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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

When Academics cry “Boma Iyanganepo”, what then is the value of higher education in Zambia?

Economy When Academics cry “Boma Iyanganepo”, what then is the value of higher...

I have had an interesting Facebook engagement with the University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) General Secretary, Dr. Kelvin Mambwe following my posts challenging the need for research and innovation enhancement at our public universities. My posts were ignited by the continuous call by the Higher Education Minister, Hon. Prof. Nkandu Luo on the need for universities to raise resources from within rather than heavily depend on government grants. This call by the Hon. Minister has not been well received, especially that it comes at a time when university lecturers have not been paid their salaries on time – a situation that has become an annual and monthly ritual for many years now.

What is evidently clear is that government is constrained in meeting its obligations with regards adequately funding higher education in Zambia. With many competing needs, and the heavy burden of foreign debt repayment, government funding cuts or delays are certain, and universities have not been spared, including university students whose monthly stipends/bursaries have been cut off completely.

These developments have caught off-guard our universities, and their response has been to down tools/go slow/strike petitioning government to meet its obligations and fund them. Others are saying that this is a clear case of ‘government failure’, and are hoping that a new government comes in which may fund universities better. What no one is saying, however, is that this challenge isn’t new, but importantly, that the universities themselves have over the years failed to be innovative enough to grow resilience and ensure some degree of self-sufficiency.

I think our universities, especially the top public universities have over the years failed to sufficiently add innovative value to society. While I cannot doubt the competence of their teaching having studied and taught at some, our universities have had little value beyond producing graduates for employment, filled with strong, though sometimes weak theoretical knowledge that lags behind the real developments in society and industry. Rather than being adaptive to the changing needs of society and industry to produce skills that are relevant to industry, our universities have, for the most part, remained far behind. This has made it hard for our graduates to have strong ‘labour market’ power beyond the country, and in some cases, particularly the science and technology skills, there has been need to re-train these once employed in industry, at a higher cost, leading to companies preferring expatriates who need no retraining.

I believe the role of universities transcends teaching. In fact, lecturers at our top universities carry the title of ‘Lecturer and Researcher’. However, there is little, if any, research going on in our universities. Actually, for the most part, the role of our lecturers has been reduced to teaching and marking tests and exams, and in occasional cases, commissioned research for ‘extra incomes’. This colleagues, has reduced the university’s value to a mere ‘place of work’ rather than a centre for academic thought and practical excellence. The argument I receive for the lack of research and innovation is that ‘government has not funded research’. This is the typical ‘Boma iyanganepo’ argument that we hear from the non-academics – and one begins to wonder what the difference is between those who have never been to school looking only upto to government for everything, and our highly educated academics doing the same – clearly we have failed ourselves here!

My highly educated colleagues further argue that without government grants, there is little, if any, research that can take place. I think this is the most absurd justification I have heard from people that have dedicated their time and training to academics. The argument is similar to what we have heard before from would be retirees that they will think of a business idea when they get their pension. I do not think it makes any sense for academics to wait for funding for them to develop research ideas. On the contrary, research ideas should be penned down every day for one whose life is centred on a university – from their reading and the students’ ideas. Ideas from or for research should be enough, if of social, business or national value, to attract funding from many sources – government or the private sector. In this regard, I argue that our universities must be flexibible, innovative and must adapt to the changing needs of society for them to remain relevant now and in the future. They must begin to see themselves as drivers of thought entrepreneurship through academic excellence for private and public sector growth.

Perhaps more than anything, let us ask ourselves, how many enterprises have been born as spinoffs from our local universities which have been in existence for over 50 years? Enterprises born out of university as either student led of lecturer lead reflect the depth of university research, but importantly, its relevance to society that a profitable enterprise can be created. In any case, as motivational speakers repeatedly say, the world rewards you for the value you bring to the society: All the wealthy people in the world created their wealth from providing innovative solutions to the world’s problems. If that be the case, what better place to generate innovative solutions to Zambia’s problems than our universities? The fact that there are very few, almost non-existent spin-offs from university research illustrates how impotent, irrelevant or non-existent our research at top university is/has been. How many patents have come out of our university research? How far have the researchers gone to market such research? How much valuable collaborative and contract research have our researchers generated? What has been the value of this research? How much mentorship have our “dons” provided to their graduates to follow-through their ideas and make them successful outside university?

