Auxilia Katongomara in Sao Paulo, Brazil
THE transformation of the country’s economy cannot be achieved through policies such as import substitution but through industrialisation and innovation from both the private sector and tertiary institutions, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo said such policies were temporary and would not bring a lasting solution to challenges the country is facing.
Addressing a delegation comprising mainly vice chancellors and senior higher education officials here Prof Moyo said research, innovation and training of high end skills were the main drivers of a country’s economy.
“One of the imperatives to take note of, is that Government has adopted industrialisation policy. The bottom line is, I think there are some people in industry and commerce who see it as an investment issue that industrialisation and mordenisation of the country would be achieved through import substitution policy and our own people creating their businesses and its okay for them to think like that .But its incomplete and quite dangerous because the experience we have seen elsewhere is that industrialisation even the 16th century was driven by invention,” said Prof Moyo.
The Higher education minister whose Ministry is spearheading the STEM263 initiative of industrialisation and mordenisation in tertiary institutions said all universities had to review their mandate to do away with the ‘discord’ in the country’s higher and tertiary education system.
Prof Moyo said the ‘‘discord’’ was as a result of unguided development of the system.
“Zimbabwe has a higher and tertiary education, science and development sector which has developed without any critical examination. Its unexamined, unguided but it has developed.
My observation is that the sector has not grown in response to any policy or strategy outside expansion. It has expanded not as a result of strategic direction or policy, it has evolved on its own and I think its something that needs reflection because a number of challenges faced today are a direct result of that,” he said.
He said upon his appointment as Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development in 2015 , President Mugabe gave him a task to bring transformation in tertiary institutions saying they had deviated from their mandate and were not contributing anything towards the growth of the nation.
“The President told me that there was a big problem in higher education as universities were not discharging their mandates.
Our universities are supposed to be teaching teaching science and technology and they are not doing that as a sector but those those with the mandate are not doing it they are doing commerce and general things either to attract students or other things.”