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[LUSAKA] Zambia will establish a centre to train researchers in information and communication technology skills.

The centre, based at the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) in Lusaka, is backed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has provided US$24 million worth of equipment, including computers and servers.

Researchers from any African country will be welcome to use the centre for online research, according to Zambia's Science and Technology minister, Brian Chituwo.

The government announced the new centre last week (21 February). Chituwo said it signalled the country's commitment to advancing science and technology, and would enhance its ability to share knowledge by linking research and development.

"It is gratifying to note that the commissioning [of the centre] has taken place soon after the African Union Summit on science and technology held in Ethiopia," he said.

The centre will equip researchers with the information and communication technology skills for scientific research into the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology, and also in areas such as agriculture, communication, health and education.

Zambia is the second African country, after Rwanda, to commission a centre to provide training in information and communication technologies.