State Media|THE Harare Institute of Technology yesterday conferred President Mnangagwa with an honorary Doctorate of Technology degree (Honoris Causa) during the institution’s 10th graduation ceremony.
In his citation for the degree, HIT Vice Chancellor Engineer Quinton Kanhukamwe, said the President was honoured for his efforts in the development of the country through technological advancement.
“His Excellency and President, Cde Mnangagwa has demonstrated the tenacity of focus in the economic development of this country that is premised on the conviction that Zimbabwe can be catapulted to be an upper middle income economy by 2030 through heritage-based technological advancement,” Eng Kanhukamwe said.
“The decades of experience in the administration of the affairs of the State in different portfolios under his belt, have helped to shape his clarity of vision and the huge strides he is taking to transform Zimbabwe into a prosperous and modern economy.
“Under the President’s tutelage, universities now play a critical role in the scientific and technological advancement of the nation. He recognised that universities are central to industrialisation and modernisation of the country.”
In his acceptance speech, President Mnangagwa said he was humbled by honour, adding that it was a recognition of the role science, technology and innovation play in the country’s current development agenda.
“As the world rapidly moves into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, my Government has noted how technology is affecting and redefining cultural, economic, social and human endeavours.
“This is the foundation upon which global economic giants are emerging and we should not be left behind. As such I charge universities to champion economic growth through production of relevant and innovative intellectual property which can be commercialised,” President Mnangagwa said.
He urged HIT to use its mandate to develop in various technological fields such as “nanotechnology, Big data, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and bioinformatics” among others.
“You, as the premier tech-institution in our country must not shy away from embracing mega trends which will leap forward our modernisation and industrialisation agenda.
“Innovations from this institution must have radical impacts and make our country a front runner in new innovations and technologies in the various aspects of our economy,” the President said.
He challenged HIT to lead the country in its quest for economic transformation through import substitution, reverse engineering as well as the production of software and business applications.
“I further commend and congratulate you for providing solutions such as the ERP software being used by some Rural District Councils in the country. The Tap and Go application developed for Zupco as well as the manufacturing of transformers by this institution, will undoubtedly go a long way towards transforming our transport and energy sectors. You are indeed in sync with your motto, ‘Designing the Future,’” President Mnangagwa said.
He implored HIT to promote national self-reliance in strategic skills development that would enhance beneficiation of the country’s natural resources.
“You must thus, continue working towards the establishment of a fully-fledged science industrial park and the Export Processing Zone, to explore new frontiers of knowledge in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
“I also urge you to also ensure that your technopreneurship thrust is broadened to hatch and incubate hi-tech SMEs as well as move the nation towards the comprehensive adoption of ICTs across all facets,” President Mnangagwa said.