In 1995, the Tropical Biology Association hosted the first Zimbabwean in its field courses. Today some 15 Zimbabweans have benefited from the courses. This is however not enough given the large number of young Zimbabweans seeking practical training in conservation skills to make an impact in their motherland. It is through this realisation that the Zimbabwe TBA alumni decided to act.
In 2014, under the leadership of Kudzai Mafuwe, Joshua Tsamba and Edwin Tambara the group organised a networking event dubbed ‘enhancing capacity and building collaborations in conservation’. The event’s main objective was to launch the ‘Zimbabwe TBA Alumni group’ and initiate activities to increase the capacity of upcoming Zimbabwean scientists to effectively engage in conservation work especially in research.
The seminar was held on19th November 2014, at the University of Zimbabwe, and was lauded for initiating peer-to-peer learning, and delivering solution-based training on emerging and key issues of ecological and conservation interest in Zimbabwe. Talks at the seminar went beyond Zimbabwe to cover biodiversity conservation in the Southern Africa region. At the end of the training the participants discussed the way forward for the group and for conservation in Zimbabwe.
With ‘Zimbabwe TBA Alumni group’ now in place, the future looks bright – the group plans to organise outings to expose the ecology and biology students at the local tertiary institutions to research opportunities on the ground. This will stimulate interest in their studies and help them make informed decisions on their future career. The group also plans to hold regular seminars.
The group, which is partnering with TBA, is grateful to the organisation for their support, and believe that together, they will champion conservation in their motherland of Zimbabwe.
“Before, forming a group seemed impossible but thanks to TBA we now have a group that will change conservation status of our country Zimbabwe.”
Kudzai Mafuwe, 13/1 Amani, Zimbabwe