Prosper Ndlovu recently in LUSAKA, Zambia
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to establish a new scholarship programme to support deserving Zimbabwean candidates to further their studies at the University of Zambia (UNZA).
Speaking after his conferment with a Special Honorary PhD Degree by UNZA on Saturday, the President said his Government regards education as a key ingredient in driving the industrialisation agenda and transforming the economy towards a middle-income vision by 2030.
President Mnangagwa, who expressed deep gratitude for the recognition and honour given to him 44 years after he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the same university, said he was inspired to do more in support of the education sector in the country, including establishing synergies with regional and international universities.
“As a proud alumnus of this university, I am aware that this is the highest recognition that a university can award an individual. To give other young people the opportunity to experience learning at this great institution, I will be awarding Presidential Scholarships to deserving candidates to study at the University of Zambia,” said the President.
“We should encourage our people to benefit from each other’s education systems. My Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development (Prof Amon Murwira) is here with me and I have directed that we see more collaboration between the universities in our two countries.”
The President’s Office is already offering and has facilitated a number of scholarships for Zimbabwean undergraduate and post-graduate students to study in reputable institutions across the globe.
The honorary degree award to the Zimbabwean Head of State and Government was inspired by his distinguished contributions to politics, governance and law development in pre and post independent Zimbabwe. In his acceptance of the award, the President, however, stated that all of his roles and contributions were not done for personal acclaim or accolades but driven by a desire to see his country succeed.
He said Zimbabwe and the region at large have many unsung heroes who have walked the journey with him and together they loved the country and its people as they sought to bring it to prosperity.
President Mnangagwa also applauded the close bond between Zambia and Zimbabwe, popularly described as ‘Siamese twins’ as the two states have shared cordial bilateral relations since pre-colonial times and have worked together during the liberation struggle up to date.
Equally, President Mnangagwa said his personal life experience embodies the solidarity between the two neighbouring states. He said Zambia will always remain dear to him as he personally associated with the country as far back as the 1950s when he arrived as a young man from the then Southern Rhodesia.
“It was here in Zambia where my political awareness was nurtured through involvement in student anti-colonial politics, while serving as one of the youth league leaders of UNIP, here in Lusaka,” the President recalled.
“My years at UNZA further enhanced my capacity to play a meaningful role, both in the liberation of my beloved country and in the post independence Zimbabwe. My foundational years here in Zambia and at UNZA, remain invaluable.”