Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle correspondent
THE mending of frosty relations between Zimbabwe and neighbouring Botswana will result in improved co-operation in the field of higher and tertiary education, science and technology development, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday.
In an interview, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira, praised the country’s improved relations with Botswana saying the development has opened a new window of co-operation in the vocational training and technical fields.
Prof Murwira was part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s delegation on his two-day State visit to Botswana on Monday.
“We’re focusing on co-operation in higher and tertiary education with Botswana as well as science and technology development. I am very encouraged by the way we are now co-operating in the new trajectory with Botswana. I was in the university system and we were already having joint projects with universities there, for me now as Minister it’s a privilege to continue at another level,” he said.
Prof Murwira said Botswana has expressed willingness to learn from the country’s higher and tertiary education system which it has previously benefited from.
“We want to make sure that we co-operate in technical and vocational training with Botswana. Zimbabwe Open University helped in the setting up of Botswana University and they are co-operating very well so we want to continue on that front,” he said.
“You remember when we were talking about the importance of polytechnics, Botswana is actually looking to us to co-operate with them in technical colleges. But if we had destroyed them what would that mean? They look at them as a good example of higher and tertiary education.”
The country is in discussions with Botswana over a deal to start processing its diamonds at the world-renowned Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in Gaborone.
Botswana has more advanced equipment, expertise in the diamond processing industry and if the deal is clinched, the country will rake in more revenue from the improved quality of gems.