December 12, 2017 | P.Mutale

Article Title | Cyber Crime and Security

Today's world has been made easy and simple with computers, for employees as well as students, but they also come with their own disadvantages. Computers and computer systems refer to the computation, communication, instrumentation and control devices that make up functional elements of an organization facility. This includes not only desktop computers, mainframe systems, servers, network devices, but also lower level components such as embedded systems and PLCs (programmable logic controllers). In essence, the concern is all components that may be susceptible to electronic compromise. This involves theft of confidential information, fraud: where money is stolen from bank accounts using the internet through by passing passwords of various electronic gadgets . There are many criminal activities that occur using the information communication technologies (ICTS) and these crimes are called "Cybercrimes". In this paper we discuss the in-depth of cybercrime, how it's committed and how to avoid such crimes in an organsiation.

The introduction of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs ) into many aspects of everyday life has led to the development of the modern concept of the information society. This development of the information society offers great opportunities. Technical developments have improved daily life, for example, online banking and shopping, the use of mobile data services and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), are just some examples of how far the integration of ICTs into our daily lives has advanced. However, the growth of the information society is accompanied by new and serious threats. Essential services such as water and electricity supply now rely on ICTs. Cars, traffic control, elevators, air conditioning and telephones also depend on the smooth functioning of ICTs . Personal and sensitive information is stored online, increasing the potential rewards for cyber criminals. Attacks against information infrastructure and Internet services now have the potential to harm society in new and critical ways.

fraud and hacking attacks are just some examples of computer-related crimes that are committed on a large scale, known as cyber crimes. Cybercrime is committed using computers; it takes someone who is computer literate to perform the crime. This is a challenge of today's computer age apart from viruses. Cyber crimes are defined as "criminal activities carried out by means of computers or internet, networks, it is also known as hacking".They arise by new technology and procedures. Most cyber crimes are anonymous and it’s difficult to trace the culprit, it needs expert knowledge to identify that your computer has been hacked. Cyber crimes have caused financial damages in some countries, malicious damage on the computer software systems and information theft. Cyber crime is more costly than any other physical crime .

Cybercrime often has an international dimension. E-mails with illegal content often pass through a number of countries during the transfer from sender to recipient, or illegal content is stored outside the country. Within cybercrime investigations, it's concluded that close cooperation between the countries involved is very important, because it's a global problem. The existing mutual legal assistance agreements are based on formal, complex and often time-consuming procedures, and in addition often do not cover computer-specific investigations setting up procedures for quick response to incidents, as well as requests for international cooperation, is therefore vital.

Many organizations are behind the curve in terms of cyber security, relying predominantly on static defensive measures and compliance-oriented processes. Transitioning to a threat-oriented posture is not easy, and change needs to occur across the organisation, processes and technologies.
To prevent an organization from being hacked it is necessary to implement cyber security program, to make your system more secure. Cyber security is an attempt to describe the protection of a very complex and expanding set of programmable electronic devices and their supporting architecture.
There are two types of threats in an organisation that can drive to cybercrime; Cybercrime insider threats and Cybercrime outsider threats

Cyber insider threats;

These are employees within an organization. The threat from insiders is real and growing. The insider threat can never be ruled out.He's always the first suspect, therefore there's need to use mechanisms to keep insider threats in check. Insiders pose the most risk to cyber security, because they may have unrestricted access to sensitive data & systems. They may have means, methods and motives to access information and they may have mechanisms to hide or delay the attack detection. Insiders can leak information, even passwords to sensitive data information, tricked by external parties in return for a bribe or blackmail
Occasionally, insiders lack awareness and make unintended mistakes; by going to unsolicited sites and make the system vulnerable to attackers. Other reasons could be that insiders have ineffective management of privileged user inappropriate role. Non existence of the ICT policy which gives the guideline on how to use the ICTs in an organization, has resulted to employees committing the crime due to ignorance

Cyber Out sider threats;

Are usually motivated by money, they engage in malware, phishing, identity theft and fraudulent money request attacks. Such attackers are usually hired by competitors of the parent organisation, for sabotage

