HIT Motto


HIT student leaders tour USA, raise Zim flag high

Two Harare Institute of Technology student leaders recently went on a study tour of the USA institutions of higher learning funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Participants were drawn from more than 50 000 people participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year.

The students, Pride Kufakwedeke, the HIT Students Representative Council Secretary General, Nigel Babvu, HIT SRC President and four other students from MSU, Solusi, NUST and CUT constituted the Zimbabwean delegation. Other participants were drawn from Angola, Mozambique and South Africa to form a delegation of twenty students who were hosted by the University of Nebraska.

The HIT duo note that the trip made them feel great about being Zimbabwean because they still kept their dignity and sovereignty. Their pride as Africans was never dented, they say because they taught more than they learnt in the US.

"The biggest lesson learnt was to cherish the roots of your country as a first step to its rise. As an individual, you should not only participate in elections and take a back seat. But, one should continuously support the office bearers through attending local meetings in respective communities. A great nation is not only made great by politics, but by responsible citizens. Civic engagement is the least a good citizen can do to make the community better… We can use our acquired skills, whether from school or home, to make this nation great outside politics. The politicians have their job, we have our own tasks to complete," Say the HIT duo in their report.

The HIT delegation, however noted that it was so disheartening that the Americans do not know much about life outside the US. "This is evidenced by most of the American population encountered during the trip who thought of Africa as a country. Some even think there is no internet in Africa. The American education system has to improve in this field and educate their entire population about the globe since this is the first step towards a united and peaceful world."

HIT student leaders tour USA, raise Zim flag highHIT student leaders tour USA, raise Zim flag highHIT student leaders tour USA, raise Zim flag highHIT student leaders tour USA, raise Zim flag high




The aim of the visit was to exchange culture and learn about human rights and democracy. This was achieved by learning the how the Americans hold and cherish civic participation as a way of moving the country forward.

United States Institutes for Student leaders on Civic Engagement, is an undergraduate level, five-week academic program that provides students with an overview of how citizens have shaped US history, government, and society both as individuals and groups.  The Institute encourages participants and their American peers to come up innovative and practical plans to become engaged citizens in their own communities. The coursework examines the development of civic engagement in the US and explores topics such as:

A wide range of aspects where learnt during the trip. A lot of skills where imparted to the team of young leaders that had visited the foreign. The main highlight was how the Americans cherish their history and how they use it to uphold their dignity. Whether good or bad, they are proud of what made their country and do not accept anything that gets into their sovereignty. The democracy in USA is exercised in elections and many other aspects which includes participation local meetings set up by the respective town councils. What makes USA great is not the technology, but the unity they have among themselves.

Outside the curriculum, many things were learnt. The team took time to walk around the campus, especially in the department of engineering of the University of Nebraska. The major highlights were that of student projects. Civil engineering students came up with a solution of saving the aqua life in one of their lakes. They modeled the lake as a starting point. In the end, they found a solution. This was a Capstone design project. The military worked with mechanical engineering students to come up a bomb that did not destroy infrastructure, but the target only. This project was under lock and key though. The third year chemical engineering students are in the process of coming up with a lotion that can control HIV and cure it.

Nigel Speech to students at Nebraska University

We stand here not worthy but just, to represent our country, Zimbabwe. We just don’t stand alone, but we have the weight of our country on our shoulders. We are proud to be living in this day, to show the true reflection of our country, through our acts, and where the need arises, use speech.

Zimbabwe, which means the great house of stone, symbolized by the Great Zimbabwe ruins, represents the great architectural prowess Zimbabweans have. Bordered north and south by the mighty Zambezi and the Limpopo rivers respectively, Zimbabwe occupies more than 390,000 square kilometers of Central Southern Africa. It boasts magnificent scenery, abundant mineral wealth and fertile soils, making it one of the jewels of Africa. Having been termed "the vibrant heart of Africa," Zimbabwe is not only a living memory to lost civilizations, but also a journey into scenic wonder. In addition to its mighty rivers, it is also home to the thundering spectacle of the Victoria Falls. Twice as high and one and a half times as wide as Niagra Falls.

Our country does not only have a flourishing flora and fauna, it is blessed with brilliant minds, it has a great pool of educated and learned human capital which fears God, and it has been a provider of intelligent human resource to its neighbours and the world. Recent international student counts from Africa show that Zimbabwe has the third largest student population in the United States. We are part of a population which is ranked to be the highest in terms of literacy in Africa, which stands at 90.7%. Which is second to none [we are the best in the industry]. The men and women of Zimbabwe cherish the importance of education for it is the only entity which no one can rob from you. Without education, we are worthless and without God, we are nothing.

We really love and admire our heritage. We honour the liberation war and its heroes, as symbolized by the National Heroes Acre. We even respect the blood and that was spilt and the unknown soldiers who died trying to liberate our country as symbolized the Red colour on our flag and the tomb of the unknown soldiers. We hold peace in our hearts and value unity. Togetherness is what makes us move forward and march on for a brighter future. Being a young democracy, we have achieved to attain our social pride and now we are building to retain our place in the sun.

We are glad we learnt all we need to know about civic engagement. The experience cannot be matched with any other. The networks created are of value and our lives and that of Zimbabweans that we will encounter will never be the same. The country is cold and our African blood is not used to this, but the people of Nebraska made it feel warm for us. You made us feel at home away from home. However, I am more excited to have taught the Americans all that I know. Africa was and is still being viewed as a single unit, well yes we are a continent, but it is a group of units, and Zimbabwe is a major unit in the whole set.

After all has been said and done, this trip seems like a small step for man, but in actual fact, it is a giant leap for mankind. A bridge between our nations is being built, and this is only the first stone to be laid to the great connection. Many more of these cultural exchanges will strengthen our relations and will secure our nation’s future.