PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has challenged institutions of higher learning to take advantage of Zimbabwe’s abundant mineral resources such as the recently announced oil and gas deposits in Muzarabani and include them in their training programmes.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
Speaking during the 24th graduation ceremony at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), Mnangagwa on Friday said such announcements should motivate institutions of higher learning to set themselves up for expansion.
“The recent launch of the Zimbabwe National Space Agency and discovery of oil and gas deposits must motivate institutions of higher learning to expand our country’s skill base in the associated fields,” he said.
“I encourage Nust not to deviate from its mandate as it is the bedrock for new business models, innovation and technology. You must instead appropriately respond to regional and global developments, coupled with our present national focus, by developing new learning modules suitable for both present and future needs.”
He said all sectors of the economy had to be more productive and target oriented in a bid to grow the economy and achieve an upper middle income economy status by 2030.
“We look to institutions of higher learning to help us modernise, mechanise and develop our agriculture irrigation infrastructure as well as the manufacturing, mining infrastructure and service sectors,” he said.
“You must take it upon yourselves to develop and commercialise requisite vacancies, herbicides and pesticides, and other chemicals for animal and plant life. In industry, university skills should assist the establishment of start-ups, retool and modernise our enterprises and also run ventures profitably.”
He urged Nust to harness the resource mobilisation potential among its alumni, most of whom continue to excel in their fields.
Meanwhile, Nust vice-chancellor Mqhele Dlodlo was installed as the third vice-chancellor of the university by the President, with Mnangagwa himself being installed as the second chancellor, taking over from former President Robert Mugabe.
About 2 431 students graduated with 38 diploma certificates, including 40 varying post-graduate diploma certificates.