Govt pledges unlimited support for young innovators


The Minister of Youth Sport and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng has pledged full support to local innovators in order to help them realise their dreams.

Speaking at the launch of Di Apps mobile application this week, he urged more innovators to come forward and utilise the Youth Development Fund (YDF) as he intends to help empower the ICT sector.

He further urged all sectors to have confidence in the youth innovations adding that he is going to be an ambassador of the Ditech mobile phones and will propose to government to buy the product for their employees.

“I know there is going to be some resistance because we are used to the big brands, but those big brands started small in their own economies and recognised by their own within their respective countries and eventually ended up attracting the international markets,” said Olopeng.

Di Apps mobile application platform will serve as the official app store for the Android operating system, allowing users to browse and download applications developed with the Android software development kit (SKD). Currently Di Apps include Maele le Diane app, Thanodi (translator) app, learn Setswana app, which offers different languages spoken in Botswana.

Speaking at the event, Di Apps developer Thatayaone Dichaba said Di Apps is set to stimulate application development and usage of local content, which will make it possible for Botswana’s creativity and technology to be availed to the world.

Dichaba is also the brain behind the Ditech mobile phones, which are currently distributed in Uganda. The company also designs, customises and manufactures hi-tech mobile phones as well as offers a full range of exceptional handsets with a wide appeal to people.         

For her part, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) Executive Director-Brand Management, Esther Norris said time was ripe for innovators like Dichaba to place Botswana firmly in the international arena adding that the country is on the brink of fully engaging in technology and connectivity revolution.

“We are living in the digital age, the age where interconnectedness is our norm. Innovation and technology are driving economies, the competitiveness of nations is now measured by the speed of connectivity over other things,” she said.

Norris further acknowledged Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) for ensuring that technology and innovation not only form apart of Botswana’s development agenda, but more specifically engages Batswana to increase their stake in the development of the sector as a whole.

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