THE Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) has for the past two years invested more than $15 million in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programme, as part of efforts to develop human capital for industrial development, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Zimdef chief executive officer Fredrick Mandizvidza told delegates at a STEM business luncheon in Bulawayo on Monday that government had invested significant amount of resources into the human capital development.
“We have invested quite some significant amount of resources. In 2016, we invested $7,4 million. In 2017, we have invested $7, 8 million and the total so far invested into STEM is $15,1 million and these are government resources coming from industry,” he said.
Mandizvidza said the money was being contributed by industry.
“Your industry has contributed this amount of money so that we have a total of 10 854 students that are being supported today. These are not supported because they come from poor background. No, the initiative is a merit-based programme,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Higher and Tertiary Education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa said there was need for critical human resources development in Zimbabwe.
“The world over, the economies are now driven by knowledge, research and development. We are now living in a digital economy and if as Zimbabweans we don’t adapt to it, then we will never industrialise or modernise,” he said.
Gandawa said the ministry should take a lead in terms of modernising and industrialisation.
“We have taken upon ourselves to transform Zimbabwe into a power house within which a cyber-physical space must change in the next 15 to 30 years. We need to start to plan now to transform,” he said.
“When we embarked on the STEM programme, we were looking at reaping results from 10 years from now, but we then need to focus that the proper industrialisation of this country will take 15 to 30 years”.
Gandawa said there was need for the country to be able to know what are the critical areas that government needed to invest in terms of human capital development.