The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube visited Midlands State University on Friday the 24th of April 2020 on a familiarisation tour that was aimed at assessing projects being undertaken by the institution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Ncube, who was accompanied by the chairman of the National Venture Fund applauded MSU for stepping up to the plate in the wake of COVID-19 and for being a development catalyst in line with Education 5.0. The Minister’s multi-pronged visit was also meant to help him and his team to identify potential projects for funding.
‘I wanted to come here and see for myself how MSU is living up to the Education 5.0 strategy and its quite clear from what you have described that you are living that strategy and am here to see how we can further support you … we have created a National Venture Fund of 500 million dollars and we are looking for projects to invest in. So, I hope that through my walkabout here we will be able to identify one or two things that we can take forward and invest in’, said the Minister.
Professor Ncube also outlined the Government’s COVID-19 strategy as well as its post-COVID-19 strategy for economic recovery. He said in the case of the former, Government’s strategies were aimed at saving lives and livelihoods, while in the case of the latter strategies would be designed to boost and support economic recovery.
In his presentation, Midlands State University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa set out the various projects being carried out by the University in response to COVID-19 such as the printing of COVID-19 indigenous languages booklets that were translated by the University’s Language Institute, the manufacturing of hand sanitizer and face masks. He also highlighted other projects intended to generate third-stream income for the institution.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, concluded his visit with a tour of Midlands State University’s hand sanitizer manufacturing plant housed at the institution’s Incubation Hub, before going to the University Printing Press and face mask manufacturing site, both located in Gweru’s industrial area.