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Speech delivered by Ambassador Sh. R. Masakui on ITEC Day 2019

ITEC Day Speech

(5th March 2019)


Guest of Honour, Dr. Vincent Hungwe, Chairman, Public Service Commission
Permanent Secretary, Public Service Commission, Amb. Jonathan Wutawunashe
Engr. Q.C. Kanhukamwe,   Vice-Chancellor, HIT and students of HIT, ITEC participants,
Senior officials of various Departments/Ministries of GoZ, Senior and Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon,

It is my pleasure to welcome you all on the occasion of ITEC Day celebration- 2019. We celebrate this day every year to bring all ITEC Scholars together and interact with them and share their experiences in India. Many of you have returned from India this year and i trust you had a pleasant stay in India and would share this afternoon amongst yourselves and with us your experience of the course and memories of India. There may also be scholars here who are leaving soon for their ITEC courses in India. I am sure they would like to learn from the experiences of those who have already been there.

2.     Relationship between India and Zimbabwe has always been cordial and friendly. India was one of the countries which opened its embassy in Zimbabwe the very year it got independence. We desire to continue and strengthen this mutually beneficial relationship and to enhance cooperation and understanding with Zimbabwe on issues of mutual interest at bilateral and multilateral levels. 2018 marked a milestone in our relationship as Vice President of India visited Zimbabwe. This high level visit took place after a gap of more than 20 years and was the first high level visit after Zimbabwe successfully held its general elections.  This demonstrates the importance that we place on our relations with Zimbabwe and the enormous potential that both countries hold for each other. During the visit, a number of cooperation agreements were signed.  Our bilateral cooperation cuts across sectors which include G to G development cooperation, SME, Agriculture, Health, Education, Energy and Power and Mining, Scientific Research and Developments etc. 

3.     ITEC programme is one of the most successful programmes as far as India’s partnership cooperation is concerned. Most of you are ITEC alumni, and you need no introduction to the programme. The programme which started in 1964 is India’s flagship programme and is an important cooperation programme of the Government of India for delivering technical assistance, technology transfer and capacity building for our developing country partners. Through this programme, India shares its experience and expertise in various fields with around 158 developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Carribean, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Pacific Island States.

4. Training or capacity building is one of the major activities under ITEC, whereby we offer unique training courses, both civilian and defence, in different centres of excellence in India. There are currently 47 empanelled institutions conducting 280 short-term, medium-term and long-term courses every year in a wide and diverse range of skills and disciplines. These training programmes have contributed significantly towards capacity building and human resource development of our friendly countries in many parts of the world.

5.     The ITEC Programme forms an important part of our bilateral relations with Zimbabwe. We started the programme in Zimbabwe in 1985. Slots for Zimbabwe which was 180 in 2016 has been increased to 240 in 2017 and to 260 in 2018.  And I am very happy to inform that as I speak Zimbabwe has utilized more than 200 slots and others are under process. From 2017, ITEC course also covered doctor and nurses. We have nominated several doctors and nurses to get trained in Apollo hospital in India. We have also 22 ICCR scholarships every year for Zimbabwe.  Meritorious students may apply for this.

6.     I am also happy to inform you that we resumed training programme for personnel of Defences Forces under ITEC programme in 2017.  From 4 slots in 2017, we increased to 8 slots in 2018 and more slots are expected to be allocated in 2019.  

7.     As a part of ITEC programme, my Vice President, during his visit to Zimbabwe in November 2018, announced that India is happy to depute five experts to Zimbabwe in the areas of Engineering, Information, science and technology, Agriculture, Public sector Business Management and Rural Development. This programme will be fully sponsored by GOI. The process is under way to identify specific requirements by the GoZ.

8.     At the institutional level, we have witnessed intensification of collaboration. Harare Institute of Technology has signed MOUs with sixteen institutions in India. Besides, during the visit of HVP of India, there were six business MOUs signed. They cover the areas of Science and Math education, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence certification for Universities, Data Science analysis and scientist exchange programme.  This collaboration will have significant and long term impact in the development of our countries.  I can say with a lot of pride that these are the finest examples of technical cooperation between the two friendly countries. I would like to thank Vice Chancellor of HIT for the valuable contribution in deepening the relationship of the two countries.

9.     The endeavour to partner with our fellow developing countries such as Zimbabwe as a part of South - South cooperation is an important pillar of India ́s foreign policy. In our own limited way, it is our endeavor to share with you our technologies, academic and technical knowledge and experience to assist you in your march to making Zimbabwe a middle income country by 2030.

10. As each of you has been a part of the ITEC programme experience, it is our hope that you have imbibed in yourself an in-depth understanding of India and will act as a bridge in fostering even closer bilateral relations between our two friendly countries.

11.    I thank you all for your attention. I wish you all success in your personal and professional lives.

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