Zimbabwe has identified the importance of universities in the knowledge economy, with industry emphasising that authorities at tertiary institutions should have a special focus on developing highly skilled personnel to assist in key sectors such as energy, mining and agriculture.
The country boasts of a human resource base that is skilled and competitive across regional and international markets.
However, macro-economic challenges have made it difficult for the country to tap into this knowledge economy and feed into various economic development programmes.
Universities have embarked on a renewed path by identifying the possible areas of harnessing the expansive potential within the field of academia through establishing a taskforce that will ensure that tertiary institutions feed into the broader vision of economic growth.
This will result in these institutions championing the use of the modern technologies while also promoting innovation.
Industry views this as a major stride to ensuring that they work hand in glove with institutions of higher learning.
The open mindedness of both parties to approaching economic transformation in the country spells a new way of thinking which if effectively funded, can bring about outstanding results.
For this reason, funding towards research is critical in this equation, more so for key sectors such as energy and mining.
The tone for rapid transformation has already been set and what is now critical is that the objectives outlined by higher and tertiary institutions under their 100 day plan be implemented while industry makes good of their pledge to expand on their partnership with academia.