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The story about Gongali Model Co. Ltd originates from a boy called Askwar Hilonga from a humble beginning in a village called Gongali, Karatu district in Arusha, Tanzania back in 1976. In the course of self-determination, finally Hilonga made it up to a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Hanyang University - South Korea (2010).   Since February 2011 Hilonga joined the Faculty team at Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), a public University in Arusha Tanzania with a mandate to serve the SSA that envisions generating solutions to challenges which confronts the Society and Industry. The research and innovation activities at the NM-AIST are carried at Masters and PhD level in Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) across Sub Saharan Africa. Recently Hilonga was promoted to a Professor after numerous achievements in terms of research and life changing innovative solutions to his community.  Hilongawas eager to utilize immense resources at the NM-AIST to embrace the “motto"of “Academia for Society and Industry” immediately after joining the faculty. He started looking at a challenge of waterborne diseases from which his community and of course many of Africancountries suffer.

After my studies I started questioning my ethical  “what does my PhD mean to my community in Tanzania”?  Thereafter I came up with a Low Cost Nano Filter that uses nano technology to purify drinking water.  I chose to address the challenge of waterborne diseases since it was one of the most confronting challenges to my community as many people suffer from cholera, typhoid, fluoride and many others. Prof. Hilonga explained.

 Hilonga’s star started beaming up in 2015 when he won an award of the Most Talented Young African Entrepreneur of the Royal Academy of Engineering. This opened up many more doors for his innovation including a winner of Pitch@Palace Africa, Pitch@Palace Global, Sponsored bythe British Royal Academy of Engineering, the HDIF, Ministry of Health Community development, Gender, Elderly and Children of Tanzania, and WHO Health Prize called The United Arab Emirates Health Foundation Prize 2019, As arecognition for his innovation of a “Low-Cost drinking Water Filter branded as Nanofilter® 

The 10 years celebrations event was officiated by the Regional Commissioner for Arusha, Hon. Iddi Hassan Kimanta, who was very much impressed by the ground breaking innovations put out by Prof. Hilonga including heavy-duty Water filters for secondary schools and hospitals, household water stations and other public stations that allows access to safe water at all levels in the community. He promised to find a way on how the stations could be distributed to secondary schools in Arusha in order to rescue school going children from water borne diseases. The event featured an official launch of Future STEM Business Leaders programme which is run by COSTED under the organization of University of Dar Es Salam sponsored by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and was presented by Dr. Salha Mohamed Kassim on behalf of the Director-general of Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology COSTECH. Prof. Amos Nungu. 15 secondary schools in Arusha will benefit from the programme as part of project pilot study in the region.

Talking to the participants, The Vice Chancellor of the NM-AIST Prof. Emmanuel J. Luoga, expressed his heartiest congratulations to Prof. Hilonga for his enthusiasm to live the motto of the NM-AIST, he added that, the NM-AIST goal is powered by the late Nelson Mandela who wished to see Africa producing their own scientists and engineers who would research to find out solutions to the challenges of their communities. It has been a culture of the NM-AIST to work hard in order to live Nelson Mandela’s Legacy and through that many innovations are being molded, the plan is to have thousands of innovators like Hilonga and even more.

Professor Hilonga is one among many innovators at our University, we train Masters and PhD in SETI level only and every student must come up with an innovative research designed to solve a particular challenge. We have been doing that and of recently we have initiated an innovation centre through which our students and faculties are being incubated in order to ensure that faculties and students with promising solutions meets with business captains for mentoring and up scaling up their prototypes for commercialization purposes. Said Prof. Emmanuel Luoga. Prof. Luoga was accompanied by Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Charles Lugomela, Dean of the School of Materials, Energy, Water and Environmental Sciences, Prof. Levocatus Machunda and other members of the NM-AIST community. 

