GOVERNMENT is implementing far reaching programmes to ensure national economic reconstruction and social transformation to uplift the lives of Zimbabweans, President Mnangagwa said on Friday.
He was addressing delegates during the laying of the Foundation Stone for the Midlands State University (MSU) National Pathology Research and Diagnostic Centre, the opening of the MSU National Language Institute and tour of the MSU Pharmaceutical and Food Processing Plant. The events coincided with the university’s 22nd graduation ceremony which saw a record 6 594 students graduating during the blended ceremony.
“Since the advent of the Second Republic, my Government has been implementing bold programmes of national economic reconstruction and social transformation to create national wealth and lift millions into prosperity. To this end, the National Development Strategy-1 (NDS-1) gives prominence to higher education,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said Government has prioritised developing educational capabilities to catapult science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship under the Heritage Based Education 5.0 philosophy. President Mnangagwa said the initiative obligates institutions of higher learning, in particular, to become actively involved in the growth of the country”s economy through the provision of technical and research-based solutions.
The President said in the spirit of encouraging healthy competition among institutions of higher learning, adjudication processes are underway to determine the State University that has developed and nurtured the most successful innovations. He said the development of appropriate home-grown innovations and technologies is a fundamental aspect of this policy.
“The infrastructure, facilities and innovations that we have gathered to witness today resonate with Goal nine of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They also speak to Goal four of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 on Transformed Economies: Realised through “Science, Technology and Innovation driven by manufacturing, industrialisation and value addition.” I call upon the University to leverage on the Language Development Laboratories and produce an assortment of reading materials, especially in Braille as well as other assistive devices such as hearing aids,” said the President.
He said the Presidential Horticulture Programme presents immense potential for exponential growth and value addition of fruits, vegetables and other horticulture produce.
President Mnangagwa said the Pharmaceutical and Food Processing Plant established by MSU will be of great use in that regard.
“I therefore, encourage MSU to increase research on indigenous fruits, which are abundant in all parts of our
country. Such research must equally sharpen the discourse around unlocking the comparative advantages of the respective wards and districts in the Midlands Province, for the growth of the Provincial Gross Domestic Product,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said he expected the facilities he toured at MSU on Friday to act as catalysts for sustainable socio-economic development, job creation and the production of more ‘Made in Zimbabwe’ goods and services.
He said the National Language Institute is repositioning the country’s linguistic heritage as a cornerstone for
“I commend the University for translating Covid-19 educational materials and the National Development Strategy into all the official languages. The Institute will undoubtedly contribute to the preservation and promotion of indigenous languages and enhanced access to information by all people. The translation of all key documentation is applauded and must be expanded to a broader array of national policies and development-related literature,” he said.
President Mnangagwa challenged all universities to compete against each other in innovation adding that Government stands ready to support innovations with the required resources.
“As a result of initiatives witnessed here at MSU and many others throughout the country, I am strongly persuaded that by 2030, Zimbabwe would have achieved successes and realised landmark innovations and a knowledge driven economy,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the development of any society is often associated with the quality of its higher education adding that universities, polytechnics and technological institutions, now have a more pronounced relevance to the competitiveness of the country’s economy as well as to the improvement of the quality of life of the people.
He said education, human capital, economic growth and the welfare of people are inter-related.
“The Pathology Research and Diagnostic Centre, for which I have laid the foundation stone, comes at an opportune time, with regards to the provision of affordable laboratory medicine and our ongoing quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
It is pleasing that the establishment of the Centre is envisaged to stimulate the local manufacturing of laboratory reagents and point of care devices. I exhort the University to now urgently equip this facility for the speedy growth of high-end capabilities for disease surveillance, control and prevention,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the milestones realised by MSU in the research and innovation sphere gave meaning to Government’s commitment to generate wealth while providing platforms for our young boys and girls to showcase their talents and ideas.
President Mnangagwa said to ensure sustained momentum of these and other programmes and projects, Government remains unwavering in its quest to create a conducive environment for innovators and institutions of higher learning to play their part in the attainment of Vision 2030.