PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will on Wednesday next week launch the Zimbabwe Information Communication Technology Drive, a revolving fund to support the works and development of young ICT innovators.
The fund will be launched in Harare during an event to be graced by a cross section of stakeholders from the ICT industry, including ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira.
Government, through the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) established the Innovation Drive to promote the works of young innovators in the country.
“The initiative is expected to equip the youth with necessary skills and resources that will make it possible for them to create employment not only for themselves, but for others as well,” according to a brief on the fund.
The fund’s objectives include increasing research and development by young innovators. It is also aimed at increasing the number of home grown ICT applications and creating employment in the country.
Further, the brief on the facility says the innovation fund will promote a culture of innovation and development among Zimbabweans, establishing innovation hubs, incubation centres in the country and providing training and incubation services to beneficiaries of the fund.
It is expected the fund will help improve lives through integration of ICTs in Zimbabwe, produce ICT applications relevant to Zimbabweans, give birth to applications that will solve Zimbabwe’s economic problems and increase local content on the internet among other benefits.
Areas to be funded entail telecoms based applications, ICT software applications, ICT hardware, applications for postal and courier services, intellectual property registration for approved applications and establishment of innovation hubs or incubation centres in the country.
The fund targets all Zimbabweans, with bias on youth. Beneficiaries will be drawn from schools, universities, polytechnic colleges, and innovation hubs in Zimbabwe.
The drive shall provide financial literacy and management training to prospective beneficiaries, training and incubation sessions, identify seasoned business people to nurture the youths in their businesses, establish an online resource platform and provide orientation.