Evolve ICT Summit hailed as a great success

Evolve ICT Summit organizer Simon Nyamuda

The inaugural Evolve ICT Summit, which was hosted by Compulink Holdings at the Harare International Conference Centre last Thursday and Friday, has been hailed as a great success.

The two-day event, which ran under theme “Lead with Vision,” brought together a diverse line-up of thought leaders and stakeholders in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, including telecommunications companies, policy makers, entrepreneurs and academia, among others.Simon Nyamuda, Managing Director of Compulink Holdings, said the summit elicited insightful and thought-provoking presentations and conversations by the speakers and panellists, who included the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Tatenda Mavetera, and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Group chief executive, Douglas Mboweni. 

"The summit surely lived up to its billing and objectives, as well as its values of collaboration, innovation, and mentorship. 

“We managed to facilitate cross-sector collaboration between government and the private sector, as well as among various key players in the ICT ecosystem,” Nyamuda said.

He noted the significant participation of young people who benefitted from mentorship opportunities during the event.

Moving forward, Nyamuda said the summit would be followed up by quarterly seminars and tech podcasts, as part of the Evolve series, as his company continues to facilitate ongoing collaboration among world-class stakeholders.

During the summit, ICT Minister Mavetera, who was the guest of honour at the event, spoke about the importance of the Smart Zimbabwe 2030 master plan, emphasizing its role in integrating ICT to address societal challenges and unlock new development opportunities. 

“This master plan outlines our aspirations to create smart cities, improve public service delivery, and enhance the quality of life for all Zimbabweans. By harnessing the power of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things, we aim to build a future that is smarter, more efficient, and more sustainable,” the Minister said.

Addressing the summit, Econet’s Mboweni, delivered an inspiring presentation where he argued that vision, wisdom and execution are critical for individuals, organizations and nations to succeed and achieve their objectives. 

“In today's dynamic landscape, having a clear vision and the wisdom to execute it are essential for success,” he said. 

“As we strive towards Zimbabwe's 2030 Vision of becoming an upper-middle-income nation, it's imperative for all stakeholders to take proactive steps to contribute towards this ambitious goal. Together, through innovation, collaboration, and dedication, we can transform our aspirations into reality and propel our nation towards prosperity.”

Ms Sicelo Dube, representing STEMLady Holdings, underscored the role of mentorship and support networks in empowering women within the tech industry. 

“It's imperative to raise awareness and dismantle stereotypes to foster a truly inclusive environment,” she said. 

“The media holds immense power in showcasing the successes of women in technology, serving as inspiration for others to embark on similar journeys.”Whisker Rukanda, Group CEO of MorniPac, delivered a compelling call to both government departments, private organizations and the public to prioritize cybersecurity measures in an increasingly digital world.  

“In an era where information is power, safeguarding our data and devices is paramount,” he said. “As our lives become increasingly intertwined with technology, the need for robust cybersecurity strategies cannot be overstated.”

Software engineer Prudence Kadebu called for efforts to harness emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and automation for organizations and the country to gain a competitive edge. 

“Embracing these cutting-edge tools isn't just a choice. It's a necessity in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape. They empower us to innovate, streamline processes, and unlock new possibilities that were once unimaginable,” she said. 

Drone specialist Tawanda Chihambakwe highlighted the crucial role of artificial intelligence and drone innovation in enhancing agricultural productivity in Zimbabwe. 

"We stand at a pivotal moment where technology offers us unparalleled opportunities to revolutionize farming practices," he said. "By embracing AI and drone solutions, we not only increase efficiencies but also pave the way for sustainable growth that benefits both farmers and consumers alike."

In addition to the insightful sessions, the Evolve ICT Summit provided a platform for tech companies to unveil their latest innovations through product demonstrations and exhibitions. 

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