Measures to be taken Avoid Cyber Crimes

Sun Tzu, in the "Art of War" states that "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat ". Understanding the enemy is an important mechanism to develop an effective defensive posture. It is hard to protect against that which you do not understand . Threat actors to security in organizations continue to develop and enhance their cyber capabilities. Assessment of these cyber capabilities, while often an extremely difficult challenge due to multiple factors, is an important aspect of cyber security.
Methodologies are needed to support characterization and analysis of the threat including capabilities, motivation, and probable tactics. Accurate threat assessments are the key element in developing a design basis threat document for use in protective system development and testing as well as for regulatory evaluation

Taking the following steps will help you get protected from various cyber threats:

  • Address accessibility and search ability challenges for logins
  • Emphasis on detecting targeted attempts
  • Upgrade indicator tracking from docs/memos to database
  • Email indicators: "redirect" suspicious incoming emails to analyst mailbox i.e. Spam emails
  • Use signatures from peers to proactively scan
  • Consider in-house cyber threat role
  • Strengthen integration between IT and cyber security groups via exercises, liaison roles, exchanges, joint planning decisions
  • Strengthen controls on network usage (2 factor authentication)
  • Perform risk assessment
  • Strengthen user awareness training: threat bulletins, real examples, what to do before you click, contests ongoing campaign
  • Consider sharing logs, samples (indicators aren’t the only valuable data)
  • Change password frequently
  • Password should have a combination of letters and numbers, with other characters, avoid using your name, age and anything familiar to the hacker
  • Antivirus update
  • Gain access to perimeter email logs


Finding response strategies and solutions to the threat of cybercrime is a major challenge, especially for developing countries. A comprehensive anti-cybercrime strategy generally contains technical protection measures, as well as legal instruments. The development and implementation of these instruments need time. Technical protection measures are cost-intensive. Developing countries need to integrate protection measures into the roll-out of the Internet from the beginning, as although this might initially raise the cost of Internet services, the long-term gains in avoiding the costs and damage inflicted by cybercrime are large and far outweigh any initial outlays on technical protection measures and network safeguards.


  • Donald D. Dudenhoeffe, Computer Security Programme: Overview Computer Security Programme, 2005
  • Regarding the threat of attacks against computer systems integrated in cars, see: BBC News, Cars safe from computer viruses, 11.05.2005,
  • Regarding the threat of attacks against computer systems integrated in cars, .2005, Report, 2007
  • Varying Regarding the impact of ICT on society, see the report Sharpening Europe's Future through ICT- Report from the information society technologies advisory group, 2006,
  • Sun Tzu, Art of war, 2009
  • R. Katebe1, Z. Phiri2 and E. Nyirenda2

    Radon Concentration Levels Estimation in Some Drinking Water Samples from Communities around Lumwana Mine in North Western Province of Zambia

    1. National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research, Lusaka 310158, Zambia
    2. School of Engineering, University of Zambia, Lusaka 32379, Zambia

    image1 Abstract: The difference in the concentration of dissolved radon (222Rn) in drinking water from wells and streams around Lumwana area in Zambia remains of interest because of the radiation-induced public health hazards. A total of nine (09) communities around Lumwana mine were selected for this study because their sources of drinking water are wells and streams. The underlying geology of this area is predominantly high grade, metamorphosed, intensely mylonitised, recrystallised muscovite–phlogopite–quartz–kyanite schists with disseminated sulphides (typically < 5%), dominated by chalcopyrite and bornite with known elevated concentrations of uranium, which ultimately decays to radon gas. The main aim of this paper is to estimate the contribution of (222Rn) to public exposure due to natural radioactivity in drinking water. The concentration of radon levels in the collected water samples was analyzed using an Alpha Spectrometer called RTM (radon thoron monitor 2200) and the average results were found to vary from 4.44 Bq/L to 32.13 Bq/L. The obtained values are lower than the WHO (world health organization) recommended guidelines for drinking-water quality value of 100 Bq/L. The annual effective dose for the adults in these communities were in the range of 16.21 to 117.28 μSv/a slightly above the WHO recommended guideline reference dose level of 100 μSv/a.

