Tag Archives: Munyaradzi Makoni

Zimbabwe’s plans for nanotechnology-enabled drug treatments for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS

It’s a big gamble for a country that has a relatively small national budget but Zimbabwe is focusing a significant chunk of its science funding to nanotechnology-enabled drug treatments according to the Dec. 11, 2012 news article by Munyaradzi Makoni for scidev.net,

The Zimbabwean government has shown signs of embracing nanotechnology, earmarking it for extensive funding from the science ministry’s 2013 budget for new programmes.

According to Rungano Karimanzira, director of commercialisation of research and development at the ministry, 60 per cent of the new programme funding has been allocated to nanotechnology — a move announced with the unveiling of the national budget last month (16 November).

After years of political instability and international isolation, Zimbabwe now aims to revive science and use nanotechnology to research and produce drugs, particularly treatments for tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS.

Clive Mphambela’s Nov. 16, 2012 article for the Zimbabwe Independent (accessed Dec. 13, 2012 from The Zimbabwe Situation) describes the country’s 2013 budget and Zimbabwe’s economic situation,

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti yesterday presented a paltry US$3,8 billion
“developmental budget”, describing it as the most difficult to construct in
the short life of the inclusive government.

Biti’s budget is smaller than South Africa’s retail chain supermarket group,
Pick n Pay whose average annual turnover is R55,3 billion (US$6,1 billion).

However, he said numerous downside risks, including potential political
instability, threatened his budget.

Biti said the multitude of challenges facing the economy required a
fundamental re-think of the state, economics and development in Zimbabwe.

“In this regard, the 2013 national budget seeks to offer leadership and
direction on the bold structural measures that must be taken to unleash
Zimbabwe’s growth potential in pursuit of the MTP’s [Medium Term Plan] vision of constructing a
modern democratic developmental state,” said Biti.

The Finance minister proposed a 15-point roadmap which would in the
short-term seek to reverse the current slow-down and refocus the economy on
a higher growth trajectory.

Even before the 2013 budget was announced, Zimbabwe’s national nanotechnology programme was making news (from the Makoni article),

The country’s first national nanotechnology programme was launched in October by science and technology development minister Heneri Dzinotyiwei during the opening of the Zimbabwe Nanotechnology Centre (ZINC) at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare.

Dzinotyiwei said the programme will focus on developing medicinal drugs, and will identify and undertake studies in nanomedicine geared towards bringing benefits to the entire country.

“We hope that we can ultimately dedicate around US$1 million to the nanotechnology programme,” he said.

ZINC and its nanomedicine-focused partnership with the University of Zimbabwe, the University of Buffalo and Chinhoyi University of Technology was mentioned here in a Sept. 24, 2012 posting.