The Sunday News
Midlands Musiiwa, Midlands Bureau
PRESIDENT Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has reiterated that Government would enhance implementation of Command Agriculture and agro-processing value chain that have remained a key driver for fostering economic revival and development.
In his acceptance speech during his installation as Midlands State University Chancellor at the institution’s 17th graduation ceremony in Gweru yesterday, President Mnangagwa said he would ensure enhancement of the implementation of Command Agriculture and effective value addition and beneficiation.
“Government equally recognises the importance of agriculture as a key driver for fostering economic revival and development and it is in this respect that I see the enhanced implementation of Command Agriculture as key to the country’s development. Added to this is the importance of agro-processing value chain to economic development and as a basis of industrialisation value addition and beneficiaries,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said higher and tertiary education institutions remain critical in the achievement of multi-faceted socio-economic development of the country.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces said universities should complement Government efforts in transforming the economy by providing research and proffer solutions to industry and other socio-economic sectors.
“My Government believes that education at whatever level is a fundamental human right that should foster intellectual and moral growth for all citizens irrespective of their social cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The proliferation of higher and tertiary institutions in the country therefore is an acknowledgement by Government of the critical importance of education in the achievement of multifaceted socio-economic development of the country.
“To that end, Government continues to promote research and development especially in universities and other institutions of higher learning as an integral component for achieving the country’s development trajectory. In this regard universities should always seek to provide solutions and respond to the needs of society, industry and other socio-economic sectors,” he said.
Added President Mnangagwa: “Institutions of higher education have a responsibility to play in the quest for more effective value addition and beneficiation. I therefore call upon the private sector to partner Government and other institutions of higher education in supporting research and development in agriculture, mining and tourism among other sectors as we seek to turn around the fortunes of our country.”
President Mnangagwa said despite the country being confronted with economic challenges, the Government will not financially neglect higher and tertiary education institutions.
“I am aware that an increase in the number of higher education and tertiary institutions implies greater financial responsibility for Government as it has to provide recurrent and capital grants for the institutions. However, Government wishes to reassure our higher and tertiary education institutions that it will not abandon our future leaders simply because we are confronted with transient economic challenges,” he said.
President Mnangagwa was also conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree. He thanked the university for honouring him.
President Mnangagwa said MSU had contributed significantly in addressing demand for university education in the country as well as providing answers and solutions to the country’s socio-economic issues and the employment market.