    January 12, 2017 | Nazalio Banda


    image1 Scientific Glassblowing Workshop at National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) was established in 1975. It is actually situated at NISIR headquarters along Kenneth Kaunda International Airport road. The whole idea for establishing a glassblowing workshop was to ensure that there is self-reliance on producing and repair of scientific glass apparatus for NISIR laboratories and offer the same service to the public.

    National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) is the only institute in Zambia which provides services as in fabrication, repair and modification of laboratory glass apparatus to the public. Some notable glassware which the Glassblowing section at NISIR produces are: test-tubes, boiling tubes, Liebig condensers’ laboratory spirit lamps, stirring rods, beakers and many more laboratory scientific glassware. Currently apart from NISIR, there is no any other company which provides glassblowing services in country. However, NISIR Glassblowing Workshop has been providing scientific glassblowing services to research Institution, Universities, colleges and schools in Zambia. Laboratory glassware is very vital to the above mentioned institution.


    No Item Kwacha Dollar
    1. Liebig Condenser K35 $3.5
    2. Test-Tube 16mm diameter 160mm length K5 $0.5
    3. Test-Tube 18mm diameter x 160mm length K6 $0.6
    4. Spirit Lamp 50mls K25 $2.5
    5. Beakers 100mls K12 $1.2
    6. Boiling Tube 24 mm diameter K8 $0.8
    7. Stirring rods 7mm diameter x 30mm length K6 $0.6
    8. Stirring rods 8mm diameter x 30mm length K8 $0.8
    October 6, 2017 |

    Article Title | Radon Gas

    Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) are generally present in the environment and occur at very low concentration in all rocks, soil, water, plants and animals including man. The major sources of NORM are minerals found in the earth's crust such as uranium, thorium, actinium, neptunium with their decay products and radioactive potassium [1]. Radon (Rn-222) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless radioactive gas which is chemically inert. It is produced from the disintegration of radium, a decay product of uranium. The decay chain of uranium to radon is provided below.


    Radon gas has a Half-life of 3.8 days which means after 3.8 days, its radioactive strength reduces by half. It is the only known radioactive gas and is the densest (9.73 kg/m3) of the noble gases at standard temperature and pressure. This makes it about 8 times denser than the earth’s atmosphere (1.22 kg/m3) at sea level [2]. Radon decays to Pb-206 a stable isotope of Lead and all its decay products are solids and as such they tend to stick to surfaces of dust particles in the air. If this contaminated dust is inhaled, these particles can stick to the airways of the lungs and increase the risk of developing lung cancer. Radon is a major contributor to public exposure to ionizing radiation and it is the single largest contributor to back ground radiation dose. Everyone is exposed to some amount of this gas because of its abundance in the environment. However, individuals may be chronically exposed to higher levels of radon without suspecting depending on their geographical location. In general, places with high levels of NORM tend to record higher levels of Radon.

    Radon is considered a significant contaminant that affects indoor air quality worldwide. The levels of radon in a building will depend on a number of factors such as the materials used in building, geology of the soil where the buildings is erected and the quality of air circulation. Building materials with high levels of NORM in particular radium tend to be a source of radon. In most cases, radon diffuses up through the ground to the atmosphere and into homes and buildings. The pathways of radon into buildings are cracked solid floors, construction joints, cracked walls, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around service pipes, cavities inside walls, and through the water supply system. The Figure below illustrates radon pathways into buildings. Once inside a building, the gas settles on the floor and lower surfaces and cannot easily escape because of its high density. Levels of radon are generally highest in basements and enclosed spaces because of their poor ventilation.

    There are several proven methods that can reduce levels of radon in dwelling and work places. The most effective way is to improve on the ventilation system in buildings through the use of ducts and fans, which can pull radon from lower surfaces and vent it to the outside. Sealing foundation cracks and other openings has also proven to be efficient and economical. The most effective way to minimize exposure to radon would be to regulate building materials for NORM and also to develop codes and standards for land clearance in relation to radon gas in the soil

    In Zambia, Lumwana area in the North-Western part of the country has high levels of NORM and it is expected that levels of radon gas are also high. Radon gas studies have been carried out by NISIR’s Nuclear Energy and Analytical Services Programme (NEAASP) in communities around Lumwana area through assistance by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Technical Cooperation and National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). An abstract of the works carried out is presented on page 23 of this Newsletter.

