The Postal Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Of Zimbabwe, Potraz has allayed fears that the much-hyped $7million innovation drive fund was a farce while reiterating that the Potraz Innovation drive funding will see disbursement before the year ends.
Speaking to TechnoMag on the current progress update the Potraz Director General , Dr Gift Calisto Machengete strongly affirmed that the funding evaluation process took longer than expected due to large applications and the regulator has gone through the 188 applications.
By Toneo T Rutsito
“A total of 188 proposals were received by the authority following the ‘call for proposals’ to be considered for funding under the Potraz innovation drive, that ran from the 4th to the 30th of May 2017,
The proposals were classified into 14 categories covering Agriculture , E-commerce, Educational services, Entertainment, , Financial services, Postal services, Social services, Telecommunications services, Tourism and Transport services “
The Potraz Boss however reaffirmed that the funding is highly likely to be disbursed before the year ends as they conclude the process before announcing the first batch of beneficiaries.
Dr Machengete highlighted that to in order to ensure professionalism and fairness in the adjudication process, Potraz consulted 20 external experts from the industry and universities as adjudicators to oversee the process , who are working with their 10 internal experts.
While most Zimbabweans were increasingly growing impatient over the process and questioning if at all the regulator was still committed to fulfilling its promise, TechnoMag was satisfied with response and caution they are taking to implement disbursbursement.
The last national youth funding which was done by the ministry of youth ended up awarding undeserving youths who either squandered the funds or started businesses that failed in their first year of enactment.
Mr Machengete said that Potraz will have mentors to help those awarded with funding to oversee their performance so that they can help grow their businesses and ideas into successful ventures.
The deserving projects will soon be announced and the relavant disbursing banks once the process is completed.
Hundreds of promising technoprenuers in Zimbabwe have already showcased innovative ideas which will revolutionize the sector if the right support is availed to them.