By Kenias Chivuzhe
ZIMBABWE is determined to pursue an aggressive industrialisation strategy, with government expected to commission a number of locally-driven industrial advancement projects this year.
The role of internally-driven science and technology in the industrialisation and development of third world countries cannot be over-emphasised, if Zimbabwe is to leapfrog other nations and join the league of developed countries.
In an interview on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe Centre for High Computing strategic meeting in Mutare this Thursday, Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Amon Murwira revealed that the country is pursuing an aggressive industrialisation policy, with a number of industrial and manufacturing projects set to be commissioned beginning this year.
“Mutare Polytechnic is doing canopy manufacturing and at Feruka we are almost done with the process to commission an acetylene gas plant. We are focusing on agro-industrialisation at Marondera University, while the National Bio-technology Authority is working on pharmaceuticals, among other projects. At the University of Zimbabwe, we commissioned 23 business startups for students to start their own companies.
“Special announcements on the technological development initiatives will be announced soon,” he said.
Minister Murwira spoke on the Second Republic’s resolve to ensure education and knowledge dominate the technological gap.
“There is need to ensure Zimbabwe becomes an active player in the fourth Industrial Revolution. We need to be able to say ‘this is the plane that the Zimbabwean pilot is going to use’, ‘this is the next car that the Zimbabwean will drive’ and that’s when we will be having an education that is dominating the technology gap.”
He added: “The strategy should focus on how we can make our capabilities so high that we will determine the food that a Zimbabwean will eat, the next health system that they will have, the next tiles that they will use, the next oxygen that they breathe and the next building that they will use.”
The country’s potential growth paths include agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and downstream processing, industry and service-driven value chains, which should be anchored by a knowledge economy.