The Hakainde Hichilema Innovation Fund, an ICT innovation fund which is between Government and Huawei has been launched.
The fund will see 50 youths receive scholarships worth 1 thousand United States dollars each from Huawei to innovate in the ICT sector.
Minister of Technology and Science, Felix Mutati says under the partnership, Huawei will set up an innovation hub at the National Technology Business Centre (NTBC) to be housed at Government Complex in Lusaka.
He said the programme will contribute to Government’s digital transformation agenda.
Mr Mutati said the fund is targeting youths from various tertiary institutions in the country.
He was speaking in a speech read for him by Ministry of Technology and Science Permanent Secretary, Brilliant Habeenzu.
“The fund is targeted at undergraduate students from public and private universities, colleges and training institutes enrolled in ICT related programmes and courses and science technology, engineering, Mathematics (STEAM) courses across the country,” Mr Mutati said.
And Acting Minister of Education, Elijah Muchima said despite digital transformation strides made in the past, some gaps in digital skills and entrepreneurship still exist.
Mr Muchima praised the timing of the establishment of the fund saying it is being launched at the right time.
The Minister said Government is committed to the partnership with Huawei to ensure the outcomes benefit the people of Zambia.
“My Ministry believes that through technology and digital systems we can take the learning resources to all parts of this country, including in areas where these resources are needed most, so that every learner in Zambia has the digital skills to unlock their potential,” he said.
And Huawei Technologies Vice President for Southern Region, Phil Li said 50 thousand United States dollars has already been released to ensure that the scholarships are readily available for the students that will be selected through NTBC.
“In that 50 thousand United States dollars, we anticipate that for the 50 students selected, each finalist with a viable idea ready for incubation shall walk away with a 1 thousand dollars . we hope this will go a long way to help them work through their ideas and actualise them for national ICT solutions,” Mr Li.