President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday launched the much anticipated Zimbabwe’s National ICT policy and the Zimbabwe ICT Innovation Drive meant to boost Zimbabwe’s economic and technological development.
The policy is expected to propel national economic development through the use of ICTs with the innovation drive providing funding to innovators.Officiating the dual launch, President Mnangagwa said the policy will spur national economic growth via ICT.
“It is my singular honour to be invited to launch the National Information, Communication and Technology Policy. This policy will undoubtedly provide strategic direction and guidance for sustainable national economic development through the systematic and coordinated application of ICTs,” he said.
The President urged the nation to take advantage of the benefits that come with ICTs to develop Zimbabwe.
“The ICT policy is thus aimed at transformation, growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, innovation and partnerships in the mainstream economy and puts in place institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks in order to achieve its intended goals. It is therefore envisaged that all sectors of our economy and society at large will harness the power of ICTs for the development of our nation,” President Mnangagwa said.
Speaking at the same event, ICT and Cyber Security Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said, “A well-crafted national ICT policy which is in touch with technological developments in the country and the world at large, is therefore a prerequisite if we are to take advantage of the benefits offered by ICT, to enhance our economic growth and develop our country.
“Allow me to thank you and congratulate you all those who took part in the review of the national ICT policy, its validation and corroboration of information which was gathered during the outreach program which is now contained in the final document that His Excellency will official launch this morning.
“ The national ICT policy is expected to propel the transformation of the country in line with the aspirations of the new government that you lead Your Excellency,” the minister said.
Minister Mandiwanzira went on to say the policy will see to it that Government’s wishes to see a well-articulated e-Government model is realised.
“These aspirations include the growth in the ICTs in all spheres of our life by creating an enabling environment for initiatives in e-government, e-commerce, e-employment, e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture and many other areas where ICTs can be deployed,” he said.
Government through the Ministry of ICT and Cyber Security and the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) initiated the Innovation Drive with the goal of funding innovators and increase research in ICT development. Minister Mandiwanzira said the revolving fund intends to bolster local ICT research.
“For those who are not familiar with the Innovation Drive, it is aimed at identifying, supporting and capacitating ICT innovators inorder to develop their ideas into bankable solutions for Zimbabwe and the global market.
“The main objectives of the fund are to increase ICT research and development as well as ICT uptake by innovators and research institutions in Zimbabwe,” Mandiwanzira said.
The ICT policy took more than five years to be launched which dragged the ICT developments in the country.