The Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, (MAZ) and the University of Zimbabwe, (UZ) have signed a memorandum of Agreement to facilitate and host the Summer School whose aim is to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

Over time, MAZ has noted that a myriad of practical marketing trends emerge in industry due to the changing technological landscape. Further, each year, academic institutions conduct researches which never get to be seen by industry. This collaboration seeks to close this gap and provide an interface where industry outlines the practical marketing applications in industry, whilst the academia share relevant research findings. This interface dovetails with the University of Zimbabwe’s transformative journey where one of its five strategic objectives is to develop strategic partnerships to leverage knowledge-sharing, resource mobilization and investments for advancement of innovative research, outreach, teaching and business development.

The objectives of the Summer School are;

  1. To provide a platform for the academic world to share research insights and findings/ outputs from their wealth of research, which will assist industry in decision making;
  2. To provide a platform for industry to share practical insights, challenges, and opportunities, as well as new trends which will open opportunities for further
  3. To provide a networking platform for both industry and the academic sector so as to encourage a consistent flow of ideas between the two sectors, in particular in the business and marketing spheres.
  4. To identify research gaps that can create many research questions for masters and doctoral students at the University of Zimbabwe.

The Summer school seminar will be held over a 2 day period and will be open to ; marketing lecturers from all relevant universities and colleges in Zimbabwe; marketing personnel in the relevant Universities and colleges from the Administration Side; marketing Students from relevant universities and colleges in Zimbabwe and Industry practitioners and industry-based lecturers in Zimbabwe and abroad.

MAZ Executive Secretary, Mr Gillian Rusike who signed on behalf of MAZ said the MOA resonated with the association’s thrust to promote marketing professionalism and synergies, thereby ensuring that marketing is learnt, recognised and implemented to the highest levels for economic sustainability.

“Over the years we have envisaged such a partnership where industry and the academia meet to exchange ideas. We are happy that we have the University of Zimbabwe partnering us in this historic initiative. We have marketing graduates across universities in Zimbabwe that have done extensive research and innovations as part of their final year projects and disappointingly most of these projects are stacked up at the Faculty office and gather dust yet they have an impact to today’s industry,” said Mr Rusike.

He said the MOA with the University of Zimbabwe will cement the relations between industry and the academia and also resonated with Government’s education 5.0 thrust.
“This Summer School will be open to all universities in Zimbabwe and industry personnel. We are also inviting students with the best projects to come through and share their projects with industry.This will create synergies that will also see industry investing in academic research projects and also getting value through implementation of new research finding from the marketing students,” added Mr Rusike.

He said the proposed dates for the Summer School are 9th and 10th September 2021 at the University of Zimbabwe Post Graduate Centre. “So, we are going to have seminars and exhibitions from the lecturers and students during the two day Summer School. The University of Zmbabwe said it welcomes the laudable partnership as it comes at a time when the University is reconfiguring and modernizing itself into a nationally relevant and globally significant higher education leader in Heritage-based Education 5.0, contributing towards Zimbabwe’s development of a productive and sustainable research-innovation-industrialization ecosystem.

University of Zimbabwe Vice chancellor Professor Dr Paul Mapfumo said, the partnership between the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) and the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) is a great initiative which is creating a base for real practices between graduate students and industry. “Traditionally, universities were only known for teaching and research, but of late they have become both innovation explorers and innovation merchants. The partnership will create new teaching, research and modernization, creating a business environment in Universities which meets the needs of economy and society,” said Prof Mapfumo.

Prof Mapfumo said the partnership is a platform for game changing knowledge sharing and exchange between Marketers, the academia and universities which is meant to unravel new knowledge and ideas that have not been previously explored, hence the uniqueness of this partnership.  “This is an opportunity for the industry to achieve their own goals with the help of the universities specialist ideas and improve their products and services. Students will have the opportunity to receive practical experience and get insights into companies and their different activities. The partnership is also a platform for networking and job creation,” he said.

He urged the academia and industry to embrace the Marketing Summer School as the modern world is influenced by marketing.  “Without marketing, brands would struggle to survive and the consumer market would fail because they would not be aware of the goods and services that they could purchase. Without marketing we would revert to Stone Age and the human race would cease to exist”.