The University of Zambia (UNZA) has called for closer partnerships between research institutions and the private sector to turnaround the country's economy as it partners with Tullow Oil Zambia BV for oil and gas exploration.
UNZA vice chancellor Luke Mumba said the private sector should engage premium research institutions like UNZA for good results.
"We are ready for any partnership to turnaround the country's economy using a pool of knowledge," Professor Mumba said.
He said this in an interview in Kasama on the sidelines of the ground breaking ceremony for the oil and gas explorations by Tullow Oil at the weekend.
Prof Mumba said Tullow has engaged the highest learning institution in the exploration of oil and gas in Northern and Luapula provinces.
He said the British oil exploration conglomerate has given the University US$100,000 to equip its mineral laboratory.
"The money will be used to install the lab with microscopes to be used in oil and gas exploration in bloc 31," Prof Mumba said.
He described the partnership as an important milestone in the history of the university.
Prof Mumba said the countries that have attained sustainable development had done so because of strong links between the private sector and research institutions.
He said eight geologists from UNZA had been selected to take part in the exercise.
Prof Mumba also disclosed that the university was looking for a private partner to start commercial production of fertilizers from phosphate rock in Eastern Province.
"We embarked on the research to extract fertilizers from phosphate rock in Eastern Province which has proved positive and we are currently courting private investors to start commercial production of fertilizers which shows you how ready we are," he said.