GOVERNMENT through the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services expects increased innovation to drive research, development towards the creation of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions that substitute imports and assist the country to reduce imports bill.
To curb de-industrialisation in the country, the government introduced a number of developmental programs towards the attainment of Vision 2030, and among them is the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
Speaking at the 2nd Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) 2020 Hackathon in Bulawayo, the ICT minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said the government has embraced research and development as key instruments in keeping the country abreast with ICT technological advancements.
“My ministry is encouraging focused research so that we are able to develop our own ICT solutions and substitute imports and, in the process, reduce our import bill thereby reserving the much-needed foreign currency for things that we cannot produce.
“The scale and ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require innovation if the 2030 agenda is to be achieved.
“Indeed, to achieve these ambitious goals, new modalities for development are required, including bringing innovation into the foreground of development projects,” he said.
Dr Muswere said that the ICT sector has already crafted a Strategic Plan for the period 2021-2023, which is hinged on four core values namely -transparency, professionalism, creativity and teamwork.
“Creativity is, therefore, at the centre of our aspirations at the Ministry as we persistently encourage and recognise innovation and inventiveness as key enablers for the digital economy.
“POTRAZ is seized with a facilitative role that encourages innovation and uptake of new technologies and this event resonates very well with that mandate. It is for this reason that my Ministry fully supports initiatives by POTRAZ to encourage innovativeness in the ICT sector,” he added.
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