Technology and Science Minister Felix Mutati has said with the debt restructuring that government is undertaking, the country is assured that resources will come into the country thereby allowing innovation and technology to thrive.

Mr. Mutati said with the range of unlimited ingenuity that is inherent in many young innovators, Zambia is in the champions’ league with regards to information technology.

Mr. Mutati was speaking on Sunday at the launch of Mukuba University Innovation Pod (Unipod) which is a physical space offering opportunities for training, coaching, refining innovations and building skills for students from low income families in developing their innovations into viable ventures.

The Unipod is created by Accelerator Labs in partnership with Copperbelt University and is supported with a seed investment of $600,000 by the UNDP aiming at contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking at the event, the minister said government is creating an enabling environment and policy framework for innovation.

Mr. Mutati also disclosed that in the last 3 years, over 4,000 innovations have been supported in Zambia by the UNDP.

Mr. Mutati said he was happy that the Copperbelt University now has innovators that are transforming raw minerals to produce prototype batteries.

He however said with such innovations, there is need to collaborate with the private sector so that minerals can nolonger be exported in their raw form but as finished products through innovation.

“Leveraging on knowledge, expertise and initiative, the University is helping us accelerate the pace of transformation of ideas into viable products. Government on the other hand is creating an enabling environment and policy framework for innovation” Mr. Mutati said.

And Mr. Mutati said government targets to reach an 80% target of internet connectivity by the end of this year in order to accelerate innovations.

He also said government is looking at ways to make digital devices cheaper especially smart phones considering the fact that Zambia is the most connected country by fibre across the continent.

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