Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) Director –General Dr Gift Machengete implored the private sector to invest more in the obtaining digital agenda. He was speaking at World Telecommunications and Information Society Day commemorations in Masvingo last week.
“Among the most important things to be done, is to increase investment on the digital agenda and to prioritize reforms in the ICT sector as this would lead to exponential growth in GDP. In this regard ,I would like to implore on the Private sector to put their financial muscle behind Government Innovation programmes and to also invest in the setting up and running of Tech Hubs as they tend to ultimately benefit from the innovations.” he said.
The Digital Agenda is one initiative that has emerged as key enabler in creating sound digital economy strategies as it focuses on modern technologies and online services that will allow developing countries to create jobs and promote economic prosperity. The overall aim is to deliver sustainable economic and social benefits from a digital single market based on the use of ICT.
In 2016,the government launched the ICT Innovation Drive through Potraz as a way to tap into the ICT sector by availing resources for start-ups and reap the good rewards associated with technology-driven global markets.
This is an initiative in which the private sector need to invest in as there is a massive community of young talented Zimbabweans who are the core of the human resource base in modern technology market.By helping to nurture and mentoring the young mind-sets through working closely with them and providing useful resources and expertise, companies have a chance to scale their businesses into success.
At the same time there is also need to invest more in training of more advanced areas for the future where there is need to focus more on teaching critical thinking than rote learning.
“Training should however,not be a preserve of governments but the private sector should be involved as well since they also require skills in jobs of the future for business continuity.I therefore call upon the government and business to engage in more Private Public Partnerships in ICT training and development,especially focusing on e-jobs.” added Dr Machengete.
The government has been overwhelmed by the capital intensive nature of the ICT industry and the private sector has emerged as a key stakeholder if any meaningful growth is to be realized.
Private sector players constitute a diverse range of private actors in the ICT sector and collectively they have shown massive potential and capacity to bridge the gaps and constraints that government is confronted with.
The information and communication technology (ICT) industry is becoming more complex and presents both economic as well as physical barriers to accessing quality services. A robust and integrated ICT sector with a huge financial backing from various stakeholders such as the private sector is essential in ensuring accessible, affordable and quality services.