Tanzania: Students Devise Tech to Help Track Routes

STUDENTS from the National Institute of Transport (NIT) have introduced an innovative tracking sensor technology that can inform passengers at commuter bus stations about the destination of the passenger vehicles.

Speaking at the climax of the National Competition of Science, Technology, and Innovation 2021 in Dodoma, Prof Mganilwa said: "Our students have attended this year's exhibition to showcase their newly introduced bus sensor technology which gives passengers the information on all routes of the commuter buses at stations."

He added: "They have innovated this technology sensor to help passengers in Tanzania's major cities to identify the routes of the commuter buses.

This technology can also be used by Dar Bus Rapid Transport (DART)." "The device can be fixed to any public or private buses including high-speed buses.

When the bus enters at the commuter station it indicates the location where it goes," the NIT Rector said. In addition, Prof Mganilwa further named another technology that has been introduced by NIT students as a mask that can be used by aviation passengers and personnel to get oxygen when the plane reaches above 20 feet high.

"When the plane fies 20 feet high, the passenger can use our masks to get oxygen. The students innovated this technology knowing that most of the passengers need fresh air when the plane goes higher above the sea level," he said.

"Apart from using this technology in aviation sector, the technology can also help people who climb high mountains, because the device is designed to produce oxygen to the human being," Prof Mganilwa added.

In another development, Prof Mganilwa has called on the government to put in place a system that can recognise indigenous innovations and support them.

"The indigenous innovators need government support to develop and improve their innovations.

"However, speaking when closing the 2021's exhibition in Dodoma, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa instructed institutions and authorities to ensure that young innovators are well supported.

"Scientific and technological institutions, universities, research and development institutions, and various authorities such as SIDO, VETA... that are in one way or another are involved in developing young innovators should help them showcase their creativity, "he said.

PM said that it is equally important for the institutions to promote and protect intellectual property for researchers and innovators to reap the benefit of their work.

He further said that innovations must be protected through intellectual property (IP) rights.

"Unfortunately statistics show that for last year only eight patent applications from Tanzania were submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) while South Africa submitted 1,514 applications," he said.

He directed all institutions dealing with innovation to prepare a patent plan and submit more applications to WIPO to protect the interests of inventors whose technologies are truly groundbreaking and commercially successful.

UNDP Representative Godfrey Mulisa said innovation is part of the solution that will push Tanzania into the industrial agenda.

In collaboration with COSTECH and the education ministry, they will launch the 'Funguo' project on May 17, this year during the opening of innovation week.

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