President Emmerson Mnangagwa has implored the engineering professionals to play an active role in mobilising investment and closing the infrastructure gap as the country seeks to achieve accelerated economic transformation.

Cde Mnangagwa made the remarks during the official opening of the Zimbabwe Infrastructure Investment and Development Conference being hosted by the Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers.

Strategies to accelerate infrastructure development are high on the agenda at the ongoing conference taking place in Victoria Falls and has attracted stakeholders in the infrastructure sector who include contractors, project managers, potential investors, government officials, engineers and captains of industry.

President Mnangagwa urged stakeholders attending the conference to contribute to the modernisation of the local economy by coming up with appropriate engineering solutions that close the infrastructure gap and drive investment into various projects.

“The success and modernisation of our economy will, by and large be influenced and driven by excellence in science, engineering, technology and innovation, among key areas. I challenge you here gathered to leverage on your engineering fields of expertise to generate real value and pay off to the economy,” said Cde Mnangagwa.

The President encouraged the delegates to exploit the opportunities presented by the need for integrated infrastructure under the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan and highlighted the need for engineers to shun corruption in the implementation of the infrastructure projects.

“Due to the multi-million dollar nature of investment into infrastructure, I challenge you, men and women in this sector, to observe the highest standards of professional ethics, integrity and accountability,” he said.

Zimbabwe Institution of Engineering (ZIE) President, Engineer Israel Rwodzi assured the government of the engineering professionals’ resolve to developing home grown solutions as the country seeks to accelerate economic growth.

“I am confident that the country will benefit from the local engineering sector. We have the resources and the human capital to achieve transformation,” he said.

Zimbabwe, which is targeting annual economic growth rate of above 10% per annum in the medium term, has prioritised modernisation of energy, road, rail and ICT infrastructure in order to spur growth.