23 April 2014

Zimbabwe: ICT Provides Opportunity to Grow Zim Economy - Wharton

UNITED States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton says the Information, Communications Technology (ICT) sector has great potential to revive and grow Zimbabwe's economy.

Wharton made the remarks in a speech during a Business Conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo Wednesday.

"Africa has the greatest ICT growth potential of any continent, and Zimbabwe is far and away the nation in Africa best able to lead and profit from that growth," Ambassador Wharton said.

"No other nation in Africa has the same powerful combination of intellectual capital, infrastructure and language capability that Zimbabwe has. Further, I believe that Zimbabwe has the potential to be a global player in ICT as well as a regional leader."

The US ambassador said opportunities in the ICT sector included the global app economy which was expected to generate over $68 billion in 2013 and the global video game market which was valued at $65 billion by June 2011.

"In the past few years, the mobile industry has experienced a powerful upheaval sparked by the launch of smart-phones and the creation of the app ecosystem. The "mobile app economy" represents the fastest growing area in the mobile value chain today and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

"This value migration from hardware to software is profound. In 2012, the global app economy accounted for 18 percent of the combined app services and handset market. We estimate that by 2016 the contribution of the app economy will rise to 33 percent of the combined market, equivalent to half of the handset market."

Wharton said ICT can be used to support other industries like agriculture, mining, tourism, and manufacturing.

He added that the creation of apps, computer games and computer generated graphics can be used in movies as way for value addition.

Wharton said that Zimbabwe's unique combination of intellectual capital, infrastructure and language abilities make it unbeatable in the ICT economy.

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