ICT innovators showcase in Byo
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