  • G. Audi; A. H. Wapstra; C. Thibault; J. Blachot & O. Bersillon (2003). "The NUBASE evaluation of nuclear and decay properties" (PDF). Nuclear Physics A. 729:
  • 3128. Bibcode:2003NuPhA.729....3A. doi:10.1016/j.nuclphysa.2003.11.001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2008.
  • http://www.ijc.org/php/publications/html/invrep/chapter2.html
  • http://www.dulley.com/ref/fe015.htm
  • www.epa.gov
  • November 22, 2017 | Mwape Musonda

    Article Title | Investing in Science and Technology for Sustainable Development

    Society dictates that the youths of today eventually become the leaders of tomorrow and therefore investing in youths is high priority for sustainable development world over. Young people are regarded as the most valuable assets any country in the world can ever possess because of their energy, creativity and ability to bring about change. History teaches us of great men like Steve Jobs who invented the world's first personal computer and now we have Mark Zukerberg who invented the world's largest social media network Facebook. Both Jobs and Zukerberg gave the world their greatest gifts in the prime of their youth and the list of other young people who did the same is endless. In our country youths make up the majority of the population and one can be tempted to think that we are armed and saddled for sustainable economic development. But when you consider the percentage of the youths that are being trained to manage the affairs of this country in futuren you actually realize that we are headed to an economic impasse. The youths of this country are faced with a number of challenges which range from the limited number of opportunities in both primary and professional education, lack of social amenities, and malnourishment to the high levels of unemployment. These challenges are not common to Zambian youths only but to the world in its entirety and leaders are plagued with finding ways to eliminate them.

    First world countries have fought to minimize the above challenges by investing more in science and technology during primary education and in facilitating good health for their youths. In countries like Japan and China, children in primary schools are allowed their imaginations to the extent that what they create is sponsored into big projects. Rather than being taught about science from the books, these youths are allowed to carry out real life experiments where they produce products like simple wrist watches, game boards and toys which are even shipped to Africa for sale. It is this kind of enabling environment and exposure that propels the youth from these countries to achieve great inventions like Facebook, computers and the like. Such inventions do not just benefit the owners but also their countries as industries are born out of them and many citizens get employed and this reduces the unemployment levels.

    On the contrary, Zambian and the many African youths alike are subjected to text book science until sometime in their tenth grade due to lack of concentrated investment in science and technology during early education. By this time the imaginative part of their brains is almost being replaced with the hush realities of life and at the time of their graduation either from high school or college their minds are already made up on looking for employment. This will continue to contribute to the increasing number of graduates roaming streets.

    I want to highlight here that we need a change of approach to investing in youths as a country if we want to see real sustainable development in the future. More funds need to be channelled to research, innovation, science and technology if we want to industrialize our economy. Our leaders need to appreciate that without science and technology no new industries can be established and therefore no permanent jobs can be created for the people. Without science and technology we shall continue to import almost every commodity we consume in this country and this translates into shipping all production jobs to the countries that supply us.

    During the 2014 SADC meeting held in Harare Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who was elected chairman of the regional body made a call to industrialization of the countries within SADC to reduce the dependency on oversea countries. And African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Lamina Zama also reiterated President Mugabe’s call saying African needs to establish research centres as well as training centres of excellence to fast track beneficiation and value addition of its natural resources in the same year. Our country was a party to this agreement and we have seen in the recent past the improvement in so far as investment in science and technology is concerned and we can only hope that more resources will be channelled to institutions like NISIR that are steering the innovation and development of science and technology and this is the only way to guarantee sustainable economic development for our country.

    The author is a NISIR Employee, Chairperson of the NISIR staff union, ZICA Member, PPAZ Board National Treasurer, Mufulira Secondary School Alumni Chairperson, CBU distance learning students representative and TUTA Radio FM Board Member

    July 12, 2017 | Bright Mweetwa

    Article Title | Basic and Applied Research: A Backdrop of Technological development

    The world market is every day flooded with new technologies and advancement in versions of already existing technologies. This fast rate at which technologies are reaching the market can be attributed to dedicated hours of research. Developed countries have played a critical role in the steady flow of new technologies on the world market, however, the contribution to advancement in technology seems to have eluded most African countries. For example, Zambia was ranked 125th out of 128 countries in the 2016 Global Innovation Index (7th National Development Plan).

