Home » Literacy » President Challenges Zim Students in Algeria

President Mugabe on Thursday met Zimbabwean students studying in Algeria and challenged them to create employment for themselves in line with the country’s indigenisation and economic empowerment policy.

He said Government built many schools soon after independence for the people to attain basic education, adding that it was now time for students to attain specialised training.

“We have attained high level of education, but not the levels we need for specialised training relating to the needs of development. It’s no longer digging of gold or planting of seeds. We need to go beyond that now. We need to process the minerals — iron ore to steel, cotton to cloth — value addition and beneficiation, the core of Zim-Asset,” President Mugabe said.

“We need to make Zimbabwe our own, politically, yes it is our own, but who is managing our mines, our industry? Who are the owners? We were once workers, engineers, miners, metallurgists working for Lonrho and Rio Tinto.

“What we intend to achieve now is ownership of our resources and value add them. Let us not add value to benefit foreign firms. When you qualify here do not work for somebody, but yourself. The firms must be yours,” said President Mugabe to huge applause from the students.

The President acknowledged that raising capital was a challenge but urged the students to consider forming partnerships.

The meeting, held at one of Algerian State Hotels, was attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Cde Simbarashe Mmbengegwi and his Industry and Commerce counterpart Cde Mike Bimha, embassy officials and Government officials.

The president of the Community of Zimbabwean Students in Algeria (CZSA) Mr Alfred Mudonhi, said despite some of the financial constrains faced, they were grateful that President Mugabe was going an extra mile to ensure they received assistance.

“Your Excellency, allow us to extend our deepest gratitude as a Community of Zimbabwean Students in Algeria to the Government of Zimbabwe for its unwavering determination towards developing our motherland — Zimbabwe — through educating its citizens.

“Today Zimbabwe boasts of Africa’s highest literacy rate of over 90 percent. Your exceptional diplomatic qualities as manifested by your g ties with countries willing to develop Zimbabwe has seen many deserving talented Zimbabweans becoming beneficiaries of Bilateral scholarships and not forgetting the Presidential Scholarships, which are awarded to thousands of students annually,” he said.

Although Zimbabwe sends thousands of students to study in South African universities annually, Algeria has been sponsoring about 40 students from its national budget and, following discussions with President Mugabe on Tuesday, Algerian Prime Abdelmalek Sellal, agreed to double the number.

Mr Mudonhi said President Mugabe’s zeal to educate Zimbabweans helped to build a firm foundation for the country’s future.

The students lauded the Government and embassy officials for their continued support of the country’s education in spite of the challenges the country is facing.

“In a nutshell, all I can say on behalf of the community (CZSA) is we are unequivocally contented with the service we are receiving from our embassy staff. Your Excellency, we are deeply indebted to the Government of Zimbabwe for awarding us these bilateral scholarships,” he said.

The Algerian scholarship was started in 2005 with 17 students studying in fields such as medicine, engineering, pharmacy and dental surgery.

Year Numbers of Students

2005 17

2006 38

2007 42

2008 53

2009 69

2010 59

2011 56

2012 47

2013 56

2014 46

The total number of students who studied in Algeria since 2005 is 466.

Two students, Ethlbert Chingonzo and Kudzanai Tosh died in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Source : The Herald