HomeLocal NewsNust student selected for African Space Industry class

Nust student selected for African Space Industry class

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BY STAFF REPORTER

NATIONAL University of Science and Technology engineering student Tafadzwa Banga (23) has made history after he was selected to be one of the 10 Africans to participate in the African space industry 2021 class of under 30-year-olds.

In a statement yesterday, the African Space Industry said Africa had the highest youth population in the world which could contribute ideas to keep the continent conversant with space issues.

“In 2019, we started the top 10 under-30 series to spotlight the profiles of the top 10 innovators, engineers, researchers, writers, and contributors to the Africa Space Industry.

“This year, having gone through a thorough selection process, we are once again presenting Africa’s top 10 under-30 in the Africa Space Industry.  These young people continue to display outstanding courage and contribution to the industry, reminding us at all times that Africa is ready to take a place  in the global space market,” it said.

Banga is the founder of Young Inventors Organisation at Nust, where he is studying industrial and manufacturing engineering.  In 2018, Banga led a team of students from Young Inventors Organisation who won a regional hackathon competition in South Africa, which was organised by the University of Oxford and Nepad SANBIO.

He is also the Space Generation Advisory Council national point person for Zimbabwe. In 2020, he also led a team of engineering students who launched a student-designed electronic payload in near space using a high altitude balloon, which made significant impact in the awareness of space education and breast cancer.

“I was not expecting the award, but it is quite an opportunity which can go a long way to motivate other young Zimbabweans to take interest in space issues.  Zimbabwe has its own national space agency and they will be happy that young people in the country are actually contributing towards space development,” Banga told NewsDay yesterday.

Nust spokesperson Thabani Mpofu described the achievement as a strong demonstration that Nust students are trained to impact society with creative and innovative skills through their education experience which is one of the fruits of heritage-based education 5.0 whose focus is research, community engagement, innovation and industrialisation.

“Congratulations to Banga and his lecturers.  Nust is renowned for pioneering industry-based learning in Zimbabwe where students access a range of industry placements and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) rich work-learning environments that challenge them to live by the university motto of ‘Think In Other Terms’,” Mpofu said.

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