The Government of Zimbabwe has agreed with World Bank to explore new areas of funding that could see Harare receiving US$30 million for entrepreneurial training and education.
The Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Dr Washington Mbizvo, speaking after the lengthy meeting said, “We managed to come up with strategies on how we can access more funds through the World Bank despite the borrowing restrictions we have. We agreed with the World Bank officials that because of the mechanisms in place, we qualify to get funding through the institution. These negotiations will enable us to fast track the release of a US$30 million fund from the World Bank for entrepreneurial education.”
“It is a fact that entrepreneurial education is the biggest solution to youth unemployment. The discussions that we held helped us to address the issue of education and unemployment and how the curriculum should be linked towards employment. We analysed the trends in other countries and established that Zimbabwe can benefit from these studies since we are grappling with integrating entrepreneurial skills into our curriculum.”
Dr Mbizvo added that his ministry and that of Education, Arts, Sport and Culture would craft strategies on how to utilise the fund.
Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate has remained very high at 80%. The economy has not been performing due to lack of funding and companies are going into bankruptcies and liquidation as they failed to resuscitate operations after the decade long economic meltdown. Many young people have turned to the informal sector for a livelihood as the formal sector can only absorb more than 1 million from the employable population.
It is imperative that government should harness the entrepreneurial spirit in the country by offering training in entrepreneurship and business management.
It is also noteworthy to say that the country’s school and university curricula does not provide entrepreneurial training and education. This results in our universities churning out labor force and unfortunately, no one can uptake the increasing number of graduates on the street. Entrepreneurship is now the key to the success of the Zimbabwean economy.
In developed countries, universities are providing platforms for launching startup companies and success stories are the likes of Facebook. It is critical that our schools, polytechs and universities prepare the students for starting businesses so that they create employment themselves, rather than pounding the streets looking for jobs that are not there.