Minister of Information Gospel Kazako has said Information Communication Technology (ICT) and innovation are critical drivers and enablers economic transformation.
Kazako spoke in Mangochi when he opened the 2020 ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) conference.
“ICT and innovation move economies towards more productivity and resilience, especially in these hard times when the world is grappling with effects of COVID-19 on our economies. We need to be proactive in maximizing the use of ICT as well as seeking new and innovative sources of socio-economic development,” said Kazako.
“The developmental challenges that our country is currently facing require efficient technological and innovative solutions adapted to the needs of the country. A classic example of such solutions is the development of Pfeizer and Mordenna COVID-19 vaccines.
"It is a foregone conclusion, therefore, that innovation is increasingly becoming an essential ingredient for curbing this pandemic, and other pandemics that we are fighting every day,” added Kazako.
He hailed National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc and other partners for funding the Innovation awards saying such partnerships are essential for the country to move forward in narrowing the digital and innovation gap.
Speaking earlier, NBM plc Deputy Chief Executive Officer Harold Jiya said ICT is important to the Malawi economy and by extension inclusion will move Malawi into a vibrant economy and a viable nation.
“Everything in the modern economy and the global village depends on ICT. Without a thriving ICT sector and industry no economy can develop, let alone grow. No society, organization, business or individual can thrive.
“ICT has an overarching and cross cutting impact on the whole spectrum of Malawi’s development trajectory: finance, commerce, business, trade, investment, health, education, agriculture, and literally everything else,” said Jiya.
In his keynote address, IT expert and UbuthuNet Alliance Chief Executive Officer Dr Matthews Mtumbuka said there is need for a quick establishment of the Data Centre for all government service platforms like immigration, road traffic directorate and others to be online.
“Everybody now knows that with IT you can work remotely anywhere in the world and the world moves on despite COVID-19 and this is a big opportunity where everyone agrees that digital is the way to go,” said Mtumbuka.