PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa last week told over 3 000 Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) graduates that they should create their own jobs or risk sinking into oblivion as formal employment opportunities continue to shrink.
In his acceptance speech as the second Chancellor of the GZU at the institution’s 12th graduation ceremony held at the main campus, Mnangagwa told the graduates to be employment creators.
“As you begin the next phase of life, seek to be creators of wealth and employment. Desire to be positive transformers of your families, communities and the nation at large,” he told the 3 916 graduates.
Zimbabwe is grappling with massive unemployment, estimated to be at over 80%, while government has insisted unemployment was at 15% because the majority of citizens were employed as informal traders.
The country’s various institutions of higher learning annually churn out around 20 000 graduates, without a corresponding expansion of the job market as most major industries have closed while the few remaining have scaled down operations.
Mnangagwa also warned universities against mass enrolment for the sake of raising income as the practice affected the quality of education provision.
“I exhort GZU to increase its relevance, visibility and impact in line with our country’s mordenisation and industrialisation agenda towards the attainment of vision 2030 … In the second republic, institutions of higher learning must no longer merely take pride in student enrolment figures or the glamour of infrastructure,” he said.
He said universities and colleges should provide essential knowledge balanced with the exploitation of natural resources, environmental sustainability and economic development.
The GZU’s current enrolment stands at 15 000, up from 4 000 in 2012, according to its Vice-Chancellor, Rungano Zvobgo.