Zimbabwe Higher Education Minister Amon Murwira has called for import substitution through innovation arguing that if a country imports 90% of its requirements, it is using only 10% of its brain capacity.
Murwira was responding to questions in Parliament on how his ministry was going to exploit the Manpower Development Act to stimulate industrialisation and modernisation.
“The Manpower Planning and Development Amendment Act is a complete revolution in terms of what our education is expected to do. So, we expect the effect to start showing very vigorously as we move in time as a nation within very few months to a year or years to come,”Murwira said.
“Polytechnics, vocational training centres, teachers’ colleges and industrial training centres are now within the league of universities in terms of being accorded the freedom that they need to create, modernise and industrialise this country.”
Murwira said his ministry had done a survey and found that between 2014and 2018, Zimbabwe mported goods worth US$20 billion.
“Now, what this means is that we then need to scroll down this list and start eliminating one by one what we need to import. There are still certain things that we need to import. However, we cannot import everything.
“As it is said Hon. Speaker with your indulgence, somebody said in academic circles if a country imports 90% of its requirements it means it is using 10% of its brain capacity. If a country imports 10% of its requirements, it means it is using 90% of its brain capacity. Therefore, what it means is that at this moment we have to up the use of our brain capacity so that we import substitute.”
Below is the full Q & A:
HON. T. MOYO: My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. How far has the recently promulgated Manpower Development Act affected the operationalisation of Education 5.0 in stimulating industrialisation and modernisation?
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): I want to first of all thank Parliament and His Excellency the President for enabling the enactment of the Manpower Planning and Development Amendment Act. Hon. Speaker, this Act for the first time in the history of this country gives a very clear intention of education. The clear intention of education as a means to modernise and industrialise this country that the purpose of education is not to have pieces of purpose, the purpose of education is seen in the effect that it has on the industrialisation and modernisation of any nation.
Continued next page