SIXTY young Zambian innovators are set to showcase their innovations in the 2020 cohort of the ICT Innovation Programme that has been launched by the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA).
Speaking during the virtual launch in Lusaka recently, ZICTA Director General, Engineer Patrick Mutimushi said the 2020 cohort would see innovations in the lines of Digital Financial Services, Road Safety, Education, Energy, Agriculture, Climate Change, Water and Sanitation, Health including responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ZICTA who have partnered with Airtel Networks Zambia Plc as the main sponsor of the Programme the 2nd year running, hope to see the various innovations nurtured into commercially viable solutions and respond to some of our socio- economic needs as a country.
“The innovation programme is in line with our mandate as prescribed under Section 6 of the ICT Act of 2009 – to promote research, development and the use of new and appropriate technologies in the sector,” he said.
Mr Mutimushi also announced the joining of Stanbic Bank Zambia Limited as another sponsor and thanked all other partners for the continued support for the effective implementation of the programme.
“We are happy to also recognise Stanbic Bank who have come on board for this year’s edition as one of our sponsors. We are indebted to all our partners and we are truly grateful,” Engineer Mutimushi said.
And Airtel Networks Zambia Plc Managing Director Apoorva Mehrotra said his company recognised its responsibility in bridging the digital divide and furthering the ICT agenda of the Government and the critical role that the company played in enabling connectivity as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We realise how this programme fits extremely well with our mission of providing globally admired technologies and services to give Zambians an easy and dependable way to connect with the world and we would therefore want to congratulate ZICTA for coming up with this grand idea to start a program such as this one,” Mehrotra said.
A total of 60 innovations out of 242 applications received have been selected by an independent panel of experts.
These innovators will receive technical and business development support over the next six months. At the end of the programme, the best three will receive financial support towards their innovation initiatives.
The virtual launch was viewed by more than 200 participants from various walks of life.