On the 14th of March, President Emerson Mnangagwa will be at hand to launch the Zimbabwe ICT Drive at the HICC.
What is Zim ICT Drive?
The ICT Drive will be a revolving fund(continuous funding program) that is meant to support the development of young innovators in the ICT field. Supa Mandiwanzira, the minister of ICT and Cyber Security will also be in attendance
The objectives of Zim ICT Drive include:
- Increasing research and development by young innovators
- Establishing innovation hubs
- Increasing the number of home-grown ICT applications
- Creating Employment in Zim
- To promote a culture of innovation and development among Zimbos
- Increase financial literacy
- Providing training to the beneficiaries of the funds
The hope is that Zim ICT Drive will be able to produce innovators that can tailor-make applications with the Zimbabwean market in mind. They also hope that development of these applications can positively impact the Zimbabwean economy.
Zim ICT Drive will target all Zimbabwean’s but first preference will be given to the more youthful zimbos.
Wait, wasn’t there a similar ‘fund’ before?
You may be thinking, “back in 2016 POTRAZ launched an ‘Innovation Drive’ and allocated $25 million to fund tech startups but we never really saw the fruits of the innovation drive.” Well, according to a reliable source, this ICT Drive is actually the same thing with the Innovation Drive that was announced back then and now it’s just being officially launched. The list of innovators that are getting funded will also be revealed at this event by the President.
It’s a bit questionable that a lot of programs are initiated but actually have to wait for an official launch by the president. The fact that the startups already applied and are going to be revealed means the innovation drive actually launched a while ago in my book.
It would be great if you check out the Q&A we had with potraz after their initial announcement and get a better bearing of what the Drive is and who is targeted.
It’s yet to be seen how the Zim ICT Drive hopes to achieve their lofty goals. Until then we can only tread cautiously and hope this is not another ‘Innovation Drive.’ Let’s keep our fingers crossed and see how this one goes. Are you looking forward to the ICT Drive and do you think it will be truly impactful? As always let’s get talking in the comments below.
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