The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, has challenged the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) and to lead the nation in developing a special cadre who is capable of pushing Zimbabweâ€™s appropriate technology agenda forward for the benefit of the country.
Cde Mugabe, who was speaking at his installation as Chancellor of the Harare InstituteÂ of Technology, said the knowledge gathered from science should be converted into tangible value-addedÂ products and services derived from the countryâ€™s abundant resources.
The installation ceremony held at the Harare Institute of Technology campus in the capitalÂ on Thursday morning, was witnessed byÂ academics, business, parents, representatives from the diplomatic community who are partnering the institute in the implementation of the programmes at the institute as well as students.
In his citation at the installation, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Dr Stan Mudenge, chronicled how Cde Mugabe, an illustrious and accomplished scholar in his own right, has played a great role in ensuring that every Zimbabwean gets quality education through various enabling policies.
He added that Cde Mugabe has also taken it upon himself to ensure that Zimbabwean children have early access to computers through the Schools Computerisation and E-learning Programme, as well as the his Fort Hare Scholarship Programme for bright students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In his address, Cde Mugabe implored higher education and tertiary institutions to produce graduands that are ready to tackle economic challenges that Zimbabwe is facing as a country, and granduands who are prepared to be job creators in their own right and to ensure that Zimbabwe should not remain highly dependant on the west on technologies and innovation.
Cde Mugabe, whose installation as Chancellor coincided with the inaugural graduation ceremony of HIT, paid tribute to the Islamic Republic of Iran, China, Egypt, Korea and India for supporting the various programmes at the institute.
Cde Mugabe capped 85 graduands at the institutionâ€™s inaugural graduation ceremony since it was transformed to a university in 2005.
HIT, which started off as a vocational training centre in 1988, was transformed into the Harare Institute of Technology in 2003.
In 2005 it enrolled its first degree programmes after the promulgation of the HIT Act which transformed it into a university.
The main objective for the establishment of HIT was to make it the leading institution for development , incubation, transfer and commercialisation of technology and manpower development for greater national industrialisation.
To date the institute has established 4 faculties namely, The School of Industrial Sciences and Technology, The School of Engineering and Technology, The School of Business Management Sciences and The School of Information Sciences and Technology.
HIT is currently offering 9 degree programmes while the 10thÂ – Pharmaceutical Technology – will be launched soon.
Vice Chancellor of the Institute, Engineer Quinton Kanhukamwe, outlined some of the successes of the institute which has established a holding company with 5 subsidiaries.
The 5 companies are aimed at facilitating technology incubation, transfer and commercialisation, acting as the stepping stone to the setting up of a science park.
Through the subsidiaries the institute is already involved in production of items such as bottled water, soy milk, ice cream, cheese and others.
Students representatives and the Vice Chancellor of Chinhoyi University of Technology on behalf of the academia paid tribute to Cde Mugabe for his immense contribution to education in Zimbabwe.
President Mugabe is Chancellor of all state universities.