materials, better drug development methods and treatment methods.

While this is expected to bring about overwhelming financial gains, concerns have been raised that not enough research has been done on the impact of nanomaterial on the environment.

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