Former Iringa District Commissioner Richard Kasesela (2R) is receiving brief from one of the participants in the 2022 Iringa Innovation Week exhibition, Paul Myovela (R) who is the chairman of the EnviBright and Iringa trees (iTrees) program who are creative designers of conservation and environmental protection in Iringa municipality held at the grounds of open university Tanzania (OUT) Iringa branch recently.


By Fredy Mgunda, Iringa

A senior lecturer at the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) Iringa Branch, Dr. Bukaza Chachage says people should change with time as the world also has changed where we can no longer live the way we used to live in the sixties or seventies.


He noted that people can no longer live the way they used to live in the past because things have changed technologically, economically and socially, hence must live creatively in everything we do today.


Dr. Chachage said that innovation week 2022 is taking place across the country representing various innovators who are hidden champions on the streets in the region to identify them and connect them with institutions that promote innovation such as the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) and Vocational Colleges (VETA).


Dkt. Chachage added that the institutions have been given a great deal of responsibility to develop various innovations that they create in rural areas, so that they have the opportunity to participate in economic development.


During the innovative week in Iringa, which took place at Open University Tanzania (OUT) Iringa Region Center grounds, Iringa Innovation Week organizing committee has appointed four young people from various sectors who brought their creative work to be connected to the institutions involved in promoting innovation. 


Former Iringa district commissioner Richard Kasesela, who was one of the participants in the exhibition, was pleased that the authorities have a special place for exhibition in the region which will be renamed as innovation parks to attract more people to participate.


He also called on the government and various stakeholders to invest fully in innovation issues, adding that councils also participate in contributing at least two percent from local revenue towards innovation promotion to reach further distances.


"If anything is invested with awareness and the government shows that it is interested in it, we will go far and we still have good intentions to promote our innovation so that we do not continue to rely on imported goods…" said Kasesela.


Kasesela added that the biggest challenge is that many people do not want to use the goods and services of fellow Tanzanians to get the courage to continue creativeness.


Angel Ezekiel, the chairman of the Iringa Regional Innovation Week Organizing Committee, said this year they are celebrating innovation for sustainable development, especially involving the target audience who are young people and various organizations that are located in the Iringa region.


This year's innovation week exhibition is focused on agriculture, education and livelihoods and innovation week in the Iringa region was started in 2019.


 And in 2020 there was a challenge of corona disease (COVID 19) but they can still do an innovation week through the internet platforms and many people in Iringa region and other regions participated through the Iringa innovation ecosystem.


One of the participants, Ezra Mahenge, a specialist from the Participatory Plantation Forestry Programme - Panda Miti Kibiashara in the department of renewable energy issues, said alternative firewood that is made from wood residues after harvest can reduce forest destruction.


He said firewood is made using wood residues (sawdust) by being pressed into special machines for protecting the environment from cutting down trees for that energy.


Mahenge added that people should use alternative firewood (kuni mbadala) that comes from the remains of timber after the wood is harvested.


He said that another type of renewable energy is alternative charcoal which also uses wood residues after harvest (briquettes) so that trees are not cut down and ultimately save the environment.


As it is known that trees are cut down illogically for energy purposes especially in rural and industrial areas, firewood is widely used, he described.


Mahenge elaborated that the harvesting of trees for timber is more systematic and governmental, so citizens should use alternative fuels for cooking and other uses like firewood and charcoal from wood residues to protect the environment.


The Guest of Honour Ibrahim Ngwada who is the Mayor of Iringa Municipality said many young people on the streets are creative but have not had the opportunity to participate in innovative exhibitions so that they can showcase their innovative products.


In addition, the incumbent mayor has appealed to young people on the streets to attend a creative exhibition next year, so that they can meet clients and stakeholders who will be able to develop their skills and ultimately move away from income poverty.


"Young designers should take part in innovation week exhibition that will help them find customers who will come and watch the exhibition and buy creative products hence find more market," said Ngwada.


The celebration of innovation week 2022 has been organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, in partnership with COSTECH and UNDP through its Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) .

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