Charmaine Brown and Natasha Kokai
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, together with innovation and entrepreneurship skills, will help reduce unemployment as they drive Zimbabwe’s economic turnaround.
This was said by Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere during a recent 5th graduation ceremony at TelOne Centre for Learning in Harare.
President Mnangagwa has repeatedly said the country’s re-industrialisation programme would be anchored on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Dr Muswere said technology was a transformational key as Zimbabwe sought to stabilise the economy and move towards attaining Vision 2030 of an upper middle-income economy.
“With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), it has become apparent that a developing nation has to invest in skills development with a bias towards innovative skills,” said Dr Muswere.
“It also becomes very important that institutions of (higher) learning structure their programmes in a way that integrates with new technologies and encourages the students to be innovative.
“Government has made it a policy that the institutions of higher learning become a hub for some innovative ideas with the introduction of innovative hubs.
“TelOne Centre for Learning has already taken a position to develop an innovation hub, which will be the heartbeat of new products’ development.”
Dr Muswere said the innovation hub was going to generate products and services that will assist the nation in driving economic growth.
He urged the graduates to consider setting up businesses, particularly in the manufacturing sector, instead of seeking employment.
“If you cannot be employed, then be a creator of employment,” said Dr Muswere.
“This is how we build our economy and you will also be able to use some of the skills that you have learnt at this institution.”
TelOne managing director Mrs Chipo Mtasa said the number of females in the ICT industry was low.
She said TelOne will continue to provide learning opportunities to the girl child as an empowerment tool.
Mrs Mtasa said the TelOne Centre For Learning’s 2023 vision was to become a full-fledged university and strides were being taken to ensure the centre achieves that status.