Zim fo­cuses to ex­ploit nat­u­ral re­sources: Mushohwe

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Love­more Chikova in Qing­dao, China

ZIM­BABWE is fo­cus­ing to pro­duc­ing grad­u­ates with rel­e­vant ex­per­tise to help ex­ploit the coun­try’s nat­u­ral re­sources for the ben­e­fit of the econ­omy, a Cab­i­net Min­is­ter said yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing at Ocean Univer­sity of China here at a cer­e­mony to wel­come 50 Zim­bab­wean stu­dents on the Pres­i­den­tial Schol­ar­ship Scheme, In­for­ma­tion, Me­dia and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices Min­is­ter Dr Christopher Mushohwe said the coun­try had an ad­van­tage in its nat­u­ral re­sources.

Dr Mushohwe is also the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Pres­i­den­tial Schol­ar­ship Depart­ment in the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and Cab­i­net, while the stu­dents are the first to en­rol at a Chi­nese univer­sity un­der the scheme.

The schol­ar­ships were awarded in part­ner­ship with Qing­dao Heng­shun Zhong­shen Group, a con­struc­tion firm based in the Chi­nese City of Qing­dao, which is help­ing fund the stu­dents.

“The first group of 50 stu­dents will be here for the next four years,” said Dr Mushohwe. “Af­ter they fin­ish their cour­ses, they will take posts with the Zim­bab­wean Gov­ern­ment re­lated to the Zim­bab­weChina co-oper­a­tion.

“Zim­babwe is en­dowed with nat­u­ral re­sources and this is why we want the Chi­nese to come and part­ner us in ex­ploit­ing those re­sources.”

Dr Mushohwe said in award­ing the schol­ar­ships, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe in­sisted on a pro­gramme of study with a greater need to Zim­babwe.

The study ar­eas in­cluded en­gi­neer­ing, health sciences, den­tistry, ac­count­ing, ar­chi­tec­tural sci­ence, ac­tu­ar­ial sci­ence and agri­cul­tural sciences.

Dr Mushohwe also said Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe con­sid­ered gen­der equal­ity, fair dis­tri­bu­tion among the eight ru­ral prov­inces, with Harare and Bu­l­awayo re­ceiv­ing less spon­sor­ship.

The se­lec­tion process also puts em­pha­sis on tar­get­ing the very poor ben­e­fi­cia­ries, he said.

“Due to fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by Zim­babwe em­a­nat­ing from the ef­fects of eco­nomic sanc­tions im­posed on Zim­babwe by Amer­ica and Europe, this im­por­tant pro­gramme was heav­ily af­fected and head­ing for dis­con­tin­u­a­tion,” said Dr Mushohwe.

He said the timely in­ter­ven­tion by Qing­dao Heng­shun Zhong­shen Group was wel­come and “a God sent bless­ing”, adding that Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe “is most grate­ful to your com­pany and the Gov­ern­ment and the peo­ple of China”.

Dr Mushohwe chron­i­cled how China as­sisted Zim­babwe with am­mu­ni­tion, train­ing and moral diplo­matic sup­port from the days of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle.

The sup­port con­tin­ued up to now when the coun­try is un­der a state of eco­nomic strug­gle be­cause of the il­le­git­i­mate eco­nomic sanc­tions im­posed by the West over land re­form, he said.

“The re­la­tion­ship has been trans­formed into the so­cial and eco­nomic spheres and now into an aca­demic re­la­tion­ship,” said Dr Mushohwe. “Zim­babwe will for­ever stand by one China pol­icy and sup­ports China’s le­git­i­mate claim on the China South Sea Is­lands.

“Zim­babwe adopted a “Look East” pol­icy mainly to strengthen and con­sol­i­date our all-weather po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic ties. China has a spe­cial so­cio-eco­nomic space in Zim­babwe.”

Dr Mushohwe said there were in­sa­tiable in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for China in Zim­babwe and a Zim­bab­wean in­vest­ment del­e­ga­tion was due in Qing­dao soon.

The in­take of stu­dents un­der the Pres­i­den­tial Schol­ar­ship Scheme in China is ex­pected to in­crease to 100 next year.

Dr Mushohwe signed doc­u­ments with re­gards to the deal with Qing­dao Heng­shun Zhong­sheng Group chair­man Mr Jia Quanchen.

Mr Jia said the firm’s ges­ture was good for the en­hance­ment Zim­babwe.

Ocean Univer­sity of China pres­i­dent Mr Yu Zhi­gang, wel­comed the stu­dents and im­plored them to be­come good am­bas­sadors of Zim­babwe dur­ing their ten­ure at the cam­pus.

The func­tion was also at­tended by del­e­gates from the Qing­dao Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment, Zim­bab­wean Em­bassy, and Ocean Univer­sity of China.

The mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing for the spon­sor­ship was signed be­tween Qing­dao Heng­shun Zhong­sheng Group and the Pres­i­den­tial Schol­ar­ship Scheme rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dr Mushohwe in Harare last year.

The firm be­came the first pri­vate com­pany to part­ner the Gov­ern­ment in fund­ing the scheme, which has so far ben­e­fited more than 20 000 dis­ad­van­taged since its in­cep­tion in 1995.

The stu­dents were mainly be­ing sent to uni­ver­si­ties in South Africa. of re­la­tions be­tween China and

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