Zimbabwe has changed greatly over its 42 years of independence. Various factors have seen a dwindle in innovation and technology, and commendable strides have been made overall by the nation.
Zimbabwe’s technological prowess has not yielded results as of late. Regardless, the nation’s high literacy rate is an asset that can assist the nation towards innovation and technological enterprise.
The ability of Zimbabwe to become a technological hub has been illustrated through companies like Econet whose operations, can see Southern Africa at the forefront of innovation on the African continent.
Technological Status of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has been subject to considerable economic mishaps and this has lowered its capacity to creatively contribute toward innovation. However, the state endeavours to become a leading player in technology.
In 2021, the Global Innovation Index rated Zimbabwe at rank 113. The rank was accompanied by an additional comment that the country can grow. In Africa, Zimbabwe is ranked among the top 10 most technological countries.
Zimbabwe has had a Bio-Technology Policy in place since 2005. The policy has harnessed traditional techniques and ensured that Zimbabwe remains technologically competitive in sub-Saharan Africa.
Since 2009 Zimbabwe has seen exponential technological advancement and growth overall. In 2012, Zimbabwe adopted the 2nd Science and Technology Policy. The policy was accompanied by an allocation of US $1.5 million towards research and development. In 2018 and 2019, Zimbabwe introduced innovation hubs across all tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe.
The hubs are easily accessible to academia and local inventors who would have developed novel ideas.
The agro-based economy and poverty alleviation have steered Zimbabwe towards extensive research in drought-resistant crops. The recent climatic changes in the world have made this field a priority for Zimbabwe. The establishment and utilization of the Henderson Research Institute in Mazowe is a testimony to this endeavour. Consequently, many technological fields have been relegated.
Zimbabwe is amongst the countries in Africa with an efficient 3G and LTE network and a functional data centre. Telone Zimbabwe commissioned Bulawayo’s first 3-tier data centre.
The network has reduced latency and provisioned high internet speeds. Zimbabwe is ranked amongst the top countries in Africa with high internet speeds of 2.49 Mbps compared to South Africa with 4.36 Mbps and Kenya with 9Mbps.
The scientific output for Zimbabwe amounted to 310 in 2014. Amongst other African states, Zimbabwe is positioned for technological advancement.
Technological Trajectory of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe intents to become a technological hub in Africa through big data and artificial intelligence. The high literacy rate in Zimbabwe is sufficient groundwork for innovation. The state has engaged leading countries such as China and Russia to ensure that technological advancement can be reached.