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Zim govt urges youth to focus on software

By , ITWeb
Zimbabwe , 12 May 2016

Zim govt urges youth to focus on software

Zimbabwe's government is expected to put aside US$1-million to spearhead the development of local software and gaming applications to boost job creation and support the country's sluggish economy.

ICT Minister Super Mandiwanzira said this week, "The money is sourced locally through the tariff charged on the telecoms firms."

According to Mandiwanzira the Universal Service Fund (USF), a pool set up in 2000 by the regulator to levy all licensed operators, has over US$1-million – and the money can be channelled specifically for software development.

Local telecoms companies were this year asked to make larger contributions to the State following the government's resolution to raise contributions to the USF from 0.5% to 1.5% of gross annual turnovers.

Telecel spokesperson Francis Chimanda says, "It is a prerogative of the regulator and government to allocate the money from the Universal Service Fund where they deem is important and necessary, not the telecoms firms."

The Minister believes that the money collected by the regulator, Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) will go a long way to cater for the development of applications for the benefit of the country. "I don't think one needs lots of money to develop meaningful applications. Facebook was developed by students – without lots of money that is what we're encouraging our youth to do – thinking out of the box," he says.

The government is prepared to work and support individuals or private companies keen in software development, the Minister added. "Software development represents one of the fastest growing IT fields."

Mandiwanzira bemoaned the fact that while the country continues to spend on importing software, this technology could be developed locally.

He challenged the country's universities of Science and Technologies like, National University of Science and technology (NUST) and Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), to be at the forefront of innovation and technology.

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