President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said his administration is investing in emerging industries such as the multi-billion dollar biotechnology industries as a way of expediting the achievement of an upper-middle income economy by 2030.
He made the remarks while officially opening the Great Zimbabwe University Innovation Hub during the institution’s 17th Graduation Ceremony, held under the theme, ‘Leveraging Cultural Heritage for Industrialisation’.
He said such achievement by the University will buttress the country’s Science, Technology and Innovation agenda. The Innovation Hub is strategically located within the industrial area of Masvingo City. The Great Zimbabwe University Innovation Hub follows the successful completion and commissioning of the Simon Mazorodze Medical School and Textile Factory.
President Mnangagwa called upon universities to constantly review their curricula and programmes to remain relevant and feed into the developmental needs of the country.
“In this regard, I note the new programmes that Great Zimbabwe University has introduced which include the BSc in Biomedical Science leading to the Medical degree, Chemical Technology, Applied Biology and Biotechnology, Soil Science and Land Management as well as Irrigation and Water Engineering. These dovetail with emerging industries such as the multi-billion dollar bio-technology industries which my Administration will soon be setting up.
“Keep up the momentum and good work, as you continue to respond to the critical skills and competencies required for national economic growth, now and in the future. The new Education 5.0 compliant programmes must help cultivate an enduring innovative and creative spirit among the young talented students, to drive the aspiration of the University to become an exceptional Pan-African institution, propelling heritage-based learning, scholarship, and industrialisation,” he said.
He called upon the private sector and development agencies to partner with the University to accelerate the commercialisation and adoption of inventions and products from innovators.
Zimbabwe is witnessing an ever-increasing number of inventions, patents and trademarks, throughout its institutions of higher education.
Great Zimbabwe University was challenged to move quickly to patent and commercialise the innovations from the institution.
Just last month, President Mnangagwa commissioned industrial plants at the University of Zimbabwe with products under the Nu-Gold brand set to enhance the dietary and nutrition of citizens. The Harare Institute of Technology has also developed groundbreaking ICT-based solutions being used in financial services, local governance, transport and energy sectors.
Midlands State University and the Chinhoyi University of Technology now have confirmed export orders for citrus and watermelons for the UAE, coming from their Agro-Industrial Parks. Similarly, Harare Institute of Technology has through its partnership with women in Kotwa in Mashonaland East Province secured markets for baobab powder and oil, for the German markets.
President Mnangagwa urged GZU to turn Masvingo Province into a green belt and propel its economic development, leveraging on the abundant water resources. He said leveraging the rich and diverse cultural heritage for industrialisation’ must continue to inspire the institution, in that regard.
“The Great Zimbabwe University is exhorted to also maintain focus on extensive and impactful research with regards heritage-based knowledge across various disciplines, including indigenous herbs, medicines, climate change mitigation, disaster management, traditional grains, food and dry land agriculture systems,” he added.