ZAMBIAN RESEARCHERS SCOOP FIRST EVER ORTARChI CHAIRS
By Alfonso Kasongo
UNIVERSITY of Zambia (UNZA) Researcher Professor Imasiku Anayawa Nyambe and Copperbelt University (CBU) counterpart Professor Stephen Syampungani have been named as on a five-year-term Oliver Reginald Tambo African Research Chairs Initiative (ORTARChI) worth R15 million.
National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Executive Secretary Guest Mugala unveiled Professor Nyambe and Professor Syampungani as ORTARChI Research Chairs in Lusaka on Friday, 11th March 2022 a development that has since elated Technology and Science minister Felix Chipota Mutati and Dziwa Science and Technology Trust (DSaT) Executive Director, Ms. Veronica Mwaba, a Zambian science, research and technology advocate.
In a speech read by Technology and Science Ministry Acting Permanent Secretary (PS), Jane Chinkusu, Mr. Mutati described the achievement as a landmark speaking volumes on Zambia’s academic credentials.
“Research Chairs are important as they focus on undertaking frontier scientific and technological research and strengthen the human capital development pipeline by training the next generation of researchers,” noted Mr. Mutati.
The Zambian government will contribute K10 million towards the two researchers picked out of 10 African Researchers from public universities in seven Sub-Saharan African countries.
Prof. Nyambe will hold research chair in water conservation enhancing catchment management in upper Zambezi and Luapula basins and UNZA will house this research as host institution.
Meanwhile, Prof. Syampungani leads research in environment and development that will focus in developing social-ecological and phyto-rediation models for restoration and management of mining degraded landscape in Zambia.
ORTARChI, is a Pan African partnership oriented Initiative that seeks to invest in research for excellence and transform African Research landscape through innovative ways of supporting world-class research that addresses issues of national and regional importance.
Aside from knowledge generation aligned to the African Union 2063 agenda and2024 Science Technology Innovation Strategy for Africa the initiative builds on the works of late Oliver Reginald Tambo, a prominent South African leader and Pan Africanist with a science education background.