Industry and Commerce Minister, Sekai Nzenza has urged Zimbabweans to embrace innovation and technology as a medium for industrialization through value addition as it will help in transforming the country’s economy and creating more job opportunities for locals.
In her speech, during the Fourth Germany-Africa Business Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday, Nzenza said embracing technology has become more critical as the country and the continent seek to enhance economic resilience to prevailing global shocks.
“Adoption of technology and innovation has come under focus in view of climate change complications, the need to create jobs for the growing youthful population, enhancing food production systems and generating adequate energy, among others.
“In line with the African Union Agenda 2063, which is aimed at attaining inclusive and sustainable economic growth with a view to transforming the continent into a global powerhouse, scaling up industrialization is at the heart of Zimbabwe’s efforts,” she said.
Nzenza added that strides are being made through NDS1 blue-print, which is driving private sector-led industrial growth through harnessing innovation and technology.
“Within the fiscus and through foreign direct investment we have prioritized the retooling and refurbishment of industries to create more efficient, proficient and high value models of value addition,” she said.
Nzenza said, the industrial transformation drive was being enhanced by the education and skills training reforms, which has seen the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development adopting heritage-based “Education 5.0” philosophy.
The model has resulted in the development of model innovation hubs across the country focused on technological transfer from the universities to industry in order to tap into the creativity and expertise of the academia.
She also urged the business community in the region to embrace the digital economy to leapfrog delivery on the African Union Agenda 2063.
“Africa needs new and innovative technologies in order to be able to locally beneficiate its natural resources and therein escalate and accelerate the continent’s industrialization agenda and also contribute to enhanced regional connectivity,” said Nzenza.
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