The fact that our highly educated lecturers and researchers sing the ‘Boma iyanganepo’ slogan, that they need money to ‘think and be innovative’ does not inspire confidence for the innovative and academic future of our country. It is disappointing that academics will talk about an ‘enabling environment’ for research, the way that our business community talk about an ‘enabling environment’ for business when, in the same environment, foreign firms are thriving. The private sector in Zambia cries foul saying they lack capital for them to grow their business. Is it a coincidence that now our academics are also saying they need funds to think innovatively? Perhaps it is a nationwide problem, a reflection our lack of higher levels of ambition? Think about it, really, why would a university that teaches PhDs have over 60% of its staff without PhDs? How can someone be teaching for over 20 years with just an MSc/MA at a top university that has been around for over 50 years?

This is grossly unacceptable!

As I conclude, let me reiterate the need to enhance both the quantum and quality of university research. I disagree that our top academics need funds to think innovatively, rather, they need to reorient their position and appreciate that they already are in a position of privilege surrounded by insurmountable resource in thought of their students and their academic community to do more than sing ‘boma iyanganepo’. I would like to end by quoting part of Sir Andrew Witty’s Review of Universities and Growth – Encouraging a British Invention Revolution – published in 2013 in which he says:

“I likened universities generating cutting edge research and its resulting insights to the tip of an arrow, with the arrowhead behind it representing the economic activity enabled by research-led innovation. I suggested that maximising the size of these arrowheads and their economic benefit…. is fundamental to both sectoral and local growth strategies.”

The value of the education is not in its possession, but in its use to solving the challenges of our society.

Herryman Moono

Economist & Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, UK.

[Read 6,564 times, 2 reads today]


    • This is so on point!!! For once I have read something really inspiring from a Zambian academic.

      This piece is simply priceless!!!!

      Epo mpelele,


    • This article is full of statements without addressing the underbelly reasons why our institutions are failing.

      The author seems to put the blame on Universities themselves. That is not right.

      You have to look at how UNZA has been funded since 196x.

      Research needs funding. Where this funding should come from is debatable.

      Quality research always attracts funding.

      What we lack in Zambia is process, and structures (that work).

      The government can not just wake up one day and start demanding that institutions must be self reliant.

      Let them pay the lecturers and students (allowances) on time. Then set up a realistic roadmap to reduce reliance on government.

      Citizens, the price of that private luxury jet Lungu is rolling in could have sustained salaries and hospitals…

    • In a country where Maggie goes to Washington D.C. to say “IMF iyanganepo”, what do you expects of all its citizens?

    • Citizens, let us learn to question stuff.

      The trouble with Zambians is they like to clap for no good reason.

      They see a white man, they clap.

      They see Lungu cleaning roads, they clap.

      They see CK being baptised, they clap.

      It is a never ending clapping cycle, until they go back to their houses where there is no food. And they still clap, saying God will provide.

    • This highlights the limitation with problem solving in the absence of a clear understanding of the problem at hand. Car manufactures don’t wake up wondering why their cars are not able to fly. Similarly, our Universities are neither equipped nor motivated to be research powerhouses, let alone generate revenue in that manner. How they are to become that with government in effect sabotaging their ability to receive adequate funding, is not anything close to obvious. Above article does nothing other than attempt to absolve a corrupt government of its sworn duty. Curious to know what Universities the author has been employed by.

  1. A beautiful piece indeed from Zambia and indeed Africa. If all our innovations and researches have to be government or politically sponcered we run the risk of being were we are forever. Yes we are poor and have very little to motivate us and or to provide a starter park. Research itself brings in lots of money and motivate funding from the private sector who would be interested in the results.

    if our research only deals with petty issues no one will ever be interested in them or even reading them. let’s wake up Zambia a dozing giant.

  2. This is so on point!!! For once I have read something really inspiring from a Zambian academic.

    This piece is simply priceless!!!!

    Epo mpelele,


    • Thats they have failed to run zamnet which was a pioneer in internet business in Zambia. See how Hai, Iconnect, Airtel and like are making a fortune from data sales.