    The continent is known to be an ardent consumer of western technologies and a lesser contributor of technologies on the world market. The ability to develop technologies that reach the market involves an array of activities including, but not limited to basic research, applied research, adequate funding for both basic and applied research; and good marketing strategies of end products. To achieve this, a holistic and balanced funding mechanism for this array of activities is required. Developed countries have a better understanding of this mechanism. However, for developing countries, this seems to be farfetched as there seems to be a skewed funding mechanism evidenced through cooperating partners in development (sponsors or funding agencies) being more interested in applied research and less of basic research. The bias in funding is also re-echoed in the shift in focus within the scientific community from the phrase "Publish or Perish" to the now much emphasized “Patent or Perish". It is important to understand the difference between basic research and applied research and how each one of them contributes to a holistic outlook on the benefits of science. This article highlights the need to give equal importance to both basic and applied research.

    According to the Code of Federal Regulations (32 CFR 272.3 - Definition of basic research), basic Research is defined as: a systematic study directed towards greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind. It includes all scientific study and experimentation directed toward increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding in those fields of the physical, engineering, environmental, and life sciences related to long-term national security needs. It is farsighted high payoff research that provides the basis for technological progress.
    Applied research is defined as: a form of systematic inquiry involving the practical application of science. It accesses and uses some part of the research communities' (the academia's) accumulated theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques, for a specific, often state, business, or client-driven purpose and often has a commercial bias.

    The definition of basic research highlights four issues:

    • seeking to increase fundamental knowledge;
    • no specific applications towards processes, or products in mind;
    • it is farsighted high payoff research;
    • provides a basis for technological progress.
    On the other hand, the definition of applied research highlights three critical issues; (I) practical application of science; (ii) solving a specific, often state, business, or client-driven purpose; and (iii) has a commercial bias.

    It can be deduced, from these definitions, that basic research focuses on filling knowledge gaps and may not have immediate applications, where as applied research seeks to answer questions in the real world thus solving problems related needs of society. It should be understood that research is an ongoing process involving a contingent of choices. Each time a decision is made from alternative courses of action, the factors that influence this choice set the criteria for categorizing the research as either basic or applied. If the choice is entirely influenced by the conceptual structure of the subject rather than the ultimate utility of the results, then the research is generally regarded to be basic despite the general subject relating to possible applications. The fact that research is basic does not mean that the results lack utility, but only that utility is not the primary factor in the choice of direction for each successive step (Harvey Brooks, 1966, Applied Research, Definitions, Concepts, Themes).

    There are other forms of basic research which have a general field that requires application but their underlying science maybe fundamental. A typical example of this type of basic research is applicable in life sciences where almost any new knowledge has a fairly high probability of being applicable. This type of basic research is referred to as “oriented basic research” (Harvey Brook, 1966). Applied research uses existing knowledge to make innovations and may have a commercial bias and spin-offs, unlike basic research which does not have immediate spin-offs. Most scientists believe that a basic understanding of all branches of science is needed in order to achieve significant progress in Research and Develop (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).

    According to Karen Kashmanian, basic research is a farsighted foundation on which applied research is built on, and feeds the pipeline for products and services we consume. If basic research is done first, then more applied research spin-offs eventually follow.
    It is worth noting that in as much as there is basic research and applied research, there are also scientists who can be categorized based on these two categories of research. In most cases, scientists who are more inclined to basic research have curious minds and want to answer conceptual and fundamental questions whereas scientists who are inclined to applied science have minds that want to solve real life problems. These two categories of scientists are cardinal if meaningful technologies have to be developed. However, in today’s world, curious minds are slowly losing their curiosity as there is much emphasis on applied research.

    There is an important correlation between basic research and applied research that cannot be overlooked if technologies have to reach the market. In Zambia's case, there is a growing trend focusing on applied research and less of basic research. However, there is need to develop funding strategies for basic research if the country has to see Zambian technologies on the world market. As long as there is poor funding for basic research which is a precursor to applied research, the country will continue lagging behind in state of the art technological development.

