Tech innovations key to Malawi's growth-National Bank

Mitchell and Fudzulani

National Bank of Malawi says it recognises the future of the Southern African nation’s economy depends on how it invests in the technology arena.

The Bank has for the second year running sponsored ICT Association of Malawi's (ICTAM) Innovation Hub/Jam conference to be held at Nkopola in Mangochi.

John Mitchell Head of ICT at NBM said: "We are in the fourth industrial revolution and economies that do not invest in this digital industrialisation will get left behind. So National Bank is trying to spar this drive so it brings digitalisation and growth. Economies going forward will be driven by digitalisation.

"Without technology there is nothing. Even the COVID-19 response has been technology oriented; look at the tracing, all of which is ICT based," adding "If you do not invest in these technologies you cannot conduct business with other countries hence National Bank's interest."

The partnership with ICTAM started in 2019. Last year had three winners went to Rwanda for the African Tech forum.

The partnership runs up to 2022 but prizes for this year will be announced at the conference and will be more of a surprise.

ICTAM president Bram Fudzulani said: "This partnership means collaboration with focus on promoting innovation. It brings hope and excitement knowing they are an interested party.

"Such innovation might get adopted in the bank account to the agreement we have and it is exciting. During the pandemic we have seen innovations from ventilator from Polytechnic, face masks and there is component in the Ministry of Health where we helped develop SMS and Whats App solution which allows people to register if they feel they have symptoms.”

This year the categories ICTAM is looking for innovations in are; health, agriculture, education, banking and Artificial Intelligence.