In the quest to drive economic growth through innovation, and to nurture our human capital, institutions of higher learning, industry and commerce, are now collaborating on the development of competencies, skills and solutions that are addressing the changing economy.
Greater partnerships between our institutions of higher learning and their international counterparts are encouraged so that the country can engage in global best practices. My Government will equally ensure that international scholarships are availed to our students. Scholarships are awarded purposefully, in line with the Strategic National Expertise and Skills Needs.
Developing ICT infrastructure and harnessing technology-driven innovation, in all sectors of the economy, is a key goal for my Government. We will continue to facilitate the spread and connectivity of our ICT infrastructure across Zimbabwe, though programmes such as the National Backbone Optic Fibre Project. This technology infrastructure will create the right environment in which our young people will thrive, and be an instrument to economic development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Government realises the importance of infrastructure to economic resuscitation and development. We are, thus, vigorously working to establish, rehabilitate and refurbish our road and rail infrastructure, in order to facilitate smooth domestic and outbound movement of goods and services.
The implementation of the dualisation of Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway, the Beitbridge to Victoria Falls Road, the modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post, and the expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, among others, remain key priorities in my administration. The need to rehabilitate bridges, rural and urban roads, will be given priority.
As the economy recovers, the need for energy is steadily increasing. As such, the commissioning of the Kariba South Extension, which added 300 megawatts to our national grid, was timely and will bring relief to users, and reduce our energy import bill. In the same vein, work on the Hwange 7 and 8 Power Generation Project will soon commence, following the commitment by the People’s Republic of China to support this project.
Resources have also been allocated to ensure the completion of the Gwai-Shangani Dam which will generate power for the surrounding communities.
There is need to fully utilise all dams such as Tugwi-Mukosi, and it is anticipated that vibrant agriculture green- belts will be developed for both the local and export markets. Meanwhile, the construction of Kunzvi Dam will be accelerated, following the sealing of the deal during my recent visit to China. With all this new power, the energy future of the new Zimbabwe is brighter than ever.
The tourism sector continues to witness increased growth, as indicated by tourist arrivals and flight frequency of new airlines that land in both Harare and at the newly expanded Victoria Falls International Airport. This upward trend is projected to continue, following measures to boost air connectivity, visa regime reforms, and other strategies that boost our attractiveness as a tourist destination.
My Government is currently seized with ensuring that Victoria Falls, and other tourist destinations throughout the country, develop a wider array of imaginative facilities to cater for leisure and lifestyle, entertainment and conferences, as well as the financial and commercial needs of the target source markets.
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