University innovation project in Tanzania wins 1.4 billion shillings from France

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By Alex Nelson Malanga

Dar es Salaam. The French Embassy in Tanzania has awarded a grant of 570,000 euros (about 1.4 billion shillings) to support innovation and entrepreneurship among university students through a recently launched project, it has been learned. yesterday.

Dubbed “Innoversity”, a two-year project which was officially launched yesterday, is funded by the French Embassy in Tanzania and implemented by Sahara Ventures whose mission is to build a stable ecosystem of innovation, technology and of entrepreneurship in Africa through advice and investment.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, French Ambassador to Tanzania Nabil Hajlaoui said the Innoversity project will focus on developing an environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship in three universities in Sokoine University of Agriculture (Sua), Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (Arusha) and Iringa University.

The project, explained the ambassador, aims to help students, teachers, researchers and the management of higher education institutions (HEIs) to integrate innovation and entrepreneurial approaches in their work in order to fill the knowledge gaps. skills and create employment opportunities for young people.

He said that the project had three main objectives, namely strengthening the institutional and material capacities of HEIs, supporting the entrepreneurial path of students and promoting entrepreneurship for employment.

“We are committed to supporting higher education institutions in Tanzania by embedding innovation and entrepreneurship beyond academics and research in universities,” the Ambassador said.

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The CEO of Sahara Ventures, Jumanne Mtambalike, said that the criteria for selecting project beneficiaries from the aforementioned universities will soon be defined.

He said the launch of the project came at the right time when the government’s commitment to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship is very high.

“It is a platform where technology transfer and commercialization will take place,” Mr Mtambalike said.

The director of knowledge management at the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology (Costech), Samson Mwela, said the innovation project complements the efforts of the current government.

The efforts he was referring to are those related to equipping universities with knowledge, tools and promoting resources, innovation, self-employment and entrepreneurial skills.

“The project seeks to work with innovation hubs and technology transfer offices on campus to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, technology transfer and commercialization of research to create new solutions and opportunities employment,” said Mr. Mwela.

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