Brian Rungano Temba
Innovative technological products and services are driving the country’s social and economic development; meeting major national needs and improving people’s quality of life.
And Zimbabwe continues to take deliberate steps towards food security and food sovereignty riding on the rapid innovations in science, communication and digital technologies, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
He also said growth in innovation and the envisaged transformation of Africa through expanded industrial enterprises will undoubtedly translate to increased trade under the single digital market and AfCTA.
Opening the Sixth Edition of the Transform Africa Summit in Victoria Falls on Wednesday, President Mnangagwa said the meeting was convened against a backdrop of notable achievements stemming from the adoption of the Education 5.0 philosophy among other policy interventions.
He said the innovative technologies are contained in the SMART Zimbabwe 2030 Master Plan which emphasizes developing homegrown solutions.
“Under the Smart Africa Alliance and Smart Agriculture Flagship programme, Zimbabwe is privileged to spearhead the development of the AgriTech Blueprint for Africa.
“This has seen my Government adopting an Agritech Strategy and implementing an Integrated Agriculture Information Management System towards increasing agriculture productivity and value chain development as well as efficient land use and environmental management practices.
“Overall, we are determined to boost agriculture and rural development through improved access to valuable ICT-based information that enables agriculture stakeholders to make the best decisions,” he said.
The President said his administration will continue to improve and enable policies that support and strengthen the AgriTech ecosystem.
“These relate to ICT infrastructure, food production and processing, irrigation and water management, disaster management, telecommunication, transportation and financing, among others”
The rollout of our Education 5.0 philosophy saw the broadened learning and deployment of science, technology and innovation – which has led to numerous startups, which are creating new products and services for use by our fast-growing economy and society in general.
“Notable among these is the launch of our maiden satellite code-named “ZIMSAT-1”, in November 2022, by the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency.
“This satellite will enable a wide range of solutions in agriculture, energy, meteorology, civil protection, communication and technological outreach,” the President said.
Midway through his speech, the Head of State said the innovation hubs, established within tertiary institutions and universities have led to other solutions presently used by local authorities as well as the energy and financial services sectors.
“To enhance efficiency and effectiveness in Public Service delivery, my Government continues to adopt smart solutions to bring public services closer to the citizenry.
“These include the e-Passport, e-VISA and Integrated Case Management Systems.
“Community Information Centers have improved access to digital platforms for our people at the grassroots level”
President Mnangagwa, “… capacity building around e-Commerce as well as the development of the appropriate infrastructure and relevant policy frameworks for the envisaged electronic-payments system for Africa, remains critical.
He also said there was a need to popularise and boost scientific literacy across our societies, both in rural and urban areas as a way to scale up the use of ICTs in all facets of the economy.
“In view of the ravishing impact of climate change on the peoples of Africa, it is integral for us all to give due attention to innovations related to clean energy and green technologies. Ultimately, renewable energy remains a sustainable source of power for increased ICT penetration and use”