The celebrations included presentation of a 10 years Impact Reporthttps://bit.ly/ThirstForLife) that enumerated a number of achievements including serving more than 300,000 people with safe and clean drinking water in 10 regions of Tanzania and more branches in Kenya and Zambia. An inspiring and empowering Centre that grooms youngsters in entrepreneurship from various universities, colleges and R&D institutions. Finally through a virtual speech, Ms. Veronique Bourbeau, the ultra-endurance athlete had a word to address Africa and the world as she prepares to begin her Nanofilter enabled, record-breaking trans-African run from Egypt (Alexandria) to South Africa through which she will be spreading the good news about African own innovation called nonfilter for Africans and this is one of the strategies to reach 5Million people served by Nano filter by 2022.

Dr. Neema Mduma, a faculty member of the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), has been declared one among 20 Young Talents in Sub-Saharan Africa for the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science International Awards. Dr. Neema’s award is a recognition for her research titled: Data Driven Approach for Predicting Student Dropout in Secondary Schools. In this research, Neema and supervisors (Dr. Khamisi Kalegele and Dr. Dina Machuve) under the sponsorship of AfDB developed a Machine Learning web-based application called “BakiShule” to allow education stakeholders to easily predict and identify students who are at risk of dropping out of school for early intervention.

The selection was based on the quality of the application, scientific excellence in research and ability to communicate and promote science to young people. The 20 Young Talents were chosen among 330 applications by the jury of eminent scientists led by Prof. Nelson Torto, Executive Director of African Academy of Sciences (AAS). To support Young Talents from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Foundation L’Oré al-UNESCO will offer grants to winners, help them continue with their scientific work, with allocations of €10,000 for doctoral students and €15,000 for post-doctoral students. It is another milestone under the NM-AIST belt in embracing the Global Sustainable Goals of promoting women education especially in science field for sustainable development.

NM-AIST is honored to host the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign affairs and the Eas African Cooperations, Dr. Mwinyi Talib Haji during the Tanzania International Model United Nations (TIMUN 2020)

The event has gathered 180participants from Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and UK. under the umbrella of Youth of the United Nations Association (YUNA) set to have their meeting at the NM-AIST from today 29th September to the 2nd of October 2020. During his introductory speech, the Vice Chancellor of the NM-AIST highlighted that through its teaching, research, and innovation activities NM-AIST feed to 12 of the Global Sustainable Development Goals including ending hunger, promoting self-employment through turning innovations into viable business products and services, sustainable energy, and supporting industrialization. Youth were asked to tap on the opportunity to study at the NM-AIST in order to have a remarkable impact on the SDGs.

On 30th September 2020 a delegation from the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) visited the NM-AIST as part of familiarization with the activities and achievements of the institution after a week-long legal-related training in Arusha. The team was able to meet the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Emmanuel J. Luoga, and were able to discuss a number of issues including the upcoming Forensic language short course, a tailor-made course to the financial institution and Law enforcers of the government especially in this digital era, and some achievements and challenges. After a Courtesy to the Vice Chancellor's office, the delegation had a brief campus tour to the laboratories, the three Centres of Excellency namely: The Africa Centre for Research, Agricultural Advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability (CREATES), Water Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy Futures (WISE – Futures) The Centre of Excellence for ICT in East Africa (CENIT@EA) where they were briefed on various activities which are undertaken by the centres including research and innovation activities and ultimately products and solutions generated out of research by students and faculty members.

On behalf of the Delegation, Mr. Serili Denis, the assistant Manager Legal Secretariat Services at BoT expressed his appreciation to the Management of the NM-AIST for carrying out such a vigour mission of transforming Higher Learning Institution to a hub of industrialization through its cutting edge innovations. They were able to see products like Vuruga bio-peptide, a nutritional supplement called Nutrano, Omega 3DHASuperfood, and Anti Plagiarism system of which soon they will undergo mass production/distribution. Members purchased some of the products and later on, they visited the Incubation centre and got a brief overview of its role in taking research and innovation outputs to the market.

NM-AIST declared Over all Winner among Education Institutions for NANENANE Northern zone l, 2020. Arusha Institute of Accountancy (AIA) scored second position while Arusha Technical College (ATC) was declared the third Winner. This is a good truck record to the NM-AIST as last year NM-AIST scored the first position too.

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