The Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) in conjunction with its parent ministry, Ministry of Information Communication Technology & Cyber Security have finally availed the ICT Innovation Drive, a structured national policy designed to fund commercially viable ICT startups.
The ICT Innovation was officially launched today in the capital by President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was the guest of honor. It was at the same ceremony which President Mnangagwa launched Zimbabwe’s first ever National ICT Policy at the invite of Minister Supa Mandiwanzira whose Ministry of ICT & Cyber Security was responsible for crafting the two policies in conjunction with its regulator, POTRAZ.
The ICT Innovation Drive comes at a time when the Zimbabwean government is calling for massive innovations to be made across the country’s tertiary institutions. The Innovation Drive on its official launch today awarded funding cheques to top six ICT innovators from the 188 applications received last year.
Speaking at same ceremony, Minister of ICT, Supa Mandiwanzira said the funding is here to make dreams come true for the young innovators across Zimbabwe. On the same remarks, he said last year he had a chance to listen to Mark Zuckerberg the found of Facebook during the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona. The minister reiterated that he found nothing special in Mark’s presentation and emphasized that Zimbabwe has capable talent to surpass what kids in the Silicon Valley are doing.
Mandiwanzira added that ICTs are already a key driving force in transforming world economies in which Zimbabwe can also start working towards through the promotion of locally invented solutions. He added that the ICT Innovation Drive will focus on funding ICT projects of national magnitude and commercially viable for attracting more investments.
The top six Innovators who received cheques for funding today are:
- Shift Organics Technologies – founded by Clive Nyapokoto a HIT alumnus.
- Purple Signs
- Nativ Projects
- Red Pen
- Oyos Music