Potraz and the UN’s ITU hosting a co-creation workshop to assess how Zim can promote innovation

Leonard Sengere Avatar

The Postal & Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) in cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is currently developing the Digital Innovation Profile (DIP) for Zimbabwe.

That’s likely gibberish to most of us. A digital innovation profile is an accurate assessment of an ecosystem’s capacity and maturity in terms of digital innovation. So yeah, that’s what Potraz and ITU are doing.

So how is this ‘accurate assessment’ done? – you ask.

It is done through a series of events in which stakeholders from the ecosystem come together to analyse the current situation and co-create appropriate solutions via flagship projects and/or initiatives, and policies designed to close the digital innovation gap.

Potraz and ITU are holding a 3-day Co-creation workshop to come up with a Digital Innovation Profile for Zimbabwe. The event kicked off yesterday, the 7th of June and concludes on the 9th.

On the first day many experts, called key stakeholders by ITU, from finance, academia, the private sector, the public sector, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial support networks were present to share their knowledge.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services was there, as was the Potraz Deputy Director General. The ITU group facilitated the sessions.


Never having experienced a co-creation workshop, we didn’t know what to expect. If we’re being honest, we thought it wouldn’t be the best use of time. However, after Day 1, I can tell you that it was the opposite of that – it was really something.

Now, Day 1 was all about understanding the current state of the digital innovation ecosystem. Then an ideal future state was mapped, as well as the gaps in the ecosystem that are preventing us from reaching that desired state.

ITU did their research, which included interviews and have a picture of what the current and future states look like, as well as the gaps. However, they wanted the key stakeholders present to share what they saw to complete the picture.

As they say, you can’t talk about solutions until you understand the problem. Day 1 was a gruelling affair but I believe the problems were mapped out.

Oh, and it’s always fun to be able to talk about which organisation is responsible for a particular gap in the ecosystem when they are there to sit through the talking-to. They can respond of course, and that clears everything up for everyone.

Current state and gaps

As regards the problems that were identified, you won’t be surprised by any of them. They included:

  • Both public sector and private sector organisations work in silos. There is no collaboration in the market. So, some organisations have to engage foreign companies or waste time developing solutions that already exist, if they only knew.
  • The poor digitisation of Zimbabwean records and information. This makes it hard to research and spot areas that need innovation among other things.
  • The formal education system does not equip learners with soft skills. Critical thinking, financial, interpersonal and general business skills sorely lacking
  • Poor flow of information on govt programmes’ progress. For example, SMEDCO and the RBZ Fintech sandbox. Who knows if the programmes have been a success? What has been their impact?
  • The lack of a social security net makes Zimbabweans risk averse

I couldn’t possibly go through everything that was discussed but that should give you an idea.

From Day 2 we will be looking at solutions and that should be the fun part. We will keep you updated on what’s discussed.

Also read:

Potraz Q4 2022 ICT sector report is out, internet penetration reaches 65.3%, and there’s more

Zim innovators! POTRAZ has ZWL$175 mil up for grabs



  1. Fanny

    I couldn’t possibly go through everything that was discussed but that should give you an idea.

    Half of a loaf is better than nothing, thank u Mr Sengere , we appreciate with all those articles u are giving us

    1. 007

      You can Say that again

      1. Fanny

        Half of a loaf is better than nothing, thank u Mr Sengere , we appreciate with all those articles u are giving us

  2. Cables

    Thanks for that update.

  3. Reginald Jongwe

    Mr Sengere event iyi iri kuitirwa Kupi?

  4. Fanny

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    1. Isaac

      Told you vakukwidza soon, anyways it’s not their fault.

      1. Fanny

        But whose fault you see Isaac that ZWL,irikungomuka yakati 1: 1000 tomorrow 1 : 2000 next day 1 : 3000 zvechienda zvakadaro Mari handinenge ndatambira inoperera ku airtime 🤣🤣.

  5. ticks

    potraz is a parasitic blood-sucking tick

  6. Anon

    Potraz is the main problem, it’s more of a regulator than an enabler. The fees they charge the telecoms industry are way too high. People can not access the internet because it’s a luxury, without the internet people can not innovate. The foundation is affordable access to high-speed internet. Starlink should be licensed to get the innovation ball rolling and affordable access to the internet.