By Jacob Mutisi
Over the past decade, the tech space has taken the world by storm with a stratospheric rise of so-called “unicorns”. Unicorns are start-ups that in a short time or a few years have hit the magic billion dollar mark in valuation.
Let’s put aside their staggering market value. What makes these companies truly remarkable is how, in a short period of time and with limited resources and no workforce, they are able to disrupt long-established industries. Recent examples are Whatsapp, Uber, Google, etc.
Take the time to look at your mobile phone’s home screen and think about the industries they’ve made obsolete! There is no doubt that with these disruptive services, our private and professional lives have become more convenient, efficient and rewarding.
While this is happening around the world, what about Zimbabwe’s public sector? While all of these information and communications technology (ICT) applications and improvements in business have been a boon to most of us, what about our government, which has broader responsibilities? and more critical than any individual?
Although about 70% of adults in Zimbabwe do not have a bank account and the majority of rural communities still lack business and government infrastructure, we have been nominated by the Africa Digital Economy Initiative. the World Bank as one of the strongest digital economies in the region. .
Zimbabwe’s economy is expected to grow 7.8% this year and will be the fastest growing economy in the region. Mobile subscription to around nine million users has also surpassed the country’s adult population. It is clear that connectivity and ICTs are essential to make government more inclusive.
Zimbabwe’s ICT is the only sector that can empower Zimbabwe’s youth. It is the only sector that can lead to self-employment during and after graduation. Zimbabwe has many economic challenges some of which can be solved with ICT solutions. For example, the traffic light challenges in Zimbabwe, the Republic of Zimbabwe police traffic ticketing system, city council billing systems, to name a few.
The government must now focus on the role of young people in nation building or development because it is very important. This is because the development of any nation lies in future generations. Democracy, economy, technology and the improvement of technology, industry, medical science, everything is in the hands of the youth.
At this point and at this time when ICTs dominate as solvers of some of the nation’s challenges, young people must take the leading role in bringing about change in Zimbabwean society.
Zimbabwe’s youth are the country’s greatest development resource. About 75% of our population is under 40 years old. In countries such as China, India, the United States and Europe, young people who benefit from early access to ICTs tend to become early users and adapters of technologies and skills valued to boost growth. innovation and economic growth.
These days, young people are at the forefront of societal transformation through ICT, because technology is what they grew up with, what they know better than their parents, and what gives them an edge. With the Internet, young people have acquired a powerful new tool to connect, communicate, innovate and act on things that interest them on a scale that transcends their locality, making them global players.
Now is the time for the government of Zimbabwe to empower young people and give them a great opportunity to help solve the nation’s problems through ICT solutions.
- Mutisi is the CEO of Hansole Investments (Pvt) Ltd and the current President of Zimbabwe Information & Communication Technology, a division of Zimbabwe Institution for Engineers.