ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) has called for different players in the ICT industry to submit ICT related innovations to be considered for awards at this year’s Innovation Forum set for Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi from December 16 to 18.
Since coming into power on 27 February, 2016 ICTAM President Wisely Phiri, has initiated a number of changes such that the association has decided to motivate individuals and companies that have taken the lead in ICT related innovations.
“We are looking at how ICT individuals and companies have contributed to the development or improved the lives of Malawians through their innovations in different sectors,” said President Phiri. “So during the conference we will award outstanding individuals and companies to motivate them to keep on coming up with innovations to better the lives of Malawians,” he added.
ICTAM has listed some categories earmarked for consideration and they include financial, health care delivery and agriculture sectors. To be considered for these innovations, one should have been in use for at least the last three months.
In a related development, Phiri said the association was heading in the right direction having its contributions as an ICT body to the Communications Act which were presented to Parliamentary Media Committee.
“I represented Malawi at the Comesa ICT Business Council in Kenya which I attended with the regulators. I have also lobbied through Comesa for Malawi to have its own ministry of ICT as by then we did not have representation for ICT at ministerial level unlike other countries like Rwanda and Kenya, which are advanced on ICT penetration” said Phiri.
ICTAM came up with the domain for the association so that all official emails from the association should be coming from ictam.org.mw unlike previously where the executives were communicating using their private email addresses.
Meanwhile, the ICTAM has organised the association as one global voice for all ICT operators in Malawi. Speaking ealier as Managing Director of Sparc Systems, Phiri asked the government to come up with policies to safeguard and promote companies owned by locals.
Phiri argued that in Malawi, it is easier for a foreigner to run a company and get good business because there are no policies that protect locals.
With a desire to become a major ICT provider in Africa, Sparc Systems plans to open an agency in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to cater for West Africa countries. The fully-owned Malawian firm has a branch in Rwanda that takes care of East Africa countries and it has been in operation for over a year.
Phiri says as per firms’ policy they had already started training engineers to a professional global level recommended by manufacturers to offer similar services in all its centres.
However, plans are at advanced stage to venture into West African market and, based on the research, DR Congo is a perfect fit to roll out the plans. Engineers from Sparc Systems have done installations and offered services in a number of African countries including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Sierra Leone and many more.
Currently in Malawi, Sparc Systems is the only Warranty Service Provider for IBM, the only warranty service provider for Lenovo for enterprise systems and the only field delivery partner for Oracle and Sun Microsystems.