Government to promote innovation and research in ICT

Government has said it seeks to promote and propagate innovation and research in the Information, communication Technology (ICT) sector in the country.

Minister of Information and Digitalization, Moses Kunkuyu made the remarks Friday during the official launch of Muuni Fund at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

He said the country could only progress and realizes the targets set in Malawi 2063 if we prioritize the mobilization of resources and finance towards research and innovation in all the sectors of the economy.

Kumkuyu speaks during the function at BICC-pic by Lisa Kadango Malango

Kunkuyu said the launch of Muuni Fund was a direct reflection of the will power to implement commitments and policies in the ICT sector as stipulated in the draft National Digitalization Policy.

“The Policy has identified research and development as some key focus areas,” the Minister added.

He noted that the Muuni Fund directly speaks to the aspirations of the National Digitalization Policy in line with the focus area on research innovation and technology.

Kunkuyu noted that Muuni Fund was launched at a time when the country has been ranked lowly in promoting innovations and research in the report on Inclusive Digital Economy Scorecard (IDES).

He said Muuni Fund shows the commitment by government through Malawi Communication Regulation Authority (MACRA) to ensure that there was a conducive environment for innovation and research in this country.

“One of the challenges of innovation that we have been grappling with is the inability to scale up and commercialize the creative ideas that our people have. This Fund will, consolidate potential ideas and ensure their rollout, incubation and adoption,” the Minister said.

Minister of Information Moses Kumkuyu officially launch the Muuni Fund an ICT Research and Innovation Fund -pic by Lisa Kadango Malango

MARCA Board Director, Dr Fr. HenrySaindi said the establishment of the Muuni Fund, MACRA would aim at providing seed money for undertaking research and innovation initiatives to provide for local solutions and incubation of innovations in different sectors of the economy using ICTs.

He said some of the main objectives of the Muuni Fund are to provide funding for National ICT and digital technologies/services research and development, as well as, to support ICT entrepreneurship by providing resources for innovative ideas.

MACRA Director General, Daud Suleman said the establishment of the fund was a complimentary to the existing initiatives aimed at promoting and encouraging research and development in the country.

He said MACRA would be implementing the fund within its mandate as stipulated in the Communications Act of 2016 to encourage the introduction of new technology and communications services and to promote research and development through use of ICT and digital technologies/services in all sectors of the economy.

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