Conference highlights importance of deploying relevant skills in developing Harare Metropolitan Province

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The Ministry of Skills Audit and Development held a workshop in Harare with various stakeholders where it emerged that it is important to deploy critical and relevant skills to explore and exploit natural resource endowments in the metropolitan province.

“In line with His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe’s mantra of “Building a Prosperous Zimbabwe, Leaving No one and No Place Behind”, the Devolution and Decentralization Agenda seeks to make the system of governance community-based, people countered, and facilitate the growth of provincial economies. The agenda embraces the provincial and local economies’ participation in making decisions on issues that affect them and in the exercise of the powers of the State, whilst upholding the preservation of national unity.

“The country is endowed with vast natural resources, which are on the surface and underground. These resources are ready for judicious exploitation, beneficiation, and value addition to promote value chain development and equitable economic development in provinces in line with their competitive and comparative advantages. However, the key question is, do provinces have adequate, critical, and relevant skills to explore and exploit their natural resource endowments? The Ministry of Skills Audit and Development is therefore undertaking an overview of the skills landscape in the country’s ten provinces through provincial skills consultation workshops,” said Ambassador Dr. Rudo Chitiga, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Skills Audit and Development.

She also apprised stakeholders in Harare Metropolitan Provinces of the role and mandate of the Ministry of Skills Audit and Development and underscored the Ministry’s expectations on implementation of stakeholders’ mandate in line with the Devolution and Decentralization Policy.

On the need for aligning the informal sector in contributing to the development of the Province, Ambassador Chitiga alluded to the importance of the identification, auditing, accreditation, and development of all critical skills in such places like Glenview 8 Home Industry and Mbare’s Siyaso Trading Marketplace.

“It is important for our vocational training centres to enrol such skills for further development and transform them from being informal into being formal and professionally standardize their operations.

“These are critical skills that need to be audited and developed from being informal into formal so that we close the national skills gap in our country. Some of them should be trained in embracing technology, business skills management, co-ordination, marketing skills, retooling, among others,” she added.

Mzi Chizura, the Business Development Manager of Sandvik Zimbabwe, said there is a need for industrial retooling and continuous training in line with modern trends in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

“As a company, we continuously introduce modern machinery and infrastructure that is critical in sectors like mining. We deploy our technicians to mines and factories to train other workers there and service the equipment so that we get the best results in terms of production and productivity,”  Chizura said.

Prof Edmore Masama from the Zimbabwe Open University called for the establishment of new machinery or equipment in tertiary learning institutions to complement the production of required skills that suit national development strategies.

In a speech read on his behalf by Mrs Magret Nyakujara, Mr. Charles Tawengwa, the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province said human capacity and skills gaps continue to militate against the full implementation of devolution programmes across all the tiers of Government.
“The development of our province requires critical and relevant skills to spearhead the rural industrialization and exploit the indigenous knowledge systems as essential ingredients for the rural development strategy. Using available traditional skills and requiring little capital, rural industrialization provides suitable employment to rural households, without involving any dislocation and migration. From this realization, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Dr. E. Mnangagwa in his wisdom established the Ministry of Skills Audit and Development which among other functions was mandated with the development of critical skills that will lead to rural industrialization through the devolution agenda.
“Let us all take advantage of this opportunity to share notes on how we can grow our human capital in the province. Capacity-building initiatives need to address identified capacity gaps across all tiers of government. Professionalization programmes for the civil service to acquaint them with the ever-changing international standards in their professions and align the curriculum of training institutions with the emerging skills gaps driven by the devolution process is imperative. To that end, Universities, Vocational Skills Training Centres and Teacher Training Colleges in the province become critical institutions on the supply side of skills. Captains of Industry and Commerce become key in informing training institutions of the skills they require to industrialize and modernize Harare Metropolitan Province,” he said.