The SASSCAL Management Team visited Mulungushi University on 7 June 2017 as part of their responsibility to monitor progress in the implementation of research and capacity development tasks by partner institutions. The team was led by the SASSCAL Board Chairperson, Mrs. Jane Mubanga Chinkusu, who is Director of Science and Technology in the Ministry of Higher Education of Zambia. The Management Team included the Executive Director, Dr. Jane Olwoch, and the National Directors of Botswana, Dr. Casper Bonyongo, Namibia, Mr. Peter Erb, South Africa, Mr. Peter Shisani and Zambia, Ms. Indie Dinala. The Director Science and Technology, Dr. Jörg Helmschrot was also present.
On hand to receive the team was the Principal Investigator for Task 163 (capacity development in bee-keeping), Mr. Malunga Mwape, who led the team in a courtesy call on the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC), Dr. Judith Lungu. The DVC lauded the German government, through SASSCAL, for supporting Mulungushi University through capacity development tasks 163 and 188 (Establishing a soil laboratory). She added that since the SASSCAL-supported establishment of the soils laboratory, the University no longer needed to send soil samples to Lusaka for analysis, but researchers are now able to do so within the comfort of their premises. The DVC further emphasized that the SASSCAL-supported bee-keeping capacity development programme has received considerable interest from stakeholders from as far as the North-Western Province, especially as far as aspects of quality control and value addition were concerned. The team heard that apart from infrastructure development, the University was also pleased that staff members benefitted from human capacity development initiatives, especially at PhD level.
The Principal Investigator for Task 163 then briefed the Team on the milestones achieved before introducing the bee-keeping facilities and the newly established soils and bee-keeping laboratories.
The SASSCAL Board Chairperson was pleased to see the outputs achieved by the University and urged to be responsive to future calls for proposals under SASSCAL 2.0 in order to build on what has been achieved so far.