United Nations (UN) resident co-ordinator in Zimbabwe, Maria Ribeiro has encouraged government to make use of the country’s available human capital to reduce the high unemployment and develop the economy.

Speaking at the Launch of the Atlas Convention in Harare last week, she said government should assist and encourage young innovators to make use of their creativity for economic development.

The Atlas Convention is an integrated national-technology and economic transformation initiative that brings together government, private sector and academia to drive innovation with a global perspective that will help Zimbabwe attain world class industry standards.

“There is a very high unemployment rate in the country particularly among the young people and it is no longer like many other countries where going to university guarantees you a job afterwards.

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“So the government should make a commitment to engage with those young people so that they can find and make innovative contributions to the development of the country and be able to sustain their families,” Ribeiro said.

“Let us encourage the young people to be ambassadors of innovation and creativity, for the development and improvement of Zimbabwe’s economy,” she added.

Ribeiro urged government to sponsor research programmes for young people to come up with practical solutions to the economic problems which the country is facing.

“Countries have problems and we all know that. Zimbabwe has several problems from climate change, drought, but they also come from the economic situation due to a legacy of economic policies which perhaps have not yielded the kind of economy that we have all wished.

“We see the challenges in terms of the high unemployment rate, the health service and the food security in the past two years due to the climatic shocks like El Nino, Cyclone Idai,”
“So, we would very much encourage the innovators to look at these challenges and find out how practically they can solve these problems. The government should support research on practical innovations that can help solve these challenges, particularly in the health sector and food security,”

She also added that government should be transparent in the use of its vast resources.“Zimbabwe has many resources like minerals, its agricultural tradition and it is also a very beautiful country that attracts many tourists and it should make good use of them for the development of the economy through creativity and innovation.

“However, the government should be transparency in the use of these resources in a most sustainable way possible and in an inclusive way,” she said.

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