    • @B.R Mumba. I always like your analysis and your sense of humor. I am also very much happy with the broad work by the Government. However, it is important that we pay attention to the details, rather than focussing on broad concepts.
      For example, the government has put up so many schools in Zambia in its infrastructure program. However, the situation in education in Urban centres has gotten worse. In Chipata city, specifically at Chipata Day and the neighborhooring school, a class of Grade 10 still holds about 125, a class meant for 40 pupils. This scenario is everywhere in major urban centres. As such, the massive infrastructure is not addressing anything.
      Coming to the investment that you have alluded to in Mkushi, as long as there is no deliberate policy to support the local…

    • Slowdown, Dr/Prof. Moono. You raised a very critical matter, nonetheless, do not shift the blame pertaining to mediocre research output from the state to the doorstep of University of Zambia (UNZA) academics. The current Zambian government must be held accountable for the content and quality of research output produced by PhD candidates and academics at UNZA. I agree with you on many outstanding issues which you raised in your paper, however, it is grossly premature and unjust to spare the incumbent government from your scathing criticism. You and I are comprehensively aware that any relevant research project requires funding at various phases. Thinking or contemplating a pertinent research topic is one thing. Effecting any study is another thing and this challenge requires funds.

    • Dr/Prof. Moono;
      I would like to draw your attention to suggestive approaches rather than attempting to kill the golden geese that lays the eggs. UNZA academics must be commended for their invaluable efforts and valuable time which they have devoted to teaching and questionable research works. Personally, I think that every concerned party should approach sponsors across the globe so that they can recognise the potential of postgraduate students and researchers at UNZA, hence, inject colossal amounts of money. The rationale here is to catapult research at UNZA, so that postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows can make UNZA a research based institution. Some of your criticisms are misplaced. Thanks.

    • @Postgraduate Fellow … Moono here has a lot of valid points. Between 2013 and 2016 I lived and worked in Florida and one of my clients in my consulting work was the University of Florida at Gainesville.

      Their research program is so robust that they actually attract more private funding than than government funding. They actually run an entire campus full of researchers and small business startups on campus.

      They are so innovative they came up with the energy drink Gatorade which Coca Cola bought rights to and now every bottle of Gatorade sold around the world sends money to that university.

      Their football team is called the Gators and so they named their lifetime achievement after their team “Gatorade”.

      Next time you buy Gatorade forget that it is marketed by Coca Cola,…

    • Continued…

      Next time you buy Gatorade forget that it is marketed by Coca Cola, think University of Florida at Gainesville.

      Such things are what Moono is advocating for here and he has my full support.

      For instance, the University of Florida hold quarterly symposiums for would be investors in new cutting-edge products coming to the market and venture capitalists are invited to look at possibilities for their portfolios.

      Some companies start pumping money into these ventures at startup level knowing they will one day go public.

      These venture capitalists acquire shares in this programs started by sometime PhD students who are immediately appointed CEOs of these startups.

      I can go on and on and on!!! Why can’t UNZA do that??? Do they need GRZ for everything???


    • @Sun … natotela!!! I think you are referring to capacity building rather than functional collaboration.

      You have to understand that, Zambia’s population is very young. There are currently more Under 5 babies than there are people 55 and older.

      As such GRZ has to double down on building capacity that can eventually collaborate with population growth. That’s a challenge because, there aren’t enough tax payers to match the funding needs of the upcoming generations.

      You end up with funding gaps until such a time that you have an equilibrium between baby boomers and their children.

      So you got to think more outside the box in order to mitigate such dilemmas. Thanks a trillion once more for your compliments.

      Epo mpelele,


    • @B R Mumba, Sr
      Your valuable response has been noted. Recall that I indicated that there are certain elements within Dr/Prof Moon’s contents which I agree to. I will not mention them at this stage. I also do not agree to some of his points and I will not depart from my ambivalent position. With that being so, the American and European environments are not identical to the typical Zambian setting or milieu. The Zambian government should adopt a leading role in enhancing research at its public institutions, but such an approach has to be a temporary measure. Your conjectures make sense within an advanced setting but not in the Zambian milieu. Of course, the private sector is a good source of funding for universities around the globe.

