Zimbabwe’s government has mobilized more than $1 million to fund local app developers in the hope they could come up with the next Facebook or Twitter. Millions of Zimbabweans are signed up to social media networks and use services such as Whatsapp. The move might change this by creating authentic Zimbabwean forums.
The mobile penetration here is more than 100%, putting social media and other services at the finger-tips of millions of people here.
“Since January, we have already started collecting 1 percent of all revenue on regulated services into a fund,” Supa Mandiwanzir, the Zimbabwean ICT Minister, said. “So far we are sitting on more than $1 million as part of revenue that is going to be given to universities and colleges that will promote innovations and invention.”
An online media house is running an awards ceremony for local app developers. More than 200 entries have been received, but this could just be the tip of the iceberg with many more budding developers and potential solution providers still undiscovered.
With population of just 13 million, Zimbabwe may not offer massive revenues generated by globally acclaimed apps, but the domestic market could be springboard to much bigger things.