THE United Arab Emirates (UAE) wants to scale up cooperation with Zimbabwe in the education sector and in sustainable upkeep of the environment.
This was revealed by UAE Ambassador to Zimbabwe Dr Jassim Al Qasimi when he separately addressed stakeholders in the education and environment sectors yesterday.
The Emirates places huge importance in education, dedicating more than 20 percent of its national budget in 2017 and 2018 to the sector.
From 2016 to 2020, the country availed close to US$13 billion of its budget to the education sector, while education is compulsory and free for primary stages.
“I want to highlight that we recognise as the great initiatives put in place by the Government of Zimbabwe in the education sector to empower the youth and foster their development,” said Ambassador Al Qasimi.
“The results have been outstanding. The Emirates have always admired the Zimbabwean government for this. May today be the first step towards the collaboration of both nations in empowering the leaders of tomorrow.”
Ambassador Al Qasimi said the UAE Government recognised the role of education in building a knowledge-driven economy for the post-oil era, thus they have developed the Education 2020 Strategy for a first-rate education system.
“Ensuring that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education, the constitution makes education free of charge at all stages for citizens throughout the UAE,” he said.
“It also maintains that the government should set necessary schemes for spreading education and eliminating illiteracy.”
Later in the day yesterday, Ambassador Al Qasimi held a virtual interactive discussion with representatives of Zimbabwe’s environment sector where he said the vision was to achieve a sustainable environment and infrastructure by 2021.
“I want to highlight that we recognise the great initiatives put in place by the Government of Zimbabwe to protect and sustain the environment,” he said.
“May today be the first step towards the collaboration of both nations in protecting and sustaining our environments for the sake of tomorrow.
“The bodies concerned with the environment organise educational campaigns at the emirate or federal level in coordination with the respective federal agency.
“The UAE Government wants to ensure sustainable development while preserving the environment, and to achieve a perfect balance between economic and social development.”
Zimbabwe has also made great strides in going green through the massive use of solar power across all sectors of the economy.