The success of any event is based on the attendance of its guests. We would like to thank the different individuals who took time to attend and participate in the Development Practitioners Convention 2017. We would like to acknowledge and thank Government officials, representatives and students from tertiary institutions, DPN partner organisations, various civil society organisations, representatives and students from high schools and various other stakeholders that graced the event.
Development Practitioners Convention 2017 Highlights
DPN continues to place emphasis on Networking and Development. This year’s theme Development Reality: Collectively Envisioning the Future sought to draw the attention of all stakeholders to the importance of working together for the achievement of development. This year the Convention theme sought to address the realities of the state of the global developing society. Hence our presentations were in line with modern development. Brighton Musevenzo gave an insightful presentation on SDGs, whilst Lovemore Nyatsine unpacked how ICT has not just propelled development but has also transformed lives. Gabriel Chipara on Financial literacy emphasized the need to budget and cautious spending in the current economic state.
The event kicked off with a presentation on the theme from Dr Kwaramba. She started off with a very powerful quote “There is a special place in hell for people who do not work together” she said. She positively spoke on how Zimbabwe has a very bright future if we dare work together and sustainably. She placed emphasis on all individuals taking ownership of the society because social and environmental ills affect everyone despite where we live or how we live.
Brighton Musvenzo smoothly took over and gave a presentation shedding the spotlight on the plight of youth and the importance of youth participation in SDG policy implementation. He focused on giving us statistics of the youth demography in the world and highlighted how 85% of the youth in the world live in developing countries, approximately 250 million youth live in impoverished countries and survive on less than a dollar a day. He urged that youths should actively participate in the implementation of SDGs as they are more beneficial to the youth demography. He encouraged stakeholders and policymakers to be highly aware of the positive contribution that youth skills and innovation has in policy implementation. Youth participation in advocacy is also an important aspect in the implementation of the SDGs.
Lovemore Nyatsine took over to present ICT for Development and he shared a memory from the year 2000 when he was in Kenya with Mr Strive Masiyiwa, Strive Masiyiwa said to him “do you know that 75% of Africans have never heard a ringtone of a cell phone let alone held one. But today more than fifty percent of the population has been connected due to ICT for Development. “He talked about how platforms and applications have transformed our lives, for example, Facebook, YouTube etc. Virtualisation and software have created endless possibilities to an extent that you can set up an entire business in the cloud without having any hardware on the ground. Technology has created convenience and self-service and data analytics narrow down information to your interests and needs.
Gabriel Chipara kicked off his presentation on Financial literacy with a bible verse “A feast is made for laughter and wine makes merry, but money answers everything” Ecclesiastes 10vs19. He spoke to the inner nature of humans that seeks security in life and that security is attained by jobs in our society. He stressed it’s important to have a life roadmap that will eventually lead to financial security.
Guest of Honour Speech
The speech was delivered by Mr J. Banda from the Department of Social Services on behalf of Mr Soko The Director of the Department of Social Services. He was very pleased with the theme and hammered on the importance of civil societies complying to Government regulations and cooperating and complementing government efforts.
One of the objectives of DPN is to ensure the interests of students and ensure they have a platform to participate. It is in that spirit that this year the debate was a two-day round-robin tournament that kicked off with five universities namely Zimbabwe Open University, Great Zimbabwe University, Catholic University in Zimbabwe, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University. The thematic areas debated on were International Aid, SDGs, economic empowerment. The first day saw ZOU and MSU emerging as the final two teams. They faced each other on the topic Are universities equipping graduates with skills that the job market needs or have some degree programmes lost relevance in the current economy? MSU triumphed and won the Development Practitioners Debate Award 2017.
Research Paper Launch
Mr Mubaiwa Marufu gave a background on the launch of the Research paper portal. DPN recognises that the relationship between research and development is very intricate. When we talk of development we talk about innovation and this innovation has to be evidence-based. Hence DPN is launching the research portal to promote research in development work. Mr Marufu encouraged Civil Society Organisations to work very closely with academia in research work on their projects. He urged that we all work closely in cultivating the spirit of research in development as development is not just the implementation on the ground but it all starts on paper. DPN would like to thank all those who submitted their abstracts and we look forward to working together in successfully launching the Development Research Portal.
Vote of Thanks
Pastor Maketo one of the DPN board members gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the DPN Board Chairperson Mr Faifi. He extended a heartfelt thank you and appreciation to all participants. He commended the participation of all present and reiterated that the solidarity shown by different stakeholders is a sign of success in “Collectively Envisioning the Future”