Tendai Mugabe in Dubai
Challenges or no challenges, President Mnangagwa is proudly Zimbabwean.
The scarf with the national flag colours that he wears all the time is a symbol of the pride he takes in being a Zimbabwean despite the challenges the country is facing, President Mnangagwa has said.
He said the scarf, which has become his trademark, distinguishes Zimbabweans at any platform.
Several people have been wondering why President Mnangagwa always wears a scarf and he made the clarification after being asked about its significance at the official opening of the 5th Global Business Forum on Africa here yesterday.
“Let me say that for the past two decades, Zimbabwe has been in isolation, but now since the new dispensation which came about two years ago, we want to be embraced by the rest of the nations of the international community again,” said President Mnangagwa.
“To do so, we must be distinct. If you look around, you can easily see that is a Zimbabwean. So it is easy for the rest of the nations to identify us. We want to belong to the family of nations. This is the flag of my country and we are proud to carry it.
“There is no other meaning except that we want to be distinct and say we are Zimbabweans, we are proud to be Zimbabweans and in spite of what is happening to my country, we still remain proud.”
President Mnangagwa said the new dispensation was creating opportunities for young people to showcase their talent at institutions of higher learning.
Said President Mnangagwa: “We have said to the educational sector in our country, institutions of higher learning must talk to the private sector so that they produce graduates that can work and promote industry.
“We have now introduced in all the 16 universities that we have, innovation hubs where talented students are allowed to develop their talents.
“If they succeed, they go the next step of industrial hubs to develop whatever they have. If that succeeds, we now commercialise and that way we are inculcating young boys and girls to train them as entrepreneurs. They should not just look for employment.
“During my time when I went to school 40 years ago, we were going to school to train as teachers or clerks, but that is the past. We now have young boys and girls who are scientists and we are facilitating that. That way, we are producing a younger generation of entrepreneurs in our country. We think that is the way to go.”
President Mnangagwa said since childhood, he was committed to working for his country and it was his wish to see Zimbabwe competing with its neighbours and other developing countries in terms of development.
“In terms of infrastructure, our railways, roads, airlines, manufacturing sector and ICT have been left behind,” said President Mnangagwa.
“There is no need to reinvent the wheel and that is why I am here. I believe here we have the people who have the capacity in textiles, who have capacity in diamonds.
“We have lots of diamonds, but we have no technology and capital to process them. We export them raw.
“We have lots of gold and lithium. I am a lawyer by training, but I understand lithium is very important for the future. We have platinum and so on, but with all these resources, they will remain underground as long as we do not have investment capital coming from outside the country to assist us in extracting them for the purposes of bettering the lives of our people, for the purposes of modernising our economy and creating better conditions for our people.
“This is the vision we have, but it can only be realised if we are embraced by the international community, if we put policies that attract investment from the international community.”