This is an extract from the Official Page of Prof Jonathan Moyo, Zanu-PF Secretary for Science and Technology, also Zimbabwe's Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.
“This week’s Big Issue is about the big disconnect between our acclaimed literacy and our poor state of science and technology.
While Zimbabwe has over the years held pole position with the highest literacy rate in Africa--which is currently at 90.70%.
This commendable achievement that the country remarkably maintained even during the harsh hyperinflationary years, translates to no better than Grade 7 literacy!
As shown by the accompanying piechart on Zimbabwe's educational base, our literacy leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the kind of education which makes a difference to the country's economic development.
We are way behind when it comes to university education in general and PhD study in particular.
None of our universities rank among the top 10 in Africa.
There is a disconnect between our high literacy rate and the quality of our tertiary education.
We do not have a culture of applying science and technology to public policy analysis and implementation.
We are profoundly political in everything we do, in and outside government.
Science and technology, especially nanotechnology, do not feature in our national budget.
The time has come for a major rethink.
Our universities and research institutions must be at the forefront of our economic development.
At least 5% of our GDP should represent our commitment to support Science and Technology.
Companies that develop useable patents or are involved in practical R&D should be given tax incentives and rebates.
Meanwhile national universities and research centres that are involved in nanotechnologies should by that fact be given funding incentives.
A Special Fund should be created to link national universities and research institutions with Zimbabweans in the Diaspora who have critical R&D skills in designated applications of nanotechnology.
We need to get started in a new direction.