    Most Cooperating Partners in Development would rather invest their resources in applied research because of its commercial viability and promising investment returns. This puts pressure on scientists to come up with applied research proposals that can attract funding. The downside to this is the focusing on applied research by most scientists and neglecting basic research. The important question for developing countries is; who has to fund basic research since there cannot be any meaningful technological development without a strong basic research background and keeping in mind that basic research is expensive, time consuming and there are no guarantees of a billion-dollar breakthrough. The financial pressure then falls squarely on Government funding.

    Equal importance should be given to both Basic research and applied research are correlated and as such there is need to have equal importance for both basic research and applied research if there has to be any meaningful technological development in Zambia and Africa as a whole. Governments have to develop funding strategies for basic research since cooperating partners are more interested in commercialization of applied research innovations and technologies.

    There should be a clear distinction between scientists who are basic-research oriented (with curious minds) and those who are applied-research oriented. A failure to distinguish such scientist will result in lamping all of them in the applied research category. This will result in losing out the usefulness of the curious minded scientist. . Basic research oriented scientists should be encouraged and incentivized as they are the backdrop of applied research and eventual commercial technologies.

    "To undertake scientific, technological and industrial research effectively and efficiently in order to address needs of the industry and promote innovation".

    NISIR in Kitwe is using this micro propagation technique in various crops such as cassava, bananas, pineapple, sweet potatoes, eucalyptus, Artemisia, potatoes, and sugarcane. Activities in this research category include development of protocols for regeneration of whole plants from plant cells or tissue cultures, rapid multiplication of plants and conservation of germ-plasm of different crops.

    The Programme is using this micro propagation technique in various crops such as cassava, bananas, pineapple, sweet potatoes, eucalyptus, Artemisia, potatoes, and sugarcane. Activities in this research category include development of protocols for regeneration of whole plants from plant cells or tissue cultures, rapid multiplication of plants and conservation of germ-plasm of different crops.

    Cassava Crop Improvement

    Cassava Crop Improvement Through In Vitro Mutation Breeding. Three cassava local varieties (Bangweulu, Nalumino and Mweru) are being investigated. The first material that was irradiated with gamma rays is now in the fourth generation under-going field evaluations. The objectives are to improve the nutritional characteristics and agronomic traits of these local varieties. This project is an IAEA sponsored project. IAEA has funded the training of staff and provision of equipment. The Zambian Government has continued to provide the counter-part funding for the execution of project activities.

    Micropropagation of Eucalyptus

    Micropropagation of Selected Eucalyptus Clones in Zambia. There has been an increase in the demand for plants with superior growth potential. Micropropagation has the potential to provide very high multiplication rates to meet the demand of selected tree genotypes, with resulting short-term sivilcultural gains.

    The studies on micropropagation of Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus cloeziana is a study that has been jointly funded by Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation Limited (ZAFFICO) and National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR). It is aimed at utilization of tissue culture technique to raise superior eucalyptus planting material for ZAFFICO for the establishment of seed orchards.

    Tissue Calture bananas in a screen house


  • Supplying tissue cultured disease free and superior planting material for cassava, sweet potato, pineapple, banana, sugar-cane and Irish potato.
  • Supplying budded orange seedlings and other nursery plants (indigenous and exotic)
  • Consultancy services in crop production and phytopathology
  • To be a lead institution in providing scientific and technological solutions for sustainable socio-economic development of the nation

    The programme consists of the Library, Publishing and Information Technology sections. It's focus is on acquiring relevant scientific and technological information to support research activities and repackaging information generated for dissemination.
    The program has a printing facility and hosts a TEVETA registered National Training Tele-Centre. The department also produces annual reports, technical reports, Zambia Science Abstracts and an internal Sci-Tech newsletter. Furthermore, it has provided practical training to university and college students in Library and Information and Computer Studies.


