Zimbabwe’s quest to attain an empowered upper-middle income economy as well as achieving its national development goals hinges on having the right people with the right skills, President Mnangagwa has said.
In a speech read on his behalf by Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga at the official opening of this year’s Zimbabwe Career Guidance Expo organised by the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) yesterday, the President said human capital was the key enabler. Zimbabwe under the Second Republic was fostering rapid economic growth and development towards an empowered upper-middle income economy and all Government departments and agencies are being primed towards the achievement of this important national milestone envisioned by President Mnangagwa for the benefit of the populace.
Against this background, human capital and its readiness and ability to muster the requisite skills set particularly in science, technology and innovation had been identified as a key enabler to carry the national development agenda.
Youths and the career choices they made today were thus very instructive to the fortunes of the country and Government was doing its part in helping them make informed and correct decisions.
“Science, technology and innovation remain critical for the development of our economy,” said the President through VP Chiwenga. “The national vision can only be realised through well-informed human capital with career paths relevant to the current and future needs of Zimbabwe.
“The importance of this event can therefore not be overemphasised as the nation seeks to add value to the vast natural resources that our country is endowed with.
“The Government, through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, rolled out the competence-based curriculum. The intention is to equip students with the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes that will allow them to succeed in life.
“We want students that are moulded to be able to meet the contemporary demands of industry and other economic spheres.”
Under the National Development Strategy One (NDS1), Government had drawn up several developmental projects for the betterment of people’s lives such as upgrading of water supply and sewer infrastructure, expansion of national water conservation and irrigation infrastructure, enhanced power generation from renewable sources, enhanced local manufacture of goods and services to reduce the national import bill and to achieve towards food self-sufficiency among others. President Mnangagwa expressed his confidence for these targets to be achieved but counselled that there will be need for youths to make informed career path choices and for them to be mentored by experienced professionals. He also called on the youths to shun drug and substance abuse whose effects are a threat to the moral fabric.
With the country expecting to go for harmonised elections later this year, the President also called on the youths not to be taken advantage of by ill-meaning individuals and lured into violence but rather cherish peace, love, tolerance and harmony before, during and after elections.
The expo was attended by participants from primary and secondary schools, tertiary institutions and industry and commerce and is running under the theme: “Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship – The Future for our Youth”.
SIRDC Chief Executive Officer Professor Robson Mafoti said: “SIRDC organises these Career Guidance Expo series as part of its corporate social responsibility programme,” said Prof Mafoti.
“The objective is to help students from high schools and tertiary institutions make informed decisions in choosing their career paths.
“As a responsible knowledge-based organisation, we are duty-bound to create such platforms that guide students in their career choices.
“Through such forums, the students get relevant and impartial information and counselling to make the right educational and occupational choices.
“If the students know where they want to go and how to get there, it helps them identify the most suitable careers.
“During the expo, students are afforded a unique opportunity to meet and interact with mentors and future employers under one roof. These will shed light on how they can pursue their dreams,” said Prof Mafoti.
Form four pupil Kimberly Karwi commended organisers for giving them an opportunity to interact with professionals, in a formal setting, in various fields before they choose a career path of their choice.
An upper six leaner Dexter Samanyika said the opportunity was ideal to help them make informed decisions about their career path.