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Zim launches first virtual communication platform

Zimbabwe has launched Africa’s first virtual communication platform – Glue Virtual Platform –  which is expected to assist African states in dealing with security issues that are endemic in an increasingly virtual world.

Glue VP is a comprehensive communication, collaboration, engagement and participation platform ready for use for meetings, government communication, education and training.

The local innovation will help reduce Africa’s dependency on platforms developed outside the continent such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Team, Cisco Webex and Google Meet, among others.

Officially launching the virtual platform yesterday, Information Communication Technologies, Postal and Courier Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere, said the platform could solve some problems that have been brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This platform comes at a time when the entire world is grappling with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is our hope that Glue VP will be a solution to the urgent needs of African learners to access education at their own time.

“Access to relatively affordable internet services and the right virtual platforms will make it possible for many learners to achieve their educational goals in an increasingly virtually connected world,” said Minister Muswere.

“As Government, we are excited by this development as it resonates with our thrust of harnessing ICTs in improving efficiencies and service delivery. Government will continue to provide a conducive environment to encourage the development of home grown solutions for national development.”

A brainchild of Zimbabwean-born Professor Richard Chinomona, Glue VP provides users a wide range of features such as presentations sharing, video sharing capabilities, multi-user whiteboard, screen sharing, recording, break-out rooms, polling for users, shared notes, public and private chat rooms among  others. It is built and intended for use by individuals, entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses, large enterprises, corporates, governments and their agencies, community and non-profit organisations, churches and educational institutions.

Prof Chinomona said the virtual platform can help secure Government communication.

“Have you ever imagined the security risk posed by having African governments conducting high level Cabinet meetings that discuss sensitive or strategic issues about their respective country governance on a virtual platform that is managed and controlled in a foreign country?

“It is our hope that Glue VP will provide real time security to users, in ways that safeguard the integrity of African affairs” he said.

Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director general Dr Gift Machengete, said Glue VP will spur more local innovations.

“I foresee even much greater things to come from our innovators as the country heads for self-sustainability through the development and use of home-grown digital solutions to our challenges as a nation and continent. Such self-sustaining home-grown solutions as the phenomenal innovation whose launch we are here to witness, could not have come at a much better time as the country and the world at large is grappling with the deadly Covid-19 pandemic,” said Dr Machengete.

“The platform, which can be accessed and used by anyone, anywhere at anytime, will certainly put Zimbabwe and Africa on the map.”

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