President Mnangagwa launches space agency in Zimbabwe
The President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has announced the launch of a new space agency.
The agency has been developed in a bid to increase research and innovation in the country.
The Zimbabwe National GeoSpatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA) opened on 10 July, as part of three key inter-linked programmes.
The two other programmes have been dubbed the Zimbabwe National Critical Skill Audit (ZNCSA) and the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework (ZNQF).
The programmes form part of Zimbabwe’s modernisation and industrialisation agenda following the government’s Vision 2030.
The government aims to transition the country into becoming a middle-income economy within the next 12 years.
“This initiative is expected to enhance Zimbabwe's capabilities in global policy discourses on generation, access, use and regulation of the application of space technologies and innovations for sustainable development,” stated President Mnangagwa.
“This exercise will undoubtedly enhance precision in the human capital development planning and serve as a guiding tool in our industrialisation and modernisation agenda.”
“I therefore exhort the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to facilitate the training of critical skills to increase quantity, quality and relevance of our higher education curricula in line with the present needs.”
“In the same vein, I challenge institutions of higher learning to consider the results of this audit in their strategic planning processes so that faculties and departments appropriately respond to our national and industrial skills gap.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.