Midlands State University (MSU) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Zimbabwe, today Thursday 25 August 2022 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration on research, technical exchange, data analysis, and advocacy to further the rights of children and adolescents in Zimbabwe.
Both institutions recognise the role of research, capacity development, policy dialogue and advocacy, as some of the major pillars of an effective, inclusive, child and gender-sensitive policy formulation and facilitation in national development.
“The aim of this MoU is to provide a platform for cooperation on activities of the two organisations that will strengthen mutual understanding, foster friendly cooperation, promote sustainable and productive collaboration and exchange between the MSU and UNICEF Zimbabwe as well as produce key results that promote the rights of children,” said UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe Dr. Tajudeen Oyewale.
UNICEF emphasized its commitment to seeing the fruition of the objectives set out in the MoU.
“This agreement marks the beginning of a long-term partnership. For us to quickly put this in place, we need to transition from commitment to action.
“I’m hungry for key results that we can achieve. I really want the technical team to now go back and come up with areas that we can start with, to make this partnership work,” he added.
In his welcome remarks, MSU Vice Chancellor, Professor Victor Ngonidzashe Muzvidziwa highlighted that as a stakeholder-driven institution, MSU continues to value partnerships that prioritise children’s rights in Zimbabwe.
“On behalf of MSU, the signing of this MoU is unique because partnerships with UN agencies will see the university participate in achieving the 2022-2026 Zimbabwe UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.
“Nobody will be left behind since MSU is part of the solution in the fulfillment of the government of Zimbabwe’s National Development Agenda,” said Professor Muzvidziwa.
UNICEF Zimbabwe and MSU’s knowledge and capacities will be strengthened to analyse, advocate and influence policy and legislative environment for improved investments in children and adolescents in Zimbabwe.
The partnership will foster strong and closer cooperation in the design and implementation of research and evidence-generation programs to further strengthen the capacities of policymakers in addressing children’s issues.
This MoU will also set the groundwork for regular exchange of information between the two organisations to inform UNICEF Zimbabwe and the broader UN on issues, policies, and legislation affecting children in Zimbabwe.
UNICEF delegates also visited the MSU Innovation Hub on a familiarisation tour led by MSU Innovation Hub Executive Director Professor Laurine Chikoko for an overall appreciation of MSU’s research, innovation and business development ecosystem.
MSU representatives who attended the signing ceremony included Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and Industrialisation, Professor Grace Mugumbate, MSU Registrar Mr. Tinashe Zishiri, Senior Interdisciplinary Research Professor Kadmiel Wekwete, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor Professor Hazel Ngoshi, leading community medicine specialist Professor D Munodawafa, Executive Directors, Executive Deans, MSU staff and students.
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