ICT in­no­va­tors show­case in Byo

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Re­porter

IN­FOR­MA­TION, Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Tech­nol­ogy (ICT) play­ers will to­day con­verge in Bu­l­awayo for a re­gional ICT in­no­va­tors show­case.

The event co­in­cides with the Gov­ern­ment’s pro­gramme to iden­tify ICT projects by youths which are set to ben­e­fit from a $25 mil­lion ICT in­no­va­tion fund.

ICT play­ers from Bu­l­awayo, Mata­bele­land North and South, Masvingo and Mid­lands prov­inces have been in­vited to be part of the in­no­va­tors show­case that starts at 3PM at a lo­cal ho­tel.

The Postal and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity of Zim­babwe (Po­traz) is co­or­di­nat­ing the na­tional in­no­va­tors show­case on be­half of the min­istry.

Min­is­ter of ICT, Postal and Courier Ser­vices Supa Mandi­wanzira yes­ter­day said the show­case will help the min­istry iden­tify projects for fund­ing as the Gov­ern­ment steps up ef­forts to turn around the econ­omy through tech­nolo­gies.

“The show­case is meant to iden­tify those al­ready de­vel­op­ing ICT in­no­va­tions. Once we have iden­ti­fied them, we’ll fund these peo­ple through the ICT fund that has been set aside. Through this pro­gramme, we can cre­ate pros­per­ity and em­ploy­ment for thou­sands of peo­ple in the coun­try.

“Our agenda is to bring pros­per­ity to young peo­ple through ICTs. Some of the rich­est peo­ple in the world to­day are ICT in­no­va­tors. They have cre­ated the sought-af­ter ap­pli­ca­tions, soft­ware and hard­ware. These ICT ex­perts have in turn man­aged to get huge re­turns from their in­no­va­tions,” said Min­is­ter Mandi­wanzira.

He urged youths to at­tend the show­case in their num­bers say­ing it was im­por­tant for them to em­brace such op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We see op­por­tu­ni­ties for our young peo­ple to take ad­van­tage of the ICT sec­tor. This sec­tor can’t be a mar­ket for those in In­dia or any other part of the world. We should have our own peo­ple cre­at­ing soft­ware that can turn around the coun­try’s econ­omy.

“There’s plenty tal­ent in the coun­try and some of our young peo­ple have bril­liant ideas but they lack ex­po­sure and op­por­tu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially around soft­ware and mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions. I there­fore urge our ICT in­no­va­tors to be part of the show­case. We need to work to­gether in com­ing up with ideas that can turn around our econ­omy,” said Min­is­ter Mandi­wanzira.

Po­traz pub­lic af­fairs man­ager Mrs Si­bonginkosi Muteyiwa said to­day’s show­case is part of prepa­ra­tions for the launch of the ICT funds that was mo­bilised through dif­fer­ent telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vice providers. She said most in­no­va­tors in the coun­try were com­ing up with amaz­ing ICT in­no­va­tions but were fail­ing to go fur­ther due to lack of re­sources. Mrs Muteyiwa said cap­tains of in­dus­try and pol­icy mak­ers will also at­tend the show­case.

She said af­ter the launch of the ICT fund, in­no­va­tors will be al­lo­cated fi­nance, mar­ket­ing and tech­ni­cal men­tors that will as­sist them to fully com­mer­cialise their in­no­va­tions. — @ pame­lashumba1

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