President to launch ICT innovation policy

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
President Mnangagwa will tomorrow launch the National Information, Communication and Technology policy and the Zimbabwe ICT innovation drive aimed at promoting the development and growth of local innovations.

The policy which is funded to the tune of $7 million also strives to promote the development, access of ICTs countrywide.

Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira said the launch would be held at the Harare International Conference Centre.

“The launch of the national ICT policy is aimed at promoting the development of ICT in the country. There are various initiatives contained in the policy that promote the development, access, and use of ICTs,” said Minister Mandiwanzira.

He said the policy also promotes the growth of the local ICT industry both the software and device sectors.

“It’s a fund currently sitting at $7 million, the purpose of the fund is to develop local software applications and solutions to our development needs.
This development will promote the innovation hubs being put at universities. They are not the same but we are providing funding for certain applications to be developed,” he said.

Minister Mandiwanzira said innovation hubs being put at universities will be beneficiaries of the fund in terms of what they are producing.

He said successful innovators from the first call of proposals for the ICT innovation drive will be presented with funds on the day.

“ICT innovators start ups, hubs universities, polytechnics and high schools with life changing ICT innovation prototypes are invited to exhibit,” he said.

Among other things the innovation drive aims at supporting innovators, start ups, hubs and entrepreneurs.

Some of the objectives of the ICT policy include the development of a legal framework that addresses issues related to cyber security, protection of data, intellectual property rights (IPRs), broadband, e-transactions and ethical and moral rights; and facilitate provision and maintenance of infrastructural facilities necessary for ICT development, such as reliable supply of energy, communications and transport.

The policy also seeks to put in place mechanisms to ensure that existing infrastructure is effectively utilised through, among other modalities, sharing to avoid duplication; manage internet traffic at national level as well as on the gateways; systematically promote and support the relevant and sustainable development of ICTs.

It will ensure the promotion of the research and development of local ICT products regionally and internationally; promote local content development in indigenous languages; establish institutional mechanisms and procedures for determining sectoral application priorities and promote, support and enhance the development and use of ICTs and ensure equitable access to attendant benefits across gender, youths, children, people living with disabilities and the elderly.

@AuxiliaK

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