By Byron Mutingwende
Students heading for University of Johannesburg (UJ) have been urged to raise the Zimbabwean flag by excelling academically so that they will come back to participate in the rebuilding of the economy.
Minister of State for Government Scholarships in the Office of the President and Cabinet Christopher Mushowe made the remarks at the send-off ceremony held for the students at the New Ambassador Hotel in Harare on 29 January 2018.
“The new dispensation has a thrust of rebuilding the economy. It also wishes to capacitate you with relevant education and to show commitment, it has introduced a government scholarship that now brings together the former presidential and bilateral scholarships. Go and work hard and raise the Zimbabwean flag high so that by the time you finish your studies, you will come back to participate in the economic recovery drive,” Mushowe said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa relayed his congratulatory message to the selected students and urged them to be Zimbabwe’s ambassadors and encouraged them to work hard since they are the country’s future leaders.
The University of Johannesburg is renowned for its widely respected degrees in accounting and engineering, the two areas chosen by the government to second students to.
“Relevant jobs will be available in Zimbabwe upon your completion of studies. We expect you to come back to work to develop the country. I pay tribute to President Mnangagwa for giving the opportunity to the disadvantaged children and for increasing the number of beneficiaries. As government, we look forward to cement our bilateral relations which countries that give scholarships to our students.
“We are in talks with the ambassadors of these countries to tell us the areas we feel we need training of our students for improvement. We are also liaising with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe for the medical school to send students to countries like China, Cuba, India and Algeria to learn specialist skills in the field of medicine,” Mushowe said.
These countries are renowned for specialist medical treatment of complications like heart failure, cancer and spinal lumbar stenosis, just to mention a few. Zimbabwe will save money if it trains its own specialist doctors.
The country is rich in minerals like diamonds, gold, platinum and lithium. Despite the abundance of these minerals, there is inadequate exploration to determine their extent. Mushowe urged Zimbabweans to learn ways of adding value to the minerals instead of exporting them raw. There is need for research and innovation in other critical areas like forensic accounting, nanotechnology, entrepreneurship, mechatronics and software engineering.