The Postal and telecommunication Regulatory Authority Of Zimbabwe director General Dr Gift Kalisto Machegete has urged rural youths to take advantage of Information Communication Technologies ( ICTs) and think beyond their geographical location by participating in the government’s innovation drive initiative.
Addressing delegates in Sanyati on Monday, the Director General challenged the youths to take advantage of the community Information Centres being launched and leverage the technologies.
Apparently, new technologies favour the urban people leaving behind the rural folks.
This has been exacerbated by the telecommunications industry’s investment approach which focuses on reducing operational costs.
Rural investments are regarded as expensive due to lack of significant return on investment (ROT).
As a result, players shun away from these areas thereby depriving potential youthful technological innovators of vast opportunities.
The government, however, is currently rolling out Community Information Centres across the rural communities in the country to bridge the digital divide.
The initiative which allows rural people access to computers, Internet and other digital technologies that enable them to gather information, create, learn and communicate is concurrently running with innovation drive.
Innovation Drive is a government initiative which seeks to empower young technological innovators with both financial and technical support regardless of geographical location.
Speaking on Monday during the official opening of Sanyati Community Information Centre, the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Dr Jenfan Muswere urged the Sanyati youths to rise above the geographical set up and participate in the program.
“In an effort to build relevant skills and capabilities for harnessing the digital economy for socio-economic development, my Ministry established the ICT Innovation Drive whose main objective is to promote a culture of ICT innovation and development among Zimbabwean youths. In line with the country’s thrust of Education 5.0, and the aspirations of attaining middle-income status by year 2030, the Innovation Drive is assisting innovation hubs at universities in the acquisition of the tools and equipment required to support the attainment of this national vision. I also call upon the young innovators from the Sanyati community to participate in programmes of the Innovation Drive and make use of the facilities offered at this CIC to further develop their ideas into bankable innovations.”
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe’s Director General Dr Gift Machengete also concurred with Muswere’s speech, “POTRAZ is also promoting the design and development of software and applications that respond to the socio-economic needs of the communities through the ICT Innovation Drive. The initiative supports talented and skilled young people to come up with innovative ICT solutions that can benefit people in their day-to-day lives while creating employment. I, therefore, encourage youths from Sanyati to participate in the Innovation Drive,” Machengete said.
The initiative which had an initial budget of USD$ 25 million was launched in 2017.
To date, very few young innovators have benefited.