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Human capital development, skills alignment to turn Zimbabwe around

Story by Justin Mahlahla

The Minister of Skills Audit and development, Professor Paul Mavima says Zimbabwe’s fortunes can be turned around with proper human capital development and skills alignment.

He was addressing a stakeholders consultative workshop between his ministry and the mining sector value chain.

Professor Mavima said the purpose of theworkshop was to understand the skills landscape in mining industry, identify skills gaps and opportunities for partnerships for skills development.

“There are many graduates roaming the streets unemployed, but we hear ministries saying they do not have skilled personnel. This is not proper. And for the mining sector, your challenge is to create value out of these mineral resources. How do we convert resource endowment into wealth that we can use for the betterment of the people of Zimbabwe?

“It is human capital development that can lead to a country turning around – the health of a nation and the development of competencies and capacities for the healthy population to create value within various sectors of that economy. Let’s create the human capital we need to fight poverty in our rich country,” said Professor Mavima.

The Minister said embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution is all about efficiencies in all the country’s socio-economic processes and that there is need to develop skills that will help in the greening of the economy and especially in the mining development sector.

“We have phenomena such as climate change and there is need to climate-proof our country. They are now banning coal-mining around the world, but we are saying let us create capacities and skills to still mine our coal and process it for other purposes, like fertilizer, while reducing the pollution associated with it,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ambassador Rudo Chitiga said the ministry will promote collaborations in skills development across all sectors through its core values such as inclusivity, responsiveness, gender justice, high performance, stewardship and consistency.

“The country’s skills base is currently at 38%, according to the 2018 National Skills Audit, although the literacy rate is very high. The thrust of the new ministry is therefore to balance literacy with the requisite skills,” the Permanent Secretary noted.

“There will be provincial, sectoral skills audits to identify skills required in each geological area, based on the endowments of each province in order for us to fully beneficiate our resources,” added Ambassador Chitiga.

She emphasised the need to shift mindsets from valuing educational certificates and qualifications, and to start appreciating the skills and products that individuals can produce that can impact the nation.

Stakeholders from the Mines and Mining Development ministry, Zimbabwe School of Mines, Zimbabwe Geographical Survey, mining companies as well as engineers in various departments under the Mines ministry are attending the workshop.

The attendees are hoping the new Ministry of Skills Audit and Development should assist in identifying skills gaps, address skills misalignments in the public and private sectors as well as stop the skills flight that has affected the country for years.

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