    The library functions to acquire relevant scientific and technological information to support effective and efficient research and development activities and repackage information generated through these activities for dissemination


    The institute has an ICT based training Tele-center aiming at promoting human resource development by use of teaching/learning methods using information. The Tele-center has a large conference hall available for hire to institution/ organization wishing to organize their trainings and workshops. `

    Animal Science Research is Located in Chilanga, and houses the following Laboratories:

    Livestock Productivity and Disease Control laboratory

    Livestock Productivity and Disease Control Programme was merged with the predecessor of the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research in 1970 at the dissolution of the Agricultural Research Council of Zambia.
    The Programme was established in 1967. Research activities have in the past concentrated on identification, elucidation and suggestion of solutions to problems that adversely affect livestock health and reproduction especially in the traditional/peasant sector.
    Research activities were focused on broad areas of reproduction patterns of local breeds of cattle, management practices, nutrition and pasture, distribution and seasonal activity of ticks, and ecology, biology and population dynamics of tsetse.

    image1 A Rabbit used for experimental research

    Later Myco-toxicology was added to the centre. The programme aims at improving livestock productivity through integrated appropriate technologies and to provide quality and effective research and development services to the livestock sector for improved agricultural production and food security.

    programme aims at improving livestock productivity through integrated appropriate technologies and to provide quality and effective research and development services to the livestock sector for improved agricultural production and food security.

    National Biotechnology Laboratory

    The Laboratory was officially inaugurated by His Excellency Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC on 29th April 2007 as a result of bilateral cooperation between the Governments of Zambia and Norway. The Laboratory is equipped to carry out genetic assays to screen for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) contamination in agricultural imports and exports. Analytical services in GMO testing (seeds and processed foods) are provided to the public.

    The mandate of the Biotechnology is to contribute to the sustainable development of the country through prudent development and application of biotechnology. Since then Biotechnology: Contribute to the sustainable development of the country through prudent use and application of biotechnology; Livestock Productivity and Disease Control: Provide quality and effective research and development services to the livestock sector for improved agricultural production and food security; Sustainable Use of Underutilized Genetic Resources: Conduct research in the sustainable use of underutilized genetic resources and promote conservation of biodiversity; Water Energy and Environment: Undertake research and development activities in water, energy and environment in order to ensure their sustainable utilization in national socio-economic development.

    The programme activities are directed at developing new materials, applications, technologies and products for industrial use and providing engineering services to clients. It consists of Electronics/Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Glassblowing, Building materials, Ceramics and Industrial minerals; and textiles materials.

    Present and Past Activities

    • The Programme has continued to offer services in the repair and maintenance of scientific equipment to research programmes.
    • The programme did some work on the Wind Power station to focus on the improvement of electricity generation.
    • The programme has in the past supplied Zambia Electricity and Supply Corporation with porcelain reel and shackle insulators produced from NISIR's Ceramic Pilot Plant
    • Fabricates Scientific and creative Glassware
    • Scientific glassware is supplied to laboratories in the country for conducting experiments and quality control activities.
    • Produces different ceramic products and gives advisory services on clays.
    • Building materials and industrial minerals testing is done upon request by clients.


    Mechanical Section


    The main objective of this project is to provide backstopping support to research and development activities at NISIR and other institutions so as to reduce on equipment down time. The project activities are repair and maintenance of various types of scientific equipment and other routine maintenance work.



    The overall objective is to produce and supply high quality shackle and reel insulators to institutions such as ZESCO for use in electrical installations.
    Production of shackles and reel insulators and other ceramic products from the abundant quality local clay deposits Read more

    Glassblowing Section


    The overall objective of this project is to provide effective support to research and development activities at NISIR and other institutions so as to reduce the cost of scientific glassware procurement and promote and enhance the conduct of scientific experiments in the education sector in Zambian.


    Nuclear Energy Applications and Analytical Services is one of the program offered at the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research Head qaurters. The mandate of the programme is to conduct scientific research using nuclear analytical techniques and application of nuclear technology. The programme is specialized in Radiometric and Nuclear Analytical Techniques (EDXRF, Gamma Spectrometry, Alpha Spectrometry, Radon monitoring & Fast Neutron Activation Analysis)& Radiation processing (Co-60 & Cs-137).

