Tanzania: Dit Urged to Support Informal Innovators

Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, has encouraged the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) to introduce special programmes for supporting innovators from the informal sector to develop their creations to commercialization level.

She made the plea in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday while launching the Board of Directors for DIT subsidiary firm, named the DIT Company Limited, whose main task is developing, advertising and commercializing the findings and results of creativities and bring long lasting solutions to various challenges in the society.

The minister affirmed that there are so many young innovators in the country whose innovative activities can bring immediate solutions to societal challenges, but are unable to commercialize their products.

She said that this is why the government decided to come up with the National Competition of Science, Technology and Innovation since last year to support young innovators.

According to her, the winners' works have been developed by the government through DIT, Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA), Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) and University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM).

"About 415 young innovators from across the country participated in the initiative, where 60 emerged winners in various categories. Their works have been developed under 750m/- government sponsorship. Again, 60 out of 651 innovators won the 2020 competition, and a sum of 874m/- is set aside to support them. DIT therefore should support these efforts in various ways," she said.

The minister also insisted that DIT should make sure that the company continues to serve as a teaching factory for students, where they have bigger room to practice their innovations.

Asked how far the company has gone in terms of innovations, the DIT Principal, Prof Preksedis Ndomba responded that many have been done so far, including the newly invented Fish Palette Machine, for production of fish feeds.

Giving a brief explanation of the Fish Palette Machine, the Head of Mechanical Engineering Department, Dr Ramadhani Kivuyo said that its capacity is 150 to 450 kilogrammes per hour, and it (machine) costs eight million.

"This is among our latest innovations we came up with after receiving opinions and suggestions from fish farmers. It takes between two and six weeks to compose/ assemble it. The only challenge we face is that one of its parts called 'geared motor' is not locally manufactured. We import it, the reason why assembling takes up to six weeks," he said.

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