The event was attended by the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research Innovation and Commercialisation Dr Engr Talon Garikayi, Pro Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Mr Willard Gwarimbo, the Registrar, Mr H. Njonga, Financial Director, Mr T. Kachambwa, the Librarian, Mr J.L. Maenzanise, Dr A Musengi, the Dean of the School of Industrial Sciences and Technology, Dr E.S Maputi, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology, Mrs R. Chikoore, Dean of the School of Information Science and Technology, Mrs E Mushosho: Dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences, Mr T. Zimucha, Dean of the School of Business and Management Sciences, Dean of Students, Ms S. Mudavanhu, other members of the Senior Management Staff and Chairpersons of Academic Departments.
HIT Vice Chancellor Dr Eng. Q.C Kanhukamwe has challenged first year students of the 2022/2023 academic year to be the tools that drive the institutional mandate and national aspirations. In his address to the freshmen, the Vice Chancellor advised the first year students that they will be tools to drive the institutional mandate and national aspirations. “You can recall that technological advancements have become so critical in the survival of nation-states; determining winners and losers, and therefore, at HIT, we pay special attention to the tools that we use – you the students by inculcating certain attributes that make you winners in the technological field. The refinement of these skills is part of the greater national strategy, aimed at achieving Zimbabwe’s technological revolution,” Dr Eng. Kanhukamwe said.
He also congratulated the new students for joining the Harare Institute of Technology, Zimbabwe’s growing Innovation and Technopreneurial University. “And believe me when I say that this is the best decision you have ever made in your entire life, and you will not regret it! HIT is Zimbabwe’s leading SET University, offering robust and unparalleled training in Science, Technology, Engineering that equips you with the stamina and competencies to venture into or set-up high-tech enterprises. Since its inception and over the years, HIT has made veritable strides in the discharge of its mandate which is to develop incubate, transfer and commercialise technology for Zimbabwe’s rapid industrialisation,” he said.
Vice Chancellor Kanhukamwe also highlighted that HIT has produced an excess of 3500 SET graduates, who are now key players in driving Zimbabwe’s industrialisation and modernisation agenda, and leading the country towards Middle Income Economy Status by 2030, as envisioned by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and Chancellor of HIT, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“You join HIT at an exciting and important juncture in the history of our institution, the history of the higher education sector, and the nation as a whole. The emphasis now, as guided by His Excellency and Chancellor, as well as our Ministry is for the University to produce results and outputs in a programmatic and systematic way. We are being called upon to produce an education which is relevant and one which can creates wealth. Failure to do that, makes us irrelevant. We are also being called upon to develop this economy through the application of science and technology. Something not new to us, as we are the chief drivers of innovation and technology development in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Dr Eng. Kanhukamwe also advised the students that His Excellency has also called upon us to now take the University forward, and not only concentrate on the traditional role of the University which is teaching, research and community service, but rather to extend the role of the University to innovation and industrialisation, so that the University has a direct and transformative bearing on the lives of the communities and peoples it serves. Dubbed Education 5.0, the University is now expected to teach, research, engage in community service and more importantly, innovate, industrialise or commercialise.
“And we are proud that HIT has established an Innovation Hub operating under the Technology Transfer, Licensing, and Commercialisation Centre, which has already broken ground in the establishing start –up companies and leading in innovations that redefining the technological and business landscapes in this country,” he said.
Apart from implementing Education 5.0, HIT has also been mandated to lead Industry 4.0, the world’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Industry 4.0 pushes the frontiers of human knowledge and understanding and encompasses technologies of the future such as artificial intelligence, genome editing, robotics, artificial intelligence and so forth.
“You have a unique and exciting role to play in continually re-asserting the pre-eminent role of HIT in the community of Universities in Zimbabwe and the region, as well as being the tools who will drive Zimbabwe’s industrialisation and modernisation agenda. Over the next four years, you will be taken through the mill so that you emerge as a capable graduate vital to move the nation’s agenda forward,” he said
“Another critical factor in this new dispensation is the need to transform the mind-set of all our stakeholders; and this includes you. Your arrival here is the beginning of that mind-set change. You are not here to just earn a degree and bale out! You are here to make a lasting footprint in the distinct area of study you have chosen. You will be empowered to be a visionary, to see beyond the obvious and envision a technologically advanced Zimbabwe. You will be equipped to start your own enterprises that will lead to our nations’ development.