    Our Objective As Nuclear EnergyApplications and Analytical Services

    • To promote peaceful application of nuclear energy in research and other developmental activities.
    • To contribute towards the provision of radiological safety and radiation protection.
    • To provide assistance to researchers and other professional staffs at institutions of higher learning and medical institutions
    • To provide quality analytical services in line with requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005
    • To provide quality gamma irradiation services to customers


    We Offer Analytical and Consultancy Services

    • Measurement of Radioactivity in environmental Samples
    • Measurement of Radon Gas in dwelling places and mines
    • Analysis of heavy metals in water, geological, food and other environmental samples
    • Analysis of non-metals such as nitrates, sulphates, phosphates and other salts in various environmental constituencies.
    • Consultancy in Radiological Environmental Monitoring , Impact Assessment and Radiological Risk Assessment
    • Expert advice / training on safety and radiation protection
    • Irradiation services of various material for sterilization, shelve life extension, mutation or different purposes depending on the needs of a client.
    • AB-Radon Monitor

      Used for radon gas measurements. The naturally radioactive noble gas radon (222Rn) is present in the air outdoors and in all buildings including workplaces. It is thus an inescapable source of radiation exposure both at home and at work.

      Gamma Spectrometry

      The spectrometer uses a High Purity Germanium Detec-tor (HpGe) to measure low level radioactivity in a wider range of materials including: environmental samples (Water, soils and sediments), biological samples, food-stuffs (grains and cereals, milk) and geological samples (mineral ore).

      Energy Dispersive X-ray

      XRF is a non-destructive multi-elemental analytical technique which employs excitation of samples using radioisotopes (gamma emitters) or X-ray generators. Industrial application mining, cement, oil, polymers, plastics, forensics, mining and mineralogy, and geology. For environmental analysis, XRF can be used to assess heavy metal pollution of water and air. XRF is also widely used in glass and ceramics research and pharmacy.


    Food Science Research Centre (FSRC) is one of the Research Centers of National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) which is located at the NISIR Headquarters along the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport Road in Lusaka. The center consists of the following Laboratories, Food Chemistry Laboratory, and Food Microbiology.

    image1 laboratatory technician working in the lab


    • We conduct scientific research in food science and nutrition and add value to indigenous food crops through food processing, preservation and product development, in order to improve the quality of life for the people.
    • We provide technical expertise in the area of food science and technology through consultancy in food processing, safety and nutrition.
    • We also offer food analysis services as a means of quality control of the food raw materials and food products.
    • We training of staff. A new Laboratory established with help from IAEA especially in acquisition of equipment and training of the staff.
    • The Center Laboratory is able to measure body composition in two components i.e. Fat-free (lean) mass and fat mass by the use of isotopic technique which is a more accurate method (gold standard) to determine the nutrition status of people. In addition, the Laboratory uses other methods such as; Body Mass Index (BMI), Skin fold thickness, Body Circumference and Bioelectric. Impedance Analysis (BIA) in the assessment of nutrition status. The equipment used in these techniques are; Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR), Body Weight Scale, Stand metre, Callipers, Measuring Tapes and BIA.


    We are a team of qualified and competent researchers and laboratory staff with the mandate to conduct research, offer consultancy and analytical services in two areas i.e. Water, Energy and Environment.

    The programme has two main areas of focus, research and development activities in water, energy and environment in order to ensure their sustainable utilisation. The programme also carries out quantitative and qualitative surface and underground water quality assessments especially in Lusaka cholera prone and urban settlements. Lab technician working in the fields

    What We Do


      We conduct needs-based research to improve people's livelihoods by promoting low cost technologies utilizing local materials. Example of previous and ongoing studies include:

      • Promotion of Biogas technology as an alternative energy source for cooking, heating and lighting in rural Zambia. pdf
      • Production of fuel grade ethanol from locally available raw materials.
      • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Moringa oleifera seed powder as a coagulant in water treatment.
      • Water quality assessmentS in Cholera-prone areas of Lusaka, Zambia.
      • Characterisation of Biosolids and Evaluating the Effectiveness of sun drying beds as a biosolids stabilization method in Lusaka, Zambia
      • Water Quality Assessments in New residential areas in Lusaka

    Consultancy and Analytical Services

    • We provide water quality testing services to a range of clients from individual to private water scheme providers and mining companies. We analyse for parameters in Microbiology, Wet Chemistry and the Heavy Metals.
      We offer consultancy, internships and laboratory demonstration to students.