  3. Certainly, Herryman Moono has a point in saying we need to look more within ourselves for solutions to problems that afflict our public universities. It pains to see that despite the huge tracts of land UNZA has in its possessions and the schools of agriculture and veterinary sciences we have, a walk to Liempe farm on Great East Road only shows there are empty pig pens and a small patch of wheat. As an institution, UNZA has failed miserably in this area. Yet the farm manager is paid from the GRZ grant. We employ with a view to having GRZ pay for our bloated support staff. Management introduces sitting allowances for management meetings with a view to GRZ paying for this. Indeed, UNZA cannot run away from the problems that beset it. It is part of the problem. The sooner we realize this the…

  4. So you re you within Zambia so you can walk the hardships these UNZA teachers are talking or you re just here talking the the talk without walking it?
    Or may be you re enjoying someone s sweat somewhere out there?
    Good challenge though.

  5. Good challenge though. But i hope you re walking the talk yourself and not enjoying someone’s effort.
    Show them what you have done and how you did it.

  6. … the better. Let us learn to live within our means and use our limited resources to invest in productive ventures that will pay off and reduce our dependency. Some of this can be done with the political will from management and the unions from within. For example, there is no need for management with all deans and directors to fill up their SUVs with fuel and drive to Siavonga for a week-long UNZA budget meeting every year. It is as if UNZA has no buildings of its own. It is such a waste. Unfortunately, even our unions, UNZALARU included, goes with management outside Lusaka for negotiations for new conditions of service all at the expense of UNZA, the contributions of Union members and GRZ. Even for a launch of activities for women’s week, UNZALARU had to go to the expensive Raddisson…

  7. Even in a family a child who has capacity to pay for their bills, instead uses his money for pleasure then expect his parents to pay for his up keep, will cause poverty in the family.

  8. Mr.Moono,I rarely comment even when I get insulted by arm chair critics who always look at my Op-Ed,analysis from political point of view.It is kudos to you for the great piece.Those of us who went through varsities in the late 70s and early 80s and chose professional route wonder about the ineptnes of our academics.No research,no articles etc that is why I salute Sishuwa.Well done brother.Our varsities downgrade because of lack of research.They concentrate on keeping chickens and pigs.

  9. Nice write up. Most of our University Lecturers/Teachers especially UNZA ones are generally lazy. They prefer the bottle and doing politics. I have mingled with them.

    • Really?

      See how you would perform at work when your pay is constantly delayed.

      What mingling are you talking about here?

  10. … Blue Hotel. Our unionists are no different from UNZA management in extravangance. No little wonder UNZA is in the state that it is. They may criticize UNZA management so much. But if you were to put them in management positions, they would probably be even more extravagant than the current UNZA management. You only have to see the kind of allowances UNZALARU executive members award themselves which are pegged at 30% of their monthly basic pay the same way Deans and Directors in UNZA are paid responsibility allowances. You wonder what the relationship is between a union allowance and their salary as a lecturer. It is pure day-light robbery of the worst kind!

  11. Zamnet was born of UNZA research, innovation and outreach. Without Zamnet, the future of internet services would have been biased in favor of FDI. The use of FDI is alright but FDI is not a substitute for local initiatives. Please take time to underestimate local initiatives. At UNZA, seed money can perform wonders as capital infusion is necessary for industry and economic growths.

    • This is big thinking and wonderful article. We have a problem in Zambia and you will see it among thong those who comments negatively towards this article. Just wait they are planning how to answer and justify the points.

    • I think the boma iyanganepo syndrome is a big problem in this country. Of course the conditions in Zambia is not good, the issue of foreign entities thriving in the country while locals are failing is because these foreign entities have cheap monies where they are coming from, the cost of borrowing in some developed countries is less than 2% sometimes as low as 0.5%, so how do you compare.

    • Wait! Iboma lyaanganepo concerns good leadership. It concerns strong institutions. It concerns Good Governance. Remember, without Good Governance, the country would not develop. Arnacy would creep in. The end result is violent, conflict, war, failed State, Banana Republic. That must be resisted. It must be fought tooth and nail. Peace, harmony and efficient and competent.

    In Africa we still do not know that necessity is the mother of invention, innovation and discovery in some cases. Formal education did not come into existence because of formal education but because of necessity. All in all, the ability to invent, innovate or discover is God-given or inborn.
    I have struggled to no avail to engage our universities, individuals and companies to do experiments on my ideas aimed at national and international development.
    I challenge the media to see and publicize my endeavors to get technical and funding support for experiments to no avail. I do not blame anyone, this is what Slave Trade and Colonialism left Africa in. This is why I have been saying Africa must revive and reform participation in science and technology…

  13. Those guys there can not even copy?EG coming up with solar energy supplying to zseco , department of of agriculture? Name all departments you will see the actual value.

