Friday the 8th of April 2016 witnessed Midlands State University signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Defence Economic Development Department for the establishment of a Resources Conservation Educational Centre at a conservancy located near Kwekwe.
The partnership seeks to utilize the Centre for monitoring, documenting and breeding of endangered wildlife species. The Conservancy will serve as a vital research centre for scholars and universities whose primary objective is conservation and propagation of various flora and fauna that add value to the natural environment and promote healthy ecosystems. The business model will also involve consumptive and non-consumptive activities such as trophy hunting, breeding and resale of high value species such as cheetahs, ostriches, and crocodiles, and would also venture into fish farming, photography, game viewing, horse and elephant riding.
True to its vision, the MOU reaffirms MSU’s commitment to sustainable socio-economic development and research. The MOU is therefore aimed at promoting economic cooperation through undertaking research and analysis in wildlife species, in line with national ZimAsset aspirations. Over and above all this, the centre will provide knowledge and skills on the management of Zimbabwe’s abundant wildlife resources in general.
Apart from the research objective, the conservancy will also offer a variety of tourism activities and a conference facility for workshops, seminars and other social functions. The Conservancy will definitely be a destination of choice for local and international tourists.
MSU students in the Faculty of Natural Resources Management and Agriculture are also set to benefit from the Conservancy.
Present during the signing ceremony were senior officials from the Defence Economic Development Department among them Mr Martin Rushwaya, and senior members of the University administration led by the Pro-Vice Chancellor Business Development and Administration, Professor K H Wekwete.