ICT a major socio-economic game-changer: Dr Muswere

THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has hosted its inaugural innovation competition for universities with the aim of encouraging the use of digital technologies to provide smart solutions to societal challenges.
Dubbed Hackathon, the innovation competition for university students held in Kadoma this Saturday involved teams from nine universities with the aim of building capacity among youth to come up with home-grown solutions to national challenges.
The Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere said the competition augurs well with the government’s mission to drive the country into a knowledge-based smart society.
“This competition is in line with the government’s initiatives such as the need to increase research in ICT and generate interest among young people to be innovators. ICT innovation as a major socio-economic game-changer, capable of removing trade imbalances. The ministry has accelerated the exploitation of ICT’s for socio-economic development,” said Dr Muswere.
POTRAZ Director-General, Dr Gift Machengete said the ballooning city population across the globe and the pollution being caused by carbon emissions require smart, effective and sustainable solutions, hence the need to develop information communication technology-based innovations.
“According to the UNDP, 55 percent of the world population lives in cities yet cities occupy only three percent of the earth”s land but account for between 60 to 80 percent of energy consumption and 75 percent of carbon emissions. This has given rise to the need to create small sustainable solutions which promote good city services and a good environment,” he added
The Hackathon competition saw the Chinhoyi University of Technology winning the first prize, while the second one went to the University of Zimbabwe.
In third place was the Harare Institute of technology.
The overall winner will compete at the global competitions to be held in Switzerland at the 2020 World Summit on the Information Society Forum.