  14. “I do not think it makes any sense for academics to wait for funding for them to develop research ideas. On the contrary, research ideas should be penned down every day for one whose life is centred [sic] on a university – from their reading and the students’ ideas”

    I have advised people for a long time now that the first thing you need to start a business is NOT funding but a SOUND business idea and everyone thinks this is crazy. People waste time looking for funding instead of putting together a SOUND business idea together. Continue looking for funding as a priority and remain poor. It not easy crafting a SOUND business idea and this is the hardest in business not funding. Do you wonder why people have been funded but their business have collapsed?

  15. For me to find the reasons why our lectures are not qualifying what they are there for may take a lot of my valued time and money. The lecturers themselves know what they are there for and indeed what they are not doing enough to end up in the current situation. All I can say is work up and be equal to the challenge. When you will have done your plans the GRZ MAY consider jump starting you. Mind you not all days are Mondays. Lecturers should know that already.

  16. There is a lot of ignorance being portrayed in the trolls.
    UNZA cannot be expected to be self financing without reforms in its institutional and legal setup.
    The article fails to address that fact.

    • Agreed.

      The trouble with Zambians is they like to clap for no good reason.

      They see a white man, they clap.

      They see Lungu cleaning roads, they clap.

      They see CK being baptised, they clap.

      It is a never ending clapping cycle, until they go back to their houses where there is no food. And they still clap, saying God will provide.

  17. Moono thank you for sharing. This is a challenge to all institutions of higher learning. While the GRZ is funding, let us have a transition lan on resource mobilization. Look at the school of mines, school of civil engineering, soil science all of whom are just sleeping when they could have been the real clnsultants for all the infrastructural development taking place in every corner of the country. Look at CBU where we have the school of country and town planning sleeping when every street is being dug from left right and centre in a directionless manner. Consultancies bane. Look at the school of peace and conflict resolution so tondolo when there is an issue around national dialogue. School of forestry should have discovered even how to grow mukula tree in 5 years. We can do better…

  18. Yes, you are right.Our public universities have neglected research and technology development.In agriculture for example, Mt.Makulu and it`s satelite research stations, on a very lean budget and with fewer staff (many of them just at MSc level) has contributed more to agricultural development in Zambia than UNZA School of Agriculture which has an army of Professors and PH Ds. Almost all local crop varieties, FOR EXAMPLE, have been developed by Mt Makulu and UNZA contributing nothing. Some things need to change at our public universities but this is more to do with the way the universities,particulary staff, are governed and managed.

    • You are into group think mentality that’s what the writer is saying to think outside the box and you’re here shooting the messenger…You must be a UPND sycophant and zealot and enemy of progress …

  19. I see majority of commentors here commenting without understanding problems at unza. For example, when the minister says public universities should fund themselves, let them also couple that with zero interference into these public universities. The Minister of Higher Education should not appoint stooges in council to rubber stamp her decisions, let these councils be independent boards, appointing whom they wish to appoint and when unza management chases away students who have not paid government should keep their mouth shut, and unza should scrap all non-profitable programs that are expensive to run but benefit meant to benefit the country (we will hire experts in Vet, Mines, Nuclear Physics etc). Let unza be making it’s own money and controlling everything and in no…

  20. Perception change – The danger of a single sided story
    Let me begin with a disclaimer – I am closely linked to the two public universities. Thus, my argument may be biased but I will try as much as possible to be neutral. Moono’s article reminds of the Ted talk by Chimamanda Adichie entitled “Perception Change – The danger of a single sided story. I have been associated with the University of Zambia for 10 years now and I have seen significant improvement in research output and technological innovations amid poor funding to the University. Go to the school of engineering and see some amazing innovations they have come up with yet still visit ResearchGate to also appreciate research output from individual Lecturers and Researchers. Much of this research is based on grants obtained from…

  21. GRZ grant should only be for primary and secondary education. Universities are capable of standing on there own.

  22. First of all, UNZA is a public university. It is offering a public good and that good costs money!! Lest we are paranoid, the University’s core business is teaching and that is supposed to be it’s main source of income. Government cannot have it both ways, purpot to sponsor students and fail to remit it’s part of the tuition fees to UNZA on time. Yes boma iyanganepo because UNZA is a public university.

