Government has said it stands ready to welcome collaboration and support that will ensure improvement of the people’s lives through technology, science, research, innovation and skills development.
Technology and Science Minister Felix Mutati said that the country’s progression to achieving results is hampered by factors which include; inadequate infrastructure, low connectivity, limited skills and lack of capacity to invest in innovation.
Mr Mutati also said that current infrastructure penetration stands at 48 percent connectivity at 68 percent skills at 41 percent, innovation index at 34 percent and investment into innovation at 16 percent within the digital sector only as challenges in research and science sub-sectors being even bigger exacerbated by the digital divide between the rich and poor.
The Minister was speaking at a meeting held at the Zambia – Italian Cultural Centre yesterday, attended by Italian Ambassador to Zambia Mr Antonino Maggiore among other dignitaries.
Mr Mutati said with Italy leading in many aspects of the fourth industrial revolution and Italian business leaders seeking untapped opportunities in other countries, Zambia stands ready to welcome collaboration and support to improve the people’s lives.
He said Zambia’s desire is to leverage on experience and advancement of global leaders such as Italy which currently stands as Europe’s second largest manufacturing economy and Europe’s third largest exporter of flexible manufacturing technologies, including robotics valued at $9.6 billion to the US alone.
And Mr Mutati said the New Dawn government intends to take full profit from emerging technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence robotics, 3-D printing, 5G technology, high performance computing and block chain technology among others in order to reduce gaps that hold back inclusive and sustainable development.
He said this can only be achieved with support from partners such as Italy as this opportunity presents avenues for further collaboration with the European Union in the transformation journey embarked on.