“We will inculcate in you patriotism so that you become cadres – citizens who envision a developed first world Zimbabwe, with efficient infrastructure such as transport and ICT systems, zero pollution, self-sufficiency in food and the state-of the art health delivery systems. That cadre should be able to jealously guard that destiny against enemy attacks. You must have that stamina and the ability to remain resolute in the face of challenges and adversity, while remaining focused on the ultimate prize.”
“You must stamp your feet today, and learn to undermine your enemies. There will be challenges, prices will shoot up, power will go, so will water and internet connectivity and then you should never give up in face of those challenges. We must remain focused, resilient and committed despite the challenges.”
“One of the important things that you must do is to choose your friends carefully and wisely. Connect with those that are wiser than you. Make sure that you have some positives from that person that will flow into you to build you up. If they are unable to be transformed drop them because they will lead you nowhere except to a disastrous end. God gave you a special gift and brought you here because you would make a difference – it’s all about unleashing your potential. Let me elaborate as I encourage you to get aboard the HIT brand. One bad apple can spoil the whole basket. Or as it is said never wash your dirty linen in public as this will soil the reputation HIT has gained over the past years. It informs our relations with industry, donors, government and the nation. HIT has vibrant brand, which has been bequeathed to you by those who came before you,” the Vice Chancellor said.
Dr Eng. Kanhukamwe also challenged the first year students to make themselves the most preferred graduates by being extremely conversant with the HIT values, making sure you embrace our values which are innovation, leadership, integrity, commitment and professionalism.
“You have to take challenges in your stride, and embrace better alternatives that raise the HIT brand high so that it can do you good when you leave campus. We can attract philanthropists, who will donate equipment and resources to HIT. Nobody will donate equipment when they hear that students are urinating in fridges. There should be a hygienic sense of belonging to an HIT which depicts us as a real brand worth connecting with and supporting. This is your call!”
“It is a tragedy that with the world’s 6 billion people, only a minute percentage will ever experience their full potential in this short life. Understand the tremendous potential you possess and commit yourselves to maximise it in the short life you have on this earth. Potential is dormant ability, reserved power, untapped strength unused strength and hidden talents. It is unexposed ability and latent power. The greatest tragedy in life is facing death without realising your potential. It has no retirement plan. If I hold a seed and I ask you what do I hold in my hand? I am sure you would say a seed, which is a fact but not the truth. I would say I hold a forest for in every seed there is tree and in every three there are fruits with seeds. In essence what you see has ability, and everything holds potential. Nothing in in life is instant People think miracles are instant. Since you are full of potential you should be not the same person at the end of this academic year.”
“When we begin to do that we begin to serve and imbue ourselves with leadership qualities. Leadership is not about being a treasurer in an organisation being a president in an organisation, every one of us has got natural leadership traits it’s about decisive actions that you take yourself, leading others in the positive way that’s leadership.”
“Whatever you have achieved you can do much better than that, the greatest threat to progress is your last successful accomplishment. Success becomes an enemy as we settle for what we have. Potential as I have said never has a retirement plan. Here at HIT, we want to promote and inculcate a culture of innovation and technopreneurship.
“Our curriculum is proficiency scheduled and competence centred, that’s what our curriculum strives to do and within that framework, we want to develop you to be the providers, should I say the developers, incubators, have the ability to transfer and commercialise beyond the limitations of your own beliefs. Your ability needs responsibility to expose its possibility. Do what you can with what you have where you are. If life gives you lemons make lemonade out of it.
“All of us have potential, you are not doing more because no one has challenged you, our lecturers our staff here are going to challenge you. I want to welcome you to HIT and wish you the best and I hope that you will become those technocrats that will bring the envisioned first world Zimbabwean into reality,” Vice Chancellor Kanhukamwe concluded his remarks.