    Finally I would like the author of the article to give us a full writeup of his reasons despite being a promising staff development fellow in the department of economics for having left his teaching position at UNZA.

    • Punlic institution because it serves the public. For example, we keep talking about diversification into agriculture, animal husbandry is key…right now people starting to keep goats for Saudi Arabia deal. You need Vets to make sure these animals are safe and well. You meed Vets to look after these animals health. No private university will offer Vet as it is very expensive to train a Vet!!!! So government needs to subsidise these expensive program that promote economic development

  23. I can not understand why an organization(the university)promoting homosexuality(bachelor of academics).Should be pandered with millions of dollars.When you meet a begar on the street.The begar he wants 5 dollars.Universities beg for millions of dollars.Peter Carlos Hinds.

  24. You want a bachelor of science?Well study science and do not get married.You have a bachelor of science.Why do universities have to charge so much money.Just to keep people out of marriage(a Bachelor).Simply abstain from sex and you will be a bachelor.Zero money.Peter Carlos Hinds.

  25. The places that are air conditioned are lawyers and judge’s offices.Banks.And air craft.Peter Carlos Hinds.

  26. Sometimes I wonder y most of these people who call themselves educated expose their ignorance in such a manner. It’s so so bad with mostly those who are educated from abroad. For sure common sense is not common, how do you put up an article like this one when u you know exactly what it means to be a lecturer and why he/she is I called a lecturer. There is what is called specialisation gentlemen…you want a university to be a learning institution and also kamwala market? What more innovation do you want from a lecturer when his prime concentration is to impart knowledge in the students…to make sure that his knowledge is sharpened by use of extensive research. U must understand that one lecturer does not only teach one class he teaches many classes and people. And here u are questioning…

  27. If the Boma is ducking it’s responsibilities all the time then what is the need for a Boma even. The lecturers have done there share of responsibility which is teaching and they have taught…so pay them, n not go In and start showing them how to be planting kalembula just bcoz u called prof. Luo…lol…the responsibility to bring chikanda should be for other people to do… Boma must Yangana if the Boma understands the importance of the highest learning institution. Moreover all presidents have been paying now this time y not?

  28. The developing countries perform research and focus on the number of ?research but not the quality of research, so the results of research represent just information in papers and not investing the research results to convert the benefits to the community.
    Educating about research is not necessarily the same as developing individuals who are capable of conducting research studies on their own and developing a research team of shared responsibilities in the research effort.
    you do not need a PHD to do research.

  29. The the author of the article has exhibited sheer ignorance. His argument clearly show that he lacks a clear understanding of how the University of Zambia (UNZA)and the Copperbelt University (CBU) operates.

    Firstly, I would love to inform Mr.Mono that the body that runs UNZA and CBU is the management and not the lectures. The management comprises a few lectures who do not carry the voice of the majority of the lectures. The operations of the management are dictated by policy that is set by government as recommended by the Higher Educational Authority. So, when you argue that lectures are not innovative, you are proving to be ignorant of the fact that policies that determine the operations of these universities are not detected by lecturers but by government. From now onwards, I hope…

  30. I totally agree with the views expressed in this thought provoking article. We have universities which teach theory instead of imparting practical skills.

  31. Utter rubbish. Which entity has that kind of R&D budget to hive off to Universities in Zambia?

    Anyway, Universities all over the world sustain themselves from charging economic fees from their foremost duty which is imparting knowledge and ancillary services attendant to that such as accommodation, car parking etc. Those showing just inability to pay are supported by endowments of alumni, loans from Govt, fellowships etc. In this country, there is lots of resistance to paying the correct price for any service just as there is to pay income tax. The solution is to allow the charging of economic fees and support those who can’t afford them but not those who can but find it painful to pay investing in education.

  32. A Chisokone market carver is to me more of a professor than one who is (on paper) without a single patent to support his assumed credentials.

  33. Quite a stupid article.
    The author is arguing that ‘universities are crying for funding from government for them to THINK INNOVATIVELY’ What a silly assertion. Any research needs funding, and serious research need serious funding way above the grants that are obtained from the government.
    Lazy politicians in top government offices will always advise government institutions to think outside the box and generate their own income, but immediately they do so and the monies start flowing in, they will come in again and direct that all the funds be deposited in account control 99 (a government account) turning the institution back to its old begging self from government grant

    • Please give us an example when this happened. Which invention was taken over by government at the detriment of the initiators? Could it be so hidden if it were so lucrative that we are completely unaware of it? Which invention was UNZA robbed of which has so demotivated its researchers to never dare invent another?

