HIT Motto


"Universities Must Lead Industrialisation Agenda" : Minister

Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Hon. Dr Godfrey Gandawa has urged universities to lead the modernisation and industrialisation agenda pronounced by the Ministry, in partnership with industry.

Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund, (ZIMDEF), on Wednesday 7 June 2017 at the Rainbow Towers Hotel, Dr Gandawa challenged Universities to come up with robust curriculum which will aid the country in gaining technological status and in industrialising and modernising.

Hosted under the theme, “The Role of STEM and Universities in Industrialisation and Modernisation,” the event was attended by three local universities: University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Open University and the Harare Institute of Technology; as well as stakeholders from industry and commerce.

In his Opening Remarks, Dr Godfrey Gandawa highlighted the important role between universities and industry; adding that Universities had the responsibility of producing high quality graduands useful to industry. He also added that industrialisation hinged on automation and robotics, and that there was an urgent need to ensure congruency between industry needs and the training offered by Universities. He also underpinned the central role of ZIMDEF. “ZIMDEF must know the quality and quantum of training needs and STEM skills that Zimbabwe needs, and accordingly, ZIMDEF must coordinate this strategy and not concentrate on funding low-end skills,” he said.

Hon. Dr Gandawa also impressed on the central role of the fiscus in training and education; adding that sound investments in education would yield positive results towards the development of the country. He commended parastatals and private entities which were already funding scholarships within the higher education sector such as the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe and ECONET. He urged other companies to follow this example. He also added that the success of the country was a collective effort and as such, both companies and institutions of higher learning needed to play their part.

In his presentation, Chief Executive Officer of ZIMDEF, Mr Frederick Mandizvidza said there was need for a mindset shift which would lead to the creation of innovators and wealth creators. He posed that despite Zimbabwe having the highest literacy rate in Africa, there was little to show for it. “With such literacy rates, we should be having products which are competing globally, but we are not and the fundmental question is why? He added that Universities should be asking themselves these questions, in their quest to become relevant to society’s changing needs. He described the STEM initiative as a strategic human capital programme and emphasized the need for a shift in the current education system,- as the country moved from an extractive to knowledge –based economy.

Mandizvidza revealed that there had been an exponential increase of 434% for  students pursuing STEM subjects at A’ level since the launch of the programme.

In his presentation on the Transformation of Universities to anchor Industrialisation and Modernisation through Research, Innovation, Technology solutions and Commercialisation, Dean in the School of Business Science and Management, Mr Willard Gwarimbo highlighted the mandate of HIT and the various efforts it has made towards its achievement. Prof. G. Kabanda, Pro Vice Chancellor of the Zimbabwe Open University and Prof. Paul Mapfumo, Chairman of the University of Zimbabwe Research Board also gave presentations on their respective mandates and the efforts towards the modernisation and industrialisation of the society through STEM.

Pro Vice Chancellor of the Harare Institute of Technology, Dr Maxwell Chanakira chaired the interactive session.