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Continent must harness innovation and technology towards economic growth – President Mnangagwa

Story by Bruce Chahwanda, Political Editor

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says Africa should harness innovation and technology to achieve inclusive development in line with Agenda 2063.

He was addressing the nation as the continent commemorates Africa Day this Saturday.

The continent celebrates the 61st anniversary of Africa Day, giving member states an opportunity to reflect on the past and the future despite the ravaging climate change.

In his Africa Day message at State House in Harare, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the country is in sync with continent in defending its unity, freedom, independence, peace and sovereign rights.

“Looking into the future, we applaud the adoption of the 2024 African Union theme and I quote, “Educate an African Fit for the Twenty-First Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for Increased Access to Inclusive, Lifelong Quality and Relevant Learning in Africa.” Education must steer Africa towards the achievement of Agenda 2063.

“This timely call to action, therefore, presents an opportunity for us, the Members States of the African Union to combine efforts for the accelerated implementation of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa, as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number four,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said the continent should harness innovation and technology for economic growth.

“Gone are the days where we approach the world with begging bowls for aid, with its attendant conditionalities. Africa’s collective experience in politics and economic development is testimony that it is none but ourselves who have the burden to move Africa forward. We must innovate and implement solutions that will see us becoming a nation and an African continent able to feed itself. Let us endeavour to produce all the products and goods we use. Equally, today’s contemporary challenges and opportunities must be met with boldness, determination and the same resolve that saw our forebears victoriously fight for our liberation and independence,” he added.

The Head of State also stressed the importance of harnessing the youth dividend for sustainable development, given the fact that youths are the most vibrant demographic group.

”This is more critical as our continent is home to the youngest and most vibrant population in the world. The youth dividend should be harnessed to realize sustainable development, modernization and industrialization of the continent. To achieve this, the deliberate deployment of science, technology and innovation to empower the youth and our communities has become urgent and important. It is in this respect that Zimbabwe, under the Second Republic, has transformed our education system anchored by Heritage-based Education 5.0 philosophy which is driven by a robust innovation ecosystem. As the African Continent and a nation, we must never apologize for learning new ways and unlearning the old ways of doing things,” said the President..

He highlighted that the continent’s struggles for independence must be recorded and preserved for posterity, “In this regard, Zimbabwe is proud to host the Museum of African Liberation, located in Harare. The Museum will serve to capture, document and memorialise the seamless Jess of the African struggle for independence. We have a duty to take ownership of our rich liberation history and the narrative of our past through the correct and Afro-centric lenses. I once again extend an invitation to all African countries and those who assisted in the liberation of Africa, to support and participate in this noble project on the Museum of African Liberation.”

President Mnangagwa also took the opportunity to express gratitude to African countries for uniting in calling for the unconditional lifting of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and its western allies.

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