Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira has said that for Africa to realise rapid socio-economic transformation there is need to embrace the philosophy of heritage based innovation that will focus on poverty reduction.
Speaking at the Innovation Africa Summit conference held in Harare on Friday, Professor Murwira said Zimbabwe had started implementing the same strategy.
“Innovation is basically about unique and competitive products and services, therefore as a country we have adopted the heritage based philosophy in our innovation,” said Prof Murwira.
What we mean is look around, use the most sophisticated knowledge but apply it to your local environment to gain a competitive environment.
“Heritage philosophy is based on using the most advanced and scientific methods to develop new products and services based on the local environment just like how Great Zimbabwe was built.”
Murwira added that the government of Zimbabwe is finalising the issue of creating industrial parks that will be linked to the innovation Hubs being built at State Universities.
“These industrial parks will enable us to create a collaborative community of forward looking people , private players , public entities and academics with the objective of developing cutting age products for the marketplace,”He said.
“The programme of innovation hubs and industrial parks where manufacturing shall happen , will develop disruptive innovative capacities to harness new ideas that translate to quality goods and services.”
“So we are re-orienting Higher and Tertiary education to say it is not about speaking good english , not about caps and gowns but it is about goods and services.”
Zimbabwe has a literacy rate of 90% but the ability of higher and tertiary education to produce goods and services is very low.
In response the minister said government has since moved the higher education from 3.0 to 5.0 education that has five missions innovation and industrialisation being the additions to teaching , consultations and research.
“We reconfigured our higher education to be a place where new technologies will be born.These will include legal services , technical services to make sure that our goods are of technically high standards.”
He alluded that higher education in Africa must result in the birth of new industries.