TODAY, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) will start hosting a three-day Third National ICT business forum and in this weekâ€™s column, we highlight what the event is all about and importance to the development of information communications technology (ICT) sector.
ZICTA will, from October 7-9, 2015, host the 2015 ICT business forum, which will provide a unique opportunity for dialogue and exchange of ideas on the business environment among various stakeholders in the ICT sector.
A diverse cross-section of participants who will include government officials, officials from regulatory bodies, consumer groups, providers of ICT services, mobile network operators, internet service providers and carrier of carriers, among others, are expected to attend the forum.
This on-going forum will also be an important opportunity for the private sector to showcase some of the latest developments in products and services on the market.
The ICT sector is widely acknowledged to be among the most dynamic sectors globally. Providers of ICT products and services are continuously offloading innovative products and services on the market.
At the same time, the regulation of the ICT sector by governments must keep abreast with the fast changing technology without limiting innovation and the viability of businesses in the sector.
In order to achieve this balance, there is need for continuous engagement and consensus building between governments, businesses and consumer groups. The ICT business forum is a unique platform that has gained prominence over the years where all stakeholders meet to exchange ideas on how to improvement the sector. The primary interest of the government is to ensure that a favourable business environment where the private sector can thrive, is maintained while ensuring that the interests of consumers are not overlooked.
The ICT business forum, which is in line with ZICTAâ€™s vision, â€œTo be the catalyst of a better Zambia transformed through the use of ICTs in all sectors of the economyâ€, is expected to live up to this vision by bringing together various entities in the Zambian economy to interact by sharing their experiences as regards ICTs as a means of enhancing their work. It is envisioned that the forum will encourage participation not only between stakeholders within the ICT sector but also between those that are in other economic sectors.
The following are some of the objectives of the ICT business forum:
â€¢ To bring together stakeholders from the ICT sector and other economic sectors in order for them to share ideas on investment opportunities and challenges within the ICT industry in Zambia;
â€¢ To increase awareness on the investment opportunities that is currently available in the ICT sector;
â€¢ To promote rapport between the private sector and government as regards the business environment in the ICT sector;
â€¢ To increase the understanding amongst stakeholders of how various government policies and regulation in general impacts the ICT sector;
â€¢ To stimulate interest in the ICT sector from the international community, with particular reference to co-operating agencies and multilateral organisations.
During the forum, services and products from the ICT sectors and other related industries shall also be showcased in a room separate from the forumâ€™s discussion sessions. Businesses that will be part of the exhibiting or showcasing will consist of ICT hardware manufacturers, software vendors, ICT service providers and so on.
Currently, over 800 people have registered for the event and it is hoped that the numbers will grow by close of registration, which was on September 30, 2015.Â Registration for the innovators challenge closed on September 25, 2015.