  34. Here is the height of madness: Academia crying for funding when they have at their disposal – academic credentials, research facillities, labs, libraries, time for all research and so on and so forth. Why have they obtained these qualifications for? for show?

  35. On top of all the hours, years spent researching and teaching and whatever else comes with academia, he still wants more funding to prove that he can achieve great research success. This is utter madness!

  36. OK, let me cool down. They want more funding for more research? What the hell have they been researching all these years?

  37. For all I know, they just have the stamina to read and write long papers without a TRUE objective. Its one thing to have stamina, but it is another to be truly innovative. The difference is the OUTPUT. One inventer (academia) produces rocket propulsion system which is in fact applied by boeing and the fake academa produces a 800 page research paper which only his fellow inept professors admire and approve but impossible to apply in real life. That is the difference!!!!

  38. If we had even a single don who produced a single real life patent, would we still be talking about government grants. A sign of ineptness is how much time they spend on crying for grants. Come out of those self weaved boxes and do something that can one be appreciated. My silliness.

  39. With a few data bundles (no free bundles) I have patented a few items that are earning me some small income. If ONLY WE HAD limitless data (like our dons) I am sure my band of riffraff self-styled researchers can achieve much more. Come to our workshop at Kalingalinga and see for yourself!

  40. The whole reason behind sifting the whole society in stage selecting individuals for these high credentials(qualifications) is so that only the cream (top notch) are put in those positions in the end that we have the best chance of surviving this cruel world. Now, if after ending up in those crucial positions, our cream again looks back at us (society) for solutions (grants), why the hell did we bother to sift ourselves in such gruesome manner? Ati boma iyanganepo?

  41. If uncle Zed set up meaningful competitive and country aligned research grants to sort out real issues, and benefits for companies that offer research grants to students and academicians at our Universities, like is done in countries like RSA,USA, BREXIT Land and the like, research docility in our beautiful country would be a thing of the past. Most of them dons at our universities have already done world class research to earn their PhD at institutions in far far away lands.

  42. When researcher say they need funding they think in terms of allowances, personal emoluments and not in terms of equipment. Did Tesla Nikola need government funding to invent AC? Did Bill gates ask his government for research fund?. Fact is the invention is an inert ability, like talents it cannot be taught in school. Funding comes in when the inventor demonstrates his findings on a cheap prototype. Funding will naturally follow demonstrable innovations not the other way round.

  43. @Emmanuel Mwape, pick an example from an environment similar to ours. BG, Tesla and the like are in well coordinated naturally adapting economies, where dreams easily come true. I give you the scenario from RSA; from way back, the govt has been funding, through a model like the NIH in the USA, to researchers able demonstrate how new inventions and discoveries made elsewhere can be made locally. Successful dissertations are then taken up by industry. The govt already determines priority areas for such funding; a major case was the ability to manufacture ARVs locally. In such a scenario, universities are naturally key and able to generate funds on their own, as they end up owning large percentages of the patents registered by their researchers. The govt also wins as its area of interest is…

    In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2018, Oxford university had a total income of £2.237 billion, of which £579.1 million was from research grants and contracts.

    Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe unveiled a K86.8 billion budget that translates into 28.9 percent of the Gross Domestic Product for 2019.

    Research and innovation requires funding. When one has an innovative idea there is need to test the idea before the idea can turn into an invention. Funding provides universities with the environment and opportunity for experimenting and testing ideas(hypotheses). The laboratories at the university of Zambia are still using 19xx equipment and apparatus. What confidence will a researcher have with his or her tested…

  45. Tested idea? Its not like you just have wake up and say I have created something. Inventing something new is always a trial and error process. I will end by saying that Thomas Edison the inventor of a light bulb tried more than 1000 times to finally present the final product. He was obviously working in an equipped laboratory. UK government understands that and that’s they fund their universities to a level where a university annual budget is more than a country’s annual budget. Therefore, Equip university lecturers at top institutions in Zambia with all the necessary equipment and remunerate them well and if they fail then you can reiterate what you’re from reiterating.

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