The Mahatma Ghandi Institute for Rural Industrialization (MGIRI), an Indian research institution dedicated to research on development of rural industries, has met with the Copperbelt University (CBU) to finalize a Memorandum of understanding between the two institutions that will facilitate the establishment of a Science and Technology Hub for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to be hosted at CBU and to promote innovation in Zambia through research and pilot projects.

 The MOU seeks to establish a partnership aimed at supporting the development of products and services offered by MSMEs to be carried from theory to incubation.

Under the partnership, CBU and MGIRI will establish a programme to develop and implement projects in Energy and Infrastructure; Rural Craft and Engineering, which supports local artisans by improving the quality and standard of their work; Bio-process and Herbal; Chemical Industries, which produces chemical products as well as eco-friendly products comprising reduced or no chemical substances.

Speaking during the meeting, held at the University main campus in Riverside Kitwe, CBU ACTING Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Chisale said that the University has many programs that would benefit from this establishment.

And MGIRI Director Dr. Ashutosh Murkute stated that the institute is driven by rural related products and services and establishing small businesses.

 ‘We are not focused on developing large industries, our goal is to better the lives of those classified as living below poverty level.’ He said.

And CBU Dean of School of Mines and Mineral Sciences Professor John Siame, said the partnership would greatly benefit students by equipping them with the technical and industrial experience on mineral processing, jewelry design and development.

 Professor Siame further proposed for the inclusion of Women through the association of women in mining to be a beneficiary of the incubation center.

Having been in talks to bring this MoU into being for close to 4 years, MGIRI vice Director Mr. Ravikumar Kandasamy emphasized on the need for concerted effort to facilitate the implementation of the projects.

The meeting was attended by the CBU Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Chisale, Director of Research Dr. Emmanuel Temiotan Ogbomida, Deans of the various schools at CBU, alongside MGIRI Director Dr. Ashutosh Murkute and Vice Director Ravikumar Kandasamy.

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