ZICTA and Airtel Zambia announce ICT Innovation Programme 2020 winners

The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) with support from Airtel Networks Zambia Plc is pleased to announce the selection of the top three (03) innovators from the 2020 cycle of the programme, that have been awarded financial grants towards the commercialisation and scale-up of their projects.

The 2020 ZICTA ICT Innovation Programme which was conducted in close collaboration with Airtel Networks Zambia, who were the main programme sponsors, as well as Stanbic Bank Zambia plc, enrolled a total of sixty (60) innovators into its cohort.

The innovators received various technical and business development support services over the last six months that were all aimed at improving the viability of their different projects. Three (03) innovators whose projects demonstrated the highest likelihood of success, economic and social impact were then selected by an independent panel of judges for the provision of financial grants towards the commercialisation and growth of their projects. The judges hailed from selected diverse organisations that deal with innovation and entrepreneurship. The selection criterion was mainly based on innovativeness, business impact, social impact and the likelihood of an innovation’s success.

The three innovators were awarded at a virtual closing ceremony that was hosted by the Authority in conjunction with Airtel Networks Zambia Plc and Stanbic Bank Zambia PLC yesterday March 23, 2021. The virtual event that was attended by over a hundred participants was aimed at showcasing the three initiatives to the public as well as providing a platform for linking all the graduating innovators on the programme to potential investors, partners and off takers.

Speaking at the event, ZICTA Director General, Engineer Patrick Mutimushi said ‘today, we celebrate the success of these innovations because of the commitment by all our partners as well as the innovators to ensure that the programme was not disrupted. This goes to demonstrate the importance that is placed on innovation and entrepreneurship by all of us.’ He further stated that, the country was relying on innovative minds to lead us into the fourth industrial revolution, adding that, this was the new direction that the world was moving towards and any country that does not fully leverage on ICTs for its development will lag behind.

And speaking at the same event, Airtel Networks Zambia Plc Managing Director, Mr. Apoorva Mehrotra said it was important as stakeholders operating in the innovation and technology sector to continue to help the youth by providing them and others necessary tools for them to thrive, achieve their dreams and deliver solutions that enhance the country’s digital landscape.

The list of the selected 2020 programme finalists is provided below:

  • Abel Kayange — First Position – Automatic Smart Shopping
  • Zanga Musakuzi — Second Position – Medsearch Zambia Mobile Application
  • Mhlangeni Chiko — Third Position – AgSave

ZICTA and Airtel Networks Zambia Plc congratulate the shortlisted finalists and look forward to an exciting next stage of the programme, which is the facilitation of the commercialization and growth of the projects.

In addition, the Authority is also grateful to Stanbic Bank Zambia Plc and all its other cooperating partners for the continued collaboration and support in promoting ICT related innovations in Zambia.

The call for applications for the 2021 ZICTA ICT Innovation Programme will be issued on March 29, 2021. All eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.

Issued by: ZICTA and Airtel Zambia Limited