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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Project management skills critical to achievement of Vision 2030 – Prof Mavima

Story by Justin Mahlahla

The Minister of Skills audit and Development, Professor Paul Mavima says good project management skills are critical in implementing the country’s various NDS1 projects and programmes.

He said this during the PMZ 11th Annual Project Managers Dinner & Awards meeting, held this Friday under the theme, ‘Leveraging Vision 2030 on Project Management Skills’.

Professor Mavima said all the projects and programmes outlined in NDS 1 and in other strategic Government policy documents should be managed professionally and delivered within the scope, schedule and budget.

“Project management skills are therefore, powerful and effective tools that cut across all sectors in the implementation of annual plans and programmes. I am pleased to inform you that a team of technocrats drawn from PMZ members was part of the stakeholders who were involved in developing the Strategic Plan for my Ministry in Mutare in January this year. Their participation was pivotal in ensuring that the Plan aligns to the mandate of the Ministry and the expectations of project management practitioners. Let me promise you that my Ministry will forever cherish this symbiotic relationship and continuously engage with you whenever there is need. You are an important stakeholder to us,” he said.

The Minister also took the oppprtunity to explain the mandate of the Ministry of Skills Audit and developments towards the fulfilment of Vision 2030.

“As the Ministry responsible for transforming the skills development ecosystem to stimulate and sustain economic development, we are committed to supporting the audit and development of project management skills in our nation. This is in line with our mandate as we are tasked to identify and develop the requisite skills and competencies that will shape the socioeconomic transformation of this great country. We are also mandated to come up with policies and programmes that will enable Zimbabwe to adapt and benefit from the 4th Industrial Revolution. We emphasize the development of skills in areas such as manufacturing, engineering, sustainable agriculture, and mining, among other key areas. Developing skills in emerging technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI), design thinking, and data science is key for our modernization and industrialization agenda,” he said.

Prof Mavima said enhancing the country’s skills base will lead to improved productivity, efficiency and improved quality of products and services, making Zimbabwe more attractive for investment and trade.

He added, “I am informed that Project Management Zimbabwe, since it’s registration as an Examination Board by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, about 15 years ago, has registered 4 500 practitioners. We expect that these practitioners are re-skilled and up-skilled to match up with emerging skills in your area of practice. We can testify to sophisticated systems that are being setup at Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Manhize Steel Plant) and new manufacturing plants in the country hence the need to have skills that match the demands of the industry. Zimbabwe is on a drive to revive its infrastructure and utilities, through the refurbishment and construction of roads, dams and other key infrastructure as efforts to accelerate the attainment of Vision 2030 intensifies.

“Some of the high impact projects that the Second Republic has committed to include Units 7 and 8 of Hwange Power Station, Kariba South Expansion, Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Batoka Power Plant, Tugwi-Mukosi Dam, Gwayi-Shangani Dam, Drilling of Boreholes, Oil Mining Projects in Muzarabani, Kunzvi Dam, and Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway dualization and rehabilitation, the list is endless. Furthermore, Zimbabwe has also committed to extend electricity access to 95% in urban households and 75% in rural households, reduce biodiversity loss, reduce greenhouse gas by 40% by 2030. Many other projects are being undertaken by the private sector and development partners.”

A Skills Development Policy will be crafted to guide collaborations between the ministry and development partners in human capital development, said the minister.

“Human capital development builds a competent and productive workforce, driving industrial growth and economic development and the PMZ must complement Government efforts and invest in skills development. In order to collectively achieve this and promote collaboration with stakeholders, we are going to develop a National Skills Development Policy to align skills development with economic and social priorities of our country so that the goals of Vision 2030 and beyond can be achieved,” he said.

“As Government, we commend the work that PMZ is doing by collaborating with Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in project planning and implementation. The PMZ Chairperson’s Annual Report indicated that during 2022/23 PMZ partnered with the Department of Irrigation, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) to mentor them in project planning and implementation strategies.”

Professor Mavima said going forward, he wanted to see more partnerships between private players and Government in national development, adding that project management skills should be integrated in basic and higher education curricula so that learners grasp the crosscutting concept from early stages of their education.

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