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Mindset shift necessary for a highly-skilled and developed nation – developmentalists

Mindset shift necessary for a highly-skilled and developed nation – developmentalists

Story by Justin Mahlahla

A highly-skilled and developed Zimbabwe is possible and attainable, but can only be achieved through a collective mindset focused on taking the country forward.

This was the sentiment shared during day two of the Ministry of Skills Audit and Development’s Skills Indaba and Strategic Planning meeting underway in Mutare.

Developmentalist,Dr Mungai Lenneiye of the Udugu Institute challenged the new ministry to develop a strategic plan that feeds into the needs and demands of the National Development Strategy, through appropriate identification and placement of critical skills.

“A knowledge-driven economy is what the Ministry of Skills Audit and Development is all about. Human capital development is about managing knowledge. The question is: how do we get there – and at the heart is human skills development. Do we have the right people doing the right thing?

“How do we take the human capital we have and turn it to be fit for purpose? What is it going to take to help the Ministry of Skills Audit and Development equip other ministries with human skills to get to Vision 2030?

“South Korea developed during the years of the Cold War, but how do we use those lessons to take our own country forward? What does the environment in 2023 tell you about nation building? What are we standing on now?” he said.

Dr Mungai said only a mindset change will take Zimbabwe forward, adding, “Remember the youth. Remember gender. Remember culture. That’s what we are referring to as the mindset. The idea is that the ministry of skills audit is foundational, they are not sectional. They are supposed to figure out where the minintry of agriculture is, what skills do they have and what gaps are there so that if they are filled, they can get to where they want to get.

“The new Ministry is not a line ministry, ther job is to give the other ministries the key to get the job done, whether in fighting climate change, health provision, etc, so that we get to the desired economy. It can be done.”

Professor James Shim of the International Youth Fellowship of South Korea, also presented a case study of how his country, following years of struggle and challenge, emerged from being a war-ravaged poor nation to a highly-developed economy.

He said through oneness of mind, South Korea managed to rise from the ashes of destruction, standing on a dream of a better country and life for everyone.

“Despite the war and negativity from some, even among our own leaders, we were able to work on massive infrastructure projects like roads, agriculture, industries, stadiums and many others, because we all said we wuld not let our generations inherit our poverty,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Skills Audit and Development, Ambassador Rudo Chitiga weighed in, “Without changing our mindset from a paper, a certificate, to a skills mindset, we will continue buying certificates but still not being able to develop our nation. This issue of mindset change is very very critical.”

The skills indaba and strategic planning workshop, being attended by various stakeholders and representatives of other key ministries and government departments, is meant to craft the ministry’s strategic plan.

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