Minister of Technology and Science Felix Mutati has noted that promotion of digital skills and entrepreneurship can boost the country’s economic growth.
And Mr Mutati has called on players in the information and technology sector to invest in digital infrastructure, skills and innovation to spur economic transformation.
Mr Mutati was speaking in Lusaka yesterday, at the launch of the y’ello care training supported by MTN Zambia limited and Huawei, whose 21 days of y’ello care campaign is being implemented under the theme ‘empowering communities to drive economic recovery and job creation.’
Mr. Mutati said serious investment in the ICT industry will facilitate the much-needed digital transformation and innovation that leads to empowerment of women and the youths in the country.
He has since commended MTN Zambia for hosting such an initiative as a way of giving back to the local communities in which the company operates.
“Importantly to your company should be the highlights in the 8th National Development Plan which indicates the need for investments in the Information and Communication Technology sector,” Mr. Mtati said.
Mr Mutati said many young people have found a means of earning a living through MTN Zambia’s initiatives, citing the many youths who are agents and have gained experience and entrepreneurial skills.
The Minister also lauded Huawei technologies for extending its support towards the initiative, by means of offering to train young women and girls in digital literacy skills.
“Government would like to see more such partnerships emerge among many other telecommunication sector players, “he stated.
He said it was in line with Zambia’s quest to bridge digital skills gaps and support for digital entrepreneurship.
MTN Zambia Chief Executive Officer, Bart Hofker explained that the Asikana network is aimed at improving the lives of the youths across the country especially in ICT.
Hofker disclosed that about 250 youths have signed up to participate in various programmes adding that so far 120 women from the Zambian National Services women’s group of Kafue have graduated from the MTN digital literacy training to Asikana networks.
And Huawei Managing Director, Bette Chen said women and girls continue to be severely underrepresented in the ICT field observing that the majority lack skills in ICT.
Ms. Chen stressed the need to bridge that gap between men and women in terms of internet access, tech engagement and tech leadership.