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The eTech Africa conference. Some frank talk

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MK Ndlovu
Westchase Consultants, MK Ndlovu
Westchase Consultants Managing Director, MK Ndlovu

We spent the day today at the eTech Africa conference that is being held alongside the week long tech company exhibitions in Harare. This was the first of the two day conference where business leaders, techies, academic and politicians will make presentations on the theme “Exploiting the potential of ICTs for sustainable socio-economic transformation”.

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Most of the presentations were the kind that make you want such discussion to happen more often. There’s a wealth of knowledge to be shared and to help and enable entrepreneurs and general participants in tech to take up existing opportunities as well as connect to individuals for collaboration.

Surprisingly, the day also had a healthy dose of frank talk on the state of the ICT industry in Zim. A presenter from Westchase Consultants, MK Ndlovu, spoke frankly about the state of tertiary education in Zimbabwe in terms of its lack of relevance to the fast paced developments in ICTs. He also pointed out a growing and worrying culture of corruption, large enterprises that don’t pay local vendors, tribalism and other ills in the economy. The truth that we all need to hear and start fixing.

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Issues against ICT Industry development in Zimbabwe

Other speakers on topics such as ICTs in education, in health and in the tourism sector also provided insightful discussion. Overall, we had a great time today and we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s segment of the conference.  If you’ll be there tomorrow, then we’ll see you there.

Here are some of the topics that were presented today, and the presenters;

  • Building a vibrant ICT Industry (Mk Ndlovu , Westchase Consultants)
  • ICTs in tourism and Entertainment (Nyambo, University of Zimbabwe)
  • e-Government and national development ( 23rd Century Systems)
  • ICTs in Education (Dr. Gary Brooking, University of Zimbabwe)
  • ICTs in Health  (Dr. Simbini, University of Zimbabwe)

And here are some pictures we took at the conference;

Participants at e-Tech Africa

The panel at the eTech Africa conference

T Simbini, University of Zimbabwe
Dr. T Simbini from the University of Zimbabwe responding to a question from the floor on e-Health services in Zimbabwe
Gary Brooking, University of Zimbabwe
Dr. Gary Brooking speaking on ICTs in education
World Links representative
World Links Director Eliada Gudza poses a question on ICTs in Education to the panel
B Nyambo
B Nyambo from the University of Zimbabwe’s computer science department discusses the role of ICTs in tourism and entertainment
Yoafrica
A representative from a local ISP, Yo!Africa, makes contribution about high license fees by the telecoms regulator as chief reason prices of broadband services remain high
Atwell, Chigwamba
The Principal Director in Zimbabwe’s Ministry of ICT, Cosmas Chigwamba, responds to questions about reform in tertiary education to better prepare students for the work place.
Sam Dzino
A participant at the conference chats to the panellists during a break

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3 thoughts on “The eTech Africa conference. Some frank talk

  1. Wow, what accuracy in identifying issues, really wish l was in Zim wud luv to have been there because these issues are really serious.How do we access material from there in form on videos etc

  2. This is a great seminar and we should have many of these every year, but one discouraging thing is to note that a Technology seminar of this size does not have a website where people outside Harare can get material or even watch the proceedings online…..Let’s use the technology that we are trying to promote to show the powers that be how the nation can benefit from it.

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