Minister of Education Douglas Syakalima has challenged Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country to be contributors to the inclusive growth and sustainable development the nation desires for.
Mr Syakalima said the current changing global economic environment calls for Institutions of higher Education to up their game in terms of the quality of graduates and the type of research being produced from the sector to stimulate economic growth.
He said that the prospects of taking advantage of the positive indications in the face of the fast changing global economic environment lie with ensuring that all key sectors in the economy play their role.
The Minister said that issues of energy crisis have become topical today, therefore, requires some reflection, just as the innovations coming out of the HEIs and their partners.
Mr Syakalima was speaking during the official opening of the 3rd Zambia Association of Public Universities and Colleges (ZAPUC) conference in Livingstone.
The minister added that addressing the underlying factors to the global challenges constitutes a first step in making the HEIs become key contributors to inclusive growth and sustainable development for all.
And ZAPUC Chairperson, who is also the University of Zambia and Chalimbana University Vice Chancellor Prof. Annie Sikwibele said, despite most African countries being endowed with abundant natural resources, they still remain amongst the poorest nations of the world.
Prof Sikwibele said that Zambia has not been spared to challenges of climate change and that HEIs must take up the leading role in finding solutions to these challenges.
She said, the main objective of the conference is to take stock of the strides made within the HEIs to adapt to the paradigm shift of the role of education institutions in contributing to national economic development and people’s well-being.
The conference was being held under the theme “enhancing the role of higher education institutions in the changing economic environment”.