Botswana cannot be better than Zimbabwe, says Perm Sec!

ZIMBABWE has among the best education systems in the world let alone in Africa and thus cannot be compared with Botswana, says Dr Washington Mbizvo, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.

The sentiments come amid a "worrying" report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its Human Development Index Report for 2011.

The document places Zimbabwe at a poor Number 173 out of 187 countries studied.

Botswana, on the other hand, is placed at Number 118 which is among the best within the SADC region.

"Zimbabwe's education system is an envy," Dr Mbizvo said.

"It is an envy even for people at the UNDP and to say we are less developed than Botswana is really untrue.

"We are concentrating on our education system in Zimbabwe. When I visited Botswana I saw a dilapidated infrastructure. The toilets were not working – where-ever they existed – while many were not flushing.

"But in your report the UNDP says Botswana is more developed than Zimbabwe yet in many areas, even in the city centre, there is no electricity in Botswana which is said to have a high HDI."

According to the Report entitled: "Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All", Zimbabwe trails several African countries including Libya at Number 64 – the highest in Africa – Algeria at Number 96, Egypt (113), neignhbours Botswana (118) and Namibia (120).

There are four categories in the UNDP Report – Very High Human Development, High Human Development, Medium Human Development, and Low Human Development.

Sub Saharan Africa ranks the lowest after South Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The highest are the Arab States followed by East Asia and the Pacific.

The highest in the HDI Report for 2011 is Norway (1), followed by Australia, The Netherlands and the United States of America (USA).

The region is anchored by Barbados at Number 47.

In the lowest sector, the Solomon Islands lead at Number 142 followed by Kenya, Sao Tome and Principe, and then Pakistan.

This region is anchored by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (187) and includes Zimbabwe at Number 173.

Regionally, however, Zimbabwe lags behind its neighbours, Botswana (118), Namibia (120), South Africa (123), Angola (148), Tanzania (152) and even the small kingdom of Lesotho which stands at Number 160 in the UNDP Report for 2011.

The Minister of International Co-operation and Investment Promotion, Tapiwa Mashakada, commenting about the UNDP Report said : "Our economy is slowly picking up and you all know where we are coming from – hyperinflation, low productivity as well as unemployment.

"It has been a long way and we are getting there. Our Mid-Term Development Programme (MTDP) will ensure that we get the intended results."

The MTDP runs for five years and was launched last year by Mashakada who is from the MDC-T political party.

In its background the UNDP says the annual global Human Development Reports (HDRs) have been published by its organisation since 1990 as "intellectually independent and empirically grounded analyses of development issues, trends, progress and policies".

It says National Human Development Reports (NHDRs), on the other hand, were first released in 1992 and have been produced in 140 countries by local editorial teams with the UNDP support.

"These Reports – more than 650 have been published to-date – bring human development perspective to national policy concerns through locally managed consultations and research," the UNDP said.

"National HDRs often focus on issues of gender, ethnicity or rural-urban divides to help identify inequality, measure progress and detect early warning signs of potential conflict. Because these Reports are grounded in national needs and perspectives, many have had substantial influence on national policies, including strategies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other human development priorities."

However, analysts and economists from Zimbabwe blasted the UNDP Report saying it was done in haste and did not take into account the situation on the ground in Zimbabwe right now.

"Things have changed in Zimbabwe and they must look into our very strong education sector," Dr Mbizvo said.

Post published in: Africa News
  1. miles anderson

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