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Digital Innovation Profiling Exercise, Promotes Innovation

By Faith Chimutsa

Ministry of ICT Postal and Courier services and Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) in conjunction with International Technology Union (ITU) have a Co-Creation Workshop for Digital Innovation Profile to discuss strategies and recommendations for accelerating digital transformation in Zimbabwe.

The Digital Innovation Profiling exercise assist the country in formulating an appropriate policy framework and strategies to promote digital innovation. It provide guidance on creating an enabling environment for innovation, ensuring fair competition, protecting consumer rights, and fostering investment in digital infrastructure.

POTRAZ Deputy Director General Mr Alfred Marisa said the Digital Innovation Profiling exercise at the on-going three day Co-Creation Workshop at a capital hotel on Wednesday is a game changer.

Marisa said that this will help the ministry to establish a solid foundation for digital growth and development by providing the much-needed policy and regulatory guidance in the digital innovation ecosystem.

“We are living in unprecedented times of Artificial Intelligence and machine-learning, where machines are now developing human like feelings to the extent of falling in love with humans. We are living in times where virtual reality allows us to visit museums and art galleries in Switzerland, France and Malta while in Zimbabwe. We are living in an era of Internet of Things where everything is connected. We are in a world of Big Data where our online activities influence major business and political decisions. We are in a time where data is the most sought after and most used commodity. We are living in a digital world,” said Marisa.

“In such a world where all facets of the economy and all aspects of humanity are driven and governed by ICTs, the only way to survive is to innovate in order to be at par with the rapid technological changes associated with this new world order,” he aded.

Innovation should, however, make sense. Innovation should not be done in jest, lest it be useless. Rather innovation should be purposeful, targeting to solve specific problems. For regulators like POTRAZ, their job is to facilitate such meaningful innovation. ensuring we have the right regulatory framework, a conducive ecosystem and environment for purposeful innovation.

Such profiling will assist the country in accelerating its digital transformation efforts, as it will help in the assessment of the current digital landscape, identify gaps and opportunities, and develop strategies to harness digital technologies effectively. In addition, by providing a comprehensive understanding of our digital capabilities, Zimbabwe can make informed decisions and prioritize areas for development, in the digital arena.

Speaking at the same occasion, ministry of ICT ,Postal and Courier Services permanent secretary Dr Beaulah Chirume said the workshop reflects the ministry’s collective commitment in embracing the power of technology and innovation to drive our nation forward.

” In today’s rapidly evolving world, the importance of fostering an innovation ecosystem cannot be overstated. Innovation is the key to unlocking the potential of our contemporary economy, solving our various socio-economic issues, propelling economic growth, enhancing service delivery, and ultimately improving the quality of life for every citizen of Zimbabwe”, said Dr Chirume.

She commended Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaborating to jointly support the development of a Digital Innovation Profile for Zimbabwe.

“I understand that this Digital Innovation Profile, when ready, will be able to provide an accurate assessment of our country‚Äôs ecosystem capacity and maturity to help the stakeholders navigate through the innovation landscape towards building a competitive, sustainable, ICT-enabled economy.

This engagement with each of you stakeholders in this room is important for us as it can provide us with necessary understanding and support towards our goals for the future, the future of Zimbabwe”, she added .

Anne Rita Sembonga, ITU Southern Africa representative in her speech spoke of the birth of ITU and its importance need in an effort to bridge the digital divide. She also emulated Zimbabwe for being engaged in accelerating digital transformation.

Zimbabwe has its eyes set on Vision 2030, which aims to drive its people towards a Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle Income Society by 2030, with Job Opportunities and a High Quality of Life