FSVC identifies Young Entrepreneur Millionaire Project candidate

Botswana Innovation Hub has presented the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Oplopeng with its first candidate for the Young Entrepreneur Millionaire project initiated by the Minister recently.

The Minister has pledged to ensure that young people do not only succeed in business but also vowed to produce, "at least five young entrepreneur millionaires during my tenure at the ministry."

In response to the pledge, Botswana Innovation Hub's technology entrepreneurship development programme, First Steps Venture Centre (FSVC) will present one of its clients, Ditec Mobile as candidate for the youth empowerment initiative.

Ditec Mobile is a 100% citizen owned company that designs, customizes and ultimately manufacturers mobile phones. The company enrolled into FSVC in January, 2014 and will be launching their Di-Apps Mobile Application Store and products and services at the same occasion that will be held from 08:00 at the Capitol Cinema at Game City mall in Gaborone.

"Ditec Mobile offers a full range of exceptional mobiles with a wide appeal to people who appreciate the beauty and broad functionality of mobile phones," said the company's founder, Thatayaone Dichaba.

He said their devices, including their flagship handset, Pioneer, is being promoted in over 10 African countries and that with the realization of the huge potential presented by the use of local content in mobile devices, they established Di-Apps Mobile Application Store. "The store will sell applications with local content and the application comes pre-installed in all our smartphones," he says.

Dichaba says an increase usage of smartphones has brought with it endless possibilities and services that can be provided through smartphone technology.

"Di-Apps, is a digital distribution platform and Botswana's first and only online application store. The platform will serve as the official app store for the Android operating system, allowing users to browse and download applications developed with the Android software development kit (SDK)," he says.

It is against this background that Ditec Mobile is introducing Di-Apps, to stimulate application development and usage of local content, to make it possible for Botswana's creativity and technology to be availed to the world within this platform. This initiative carries a huge export and employment potential as the platform is currently being tested by 7 Mobile Operators in 5 Countries. Ditec Mobile is currently hosting over 10 local applications developed by Botswana Companies such as learn Setswana, Thanodi Translator, Learn Sekgalagadi, etc.

The company is in dialogue with local mobile network operators, Be Mobile, Mascom, and Orange, to integrate their existing mobile money platforms into the applications, a move that ounce approved will enable users to buy applications using Mobile Money provided by their Operators or using Airtime. This move will open more opportunities for both users and software developers.

FSVC manager, Tshepo Tsheko said Botswana Innovation Hub welcomes the minister's pledge as it is in line with the company's aim of contributing to the country's economic development and competitiveness through the creation of new scientific, technological and indigenous knowledge-based business opportunities.

"We are thrilled by the minister's commitment to loosen up the tight breakthrough pathways into business by making it easier for young people to venture into business and allowing them to play an active role in the country's economy," he said.

Tsheko says it will be easy for Ditec Mobile to fulfill the minister's goal. "Ditec Mobile phones are hi-tech and durable. A directive to all government departments, ministries and parastal's to have the devices as standard issue for officers entitled to cellphones will guarantee a market and bolster the company's profitability," he said.

"As Botswana Innovation Hub, we are already supporting Ditec Mobile with a wide range of technology advisory services, business and technology support services, strategic partnership, tenancy and market access support," he said.

With a guaranteed market, Ditec Mobile will be able to set up production plants in the country, create jobs and export a truly Botswana made, high-tech mobile handset. Thsheko believes Ditec Mobile are the perfect candidate for the Ministers Young Entrepreneur Millionaires project.



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