The government via Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory of Zimbabwe (Potraz) last year availed $7 million for the Innovation Drive an initiative that seeks to fund ICT Start-ups in Zimbabwe.
The fund is in response to calls by the local telecommunications sector for the government to either ban or stifle use of over the top services. The Innovation Drive seeks to give part innovators whose applications would have been accepted.
Minister of Information Communication and Technology and Cybersecurity, Hon Supa Mandiwandira said the innovation fund has matured and ready for launch.
Speaking to Techunzipped, Hon Supa Mandiwadzira said: “The initiative is matured and ready for launch, I have just been talking about it with His Excellency ,The President, and that when he finds an opportunity to launch it, we will be most grateful.”
At least 185 local start-ups had applied for the revolving fund and Potraz has concluded the selection phase.
“We are continuing with the mobilization of those resources, we believe they is enormous talent in our country. We see this in the amount of enthusiasm we get when we go out there to look at innovations our young people are doing. We are making progress and am very proud for the support we are getting from the telecom sector.” added the minister.
When asked about the number of start-ups which are going to receive the funding the minister said it depends with the number of successful applications and since it’s a revolving fund the support will go to as many as possible.
The government has shifted from being a transformation laggard to being a catalyst for change.
WhatsApp’s success in Africa has charmed startups and businesses across the continent. Its ability to reach millions of people instantly has prompted businesses to integrate this messaging app into their workflow. More than 60% of businesses in Zimbabwe are reportedly using WhatsApp to take orders, keep customers updated, and receive feedback to make their product better.