MOGADISHU—Somalia’s Ministry of Post, Telecom and Technology is planning to establish the first national innovation center aimed at facilitating the creation of an ICT innovation ecosystem and marketplace for Somalia’s digital products.
Speaking at the old telephone exchange center of the former national telecom operator, H. E. Abdi Ashur Hassan, noted that the building, once reconstructed and equipped with the necessary facilities, will house the Somali National Innovation Center (SO NICE) to enable the youth access tools to innovate and market creative ideas online to enable them earn decent income.
The minister said the government was committed to facilitating the establishment of the innovation hubs in all federal states in a bid to transform the country into an information society and prepare citizens for a digital economy.
“In the last two years we mainly emphasized on establishing legal and policy framework for the ICT sector. Once the law and policies are fully implemented, we hope competition will encourage innovation that will create jobs for the youth,” said the minister.
This initiative is in line with the draft National ICT Policy and Strategy, which clearly stipulates the use of ICT in education, health, agriculture, business, among others due to their potential for job and economic development.
The strategy also recommends the establishment of well resourced ‘tech parks, tech/innovation hubs, co-working spaces and accelerators which provide business incubation, access to skills and low cost ICT services to small businesses to support digital entrepreneurship and economic growth in Somalia.
Finally the minister called on all government institutions, private sector and development partners to make their ICT-related initiatives in line with the ICT Policy and Strategy so that they serve common purpose.