ZITCO to drive country’s innovation drive

By Wellington Makonese

THE finalisation of the governance structure for the Zimbabwe Information Technology Company (ZITCO) to assemble ICT gadgets has been described as a giant step in harnessing innovation and bridging the technological divide.

On Tuesday, Cabinet announced a joint venture between TelOne and government-owned entities Flushord and National Venture Capital to give birth to the Zimbabwe Information Technology Company (ZITCO).

ZITCO, the first ICT plant in Zimbabwe, is involved in assembling laptops, iPads and prepaid electric metres, among other smart devices, which are critical in the digitalisation and innovation drive.

“This is icing on our part, the approval is a finalisation of the shareholding structure, there is a blueprint that we following, ZITCO is being situated appropriately and there is the National Development Strategy on Innovation, digitalisation and value education in that where we have networks we also afford them gadgets assuring connectivity.

“We will be supporting institutions of higher learning, government institutions,” said Melody Harry, TelOne Corporate Communications Head.

The target is to become a dominant ICT gadgets production hub in the SADC region in line with the National Development Strategy One.

“We believe there is a market beyond our borders to exploit because we believe in Africa there are few players and this will help generate forex,” said Harry.

The establishment of ZITCO is expected to enable ICT skills development and knowledge transfer at the same time reduce the import bill through local production and in the end generate foreign currency through exports.

With preliminary operations yielding 4000 gadgets since President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched it last year, the target is to produce about 200 000 this year.