By Antony Isaiah Jr
The Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority, (MACRA) has announced that the Authority is in the process of implementing a research and developmental fund know as the “Muuni Fund”.
The project aims at providing seed money for undertaking research and innovation initiatives to provide for local solutions and incubation of innovations in different sectors of the economy using ICT.
The project is being carried in three categories namely Academia-student sub-category and Collaborative Research Sub-Category, Sector/Industry Research and MACRA Special project.
According to the statement signed by the Director of the Authority, Daud Suleman, the implementation of the project is in line with section 6(2)(g) of the Communication Act which requires the Authority to promote research and development in Communication services.
The same section 6(2)(g) also encourages the introduction of new technology and Communication services in accordance with recognised international standards and appliable international law.
“MACRA’s strategic plan 2022-2027 emphasises ICT development and innovation with a focus on efficient and effective regulation and research for the socio-economic development of the country,” reads part of the statement.
Currently, the Fund has seed from MACRA amounting to K350 million .
“ICT is a global analyst for the socio-economic development of any country and Malawi is not exception. The national development agenda, Malawi 2063 (MW2063) recognize ICT as a driver and catalyst for socio-economic development with more interventions in research and innovation stipulated in the first 10 years of Malawi 2063 implementation Plan. It is therefore important to stimulate research and developmental in ICT as an economic advancement and development,” adds the statement.
Meanwhile, MACRA is holding bilateral meetings with various stakeholders in the academa, private and public sectors to establish strategic partnerships and grow the Fund financially and professionally as part of the implementation plan.
The Fund is expected to address gaps in Agriculture, Banking and financial services, construction, E-commerce, and other e-service, Education, Energy, Government Service, Health, Manufacturing, Mining, Transportation and Storage, and Water Supply and Services.