More funding for Gwanda varsity
President Mnangagwa, who yesterday presided over the second graduation ceremony of Gwanda State University (GSU), one of the country’s youngest universities, promised to provide more funding for the development of the institution.
The university held its second graduation ceremony at its Epoch Mine Campus in Filabusi under the theme: “Towards Developing an Innovative Human Capital for Industrialisation in line with Vision 2030”.
The graduating students were drawn from the Faculty of Natural Resources Management and Agriculture and Faculty of Engineering and the Environment.
The university recorded an increase in the number of graduates this year as 34 were capped compared to only 15 who were capped during its inaugural graduation ceremony last year.
Tatenda Machingambi, who obtained a first-class degree in the Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Animal Science, was awarded the Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Chancellor’s Award for the best male graduate and received US$1 000, while Ms Blessing Ncube emerged the best female graduate with a first-class degree in Bachelor of Engineering Honours degree in Mining Engineering and also received US$1 000.
Four other graduates received US$500 each under the Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Chancellor’s Award for the best projects in their disciplines.
GSU Vice Chancellor Professor Doreen Zandile Moyo said the graduates with the best projects will be assisted to further develop the projects into prototypes and finally tangible products.
The university donated a heifer to President Mnangagwa in support of his commitment to human capital development.
Speaking after touring the under construction Engineering Laboratory and Innovation Complex, President Mnangagwa said he was satisfied with the growth of the university.
“GSU is one of the young universities that we have in the country but I’m happy that it is growing. Looking at the geography where it is situated, its development is expensive but I guarantee the Vice Chancellor that she will receive maximum support for the development of this university,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Secondly, I’m happy that the number of graduates is increasing. Last year we had a smaller number and this year we have a bigger number. Also I believe that she is going to continue to extend the programmes available at the university so that this region can have similar facilities in terms of courses and programmes as other universities in the country.”
President Mnangagwa said a lot still needs to be done at the university as far as infrastructural development is concerned.
From its chicken layers project, the university donated eggs to President Mnangagwa and revealed that the project was so big that it was now supplying eggs to a number of shops at Filabusi Business Centre.
“I believe it’s a good beginning, I have been to many State universities and I have never been given eggs,” joked President Mnangagwa as he received the eggs.
Prof Moyo thanked President Mnangagwa for supporting the growth of the university.
“Your Excellency and Chancellor, I would like to express my profound gratitude for the support your Government is rendering to the institution as we pursue our mandate of developing an innovative human capital for industrialisation in line with Vision 2030,” said Prof Moyo.
“This has enabled the university to make significant strides in the implementation of the institution’s NDS1 compliant 5-year strategic plan (2021- 2025).”
She said the university’s student population increased from 422 in 2022 to 510 in 2023.
Prof Moyo said the placement of the Engineering Laboratory and Agro-innovation Complex under the Government’s 100 days cycle projects, will enable the university to offer new degree programmes on mining, engineering and environmental restoration.
“When operationalised, the Engineering Laboratory and Agro-Innovation Complex will spur mineral beneficiation and exploration initiatives. It will provide laboratory infrastructure for teaching and learning, mining research and consultancy services. The complex will assist in finding innovative ways to curb exportation of unprocessed ores.”
She said the Engineering Laboratory and Innovation Complex will be equipped with cutting edge equipment and technologies that improve critical skills training.
Prof Moyo said research output is also expected to increase coupled with development of prototypes and tangible products.
She said the university has made strides in its quest to develop hands-on training in agro-innovations.
Prof Moyo said the Agro-Innovation Hub and Industrial Park has a 202 breeding heifers, 310 breeding Matabele goats and 2 000 layers.
She said an additional 3 000 layers’ housing is 60 percent complete and is expected to be operational by end of next month.