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Develop, eat local products, says Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter
24 Apr 2021 at 06:08hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE should leapfrog its development agenda through science and technology to catch up with other countries but come up with innovation that will see the utilisation and development of local products, President Mnangagwa has said.

He said people should abandon the long held perception that everything produced in Western countries was superior.

President Mnangagwa said this while addressing Cabinet Ministers, captains of industry, academics, students and senior Government officials after touring the University of Zimbabwe innovation and industrial hub on campus and its agro-industrial park at its farm near Mazowe.

"The majority mostly of my age, when we see a cake we think it must be white produced, we think a cake is a product of the West, nay it is not true. I have seen cakes produced at these hubs from mhunga, mapfunde and zviyo, zvinonaka zvekuti heki. It is because we had education to appreciate what is produced and not how it has been produced. So the harnessing of Science and technology by our own young men and women innovators to come up with quality local products with high dietary properties is applauded," said President Mnangagwa.

"We should reach a stage where at breakfast table from the time you sit and the time you leave everything is Zimbabwean, at lunch, supper and dinner everything must be Zimbabwean. Possibly the eaters will be Zimbabwean."

He commended the education model that the Second Republic is pushing saying it inspires innovation.

"It focusses on the delivery of a higher and tertiary education system that generates knowledge for the production of goods and services through teaching research community outreach innovation and industrialisation, and not any more about how long Nile river is, and not any more the size of the moustache of Hitla. This thrust of the Higher Education Sector is the right path that will see us transform into a modern industrialised and more developed country by 2030," he said.

President Mnangagwa implored Zimbabweans and tertiary institutions to strive to develop and catch up in terms of development.

"As Zimbabwe we are behind, we need to leapfrog and catch with the rest of developing countries,. To do so we cannot follow the same pace at which other developing or developed countries have evolved. Ours must now be a scientific and technological race. I urge all our people to increase the consumption and utilisation of these new traditional cereal products which are proudly Zimbabwean as what the First Lady is doing," said President Mnangagwa.

He challenged Government Ministries, departments and agencies to stop mourning about resources but should start to be innovative in search of solutions to the country's challenges in line with what is envisaged by the economic blue-print National Development Strategy1.

"I urge the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies to take a leaf from this sector and make deliberate decisions to think outside the box, infact you must remove the box totally. The accelerated achievement of the milestones articulated in the NDS1 must be everyone's focus and pre-occupation. The culture of mourning and excuses is not acceptable. This administration is about action, solutions and results. To this there is no going back," said President Mnangagwa.

He said in June this year he will award a bus to an institution with the best and most innovations and possibly making a regular event in future.

"The competition between and among universities is very health. By June I will be announcing a university that would have made more innovations and I will give them a bus, in future we will have quarterly competition."

He commended UZ for actualisation of Education 5.0 saying it was a demonstration of the determination of its leadership.

"There is urgent need to align the Primary and Secondary Education sector to the Education 5.0 model. The teaching of the competence based new curriculum must have the bigger picture in mind, it should never be perceived as an end in itself. Universities and institutions of higher learning must partner primary and secondary schools in their provinces to nurture the culture of innovation and invention among the young learners," he said.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga commended the UZ for being one of the first institutions of higher learning to help the country respond to the Covid-19 pandemic through production of personal protective equipment that helped the nation to contain the first wave.

"I look at this as a demonstration that the Vision of President Mnangagwa of implementing a heritage based Education 5.0 is beginning to bear fruit," he said.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira commended President Mnangagwa's strategic vision in his desire to have institutions of higher learning respond to the aspirations of the people through innovation.

Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri said hailed President Mnangagwa's decision to acquaint Cabinet Ministers to the immense opportunities to the several opportunities arising from the new education system was evidence of his commitment to the fundamentals of the development of the nation.

Source - chronicle