Business Development Science and Technology

The Glue Virtual Platform, a first by a Zimbabwean

Dr. Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services has hailed the groundbreaking innovation by Zimbabweans who conceived and developed the Glue Virtual Platform.

Speaking during the launch today, Dr. Muswere said as a brainchild of Zimbabwean born Professor Richard Chinomona, the Glue Virtual Platform is a proudly African product that will afford African governments the opportunity to keep all their information on their government secured servers.

“It is indeed a problem solver to assist the African States in dealing with security issues that are endemic in an increasingly virtual world. GLUE VP also provides secure information for private users on their dedicated organisational secure servers.

“The GLUE VP combines the functionality of major virtual platforms. It provides high quality and affordable access for users with real-time support and security. Communication on the platform is fitted and secured with an end-to-end encryption to protect users from third party infiltration,” Dr. Muswere said.

The Virtual Platform provides the user 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 amongst 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.

The Minister said the 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.”

The GLUE VP Collaboration and Communication platform enables remote, agile teams and institutions to work efficiently by enabling them to schedule daily meetings to keep team members informed about current tasks, planning, and training. It is a comprehensive communication, collaboration, engagement and participation platform ready for use for meetings, government communication, education and training.

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

Dr. Gift Machengete, the Director-General of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) said what is more exciting about the GLUE VP is the inspiration and motivation the launch gives to up and coming innovators that his organisation is supporting under the National ICT Innovation Drive.

“From such inspiration, 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. More so, with a youthful Minister of ICT, in the mould of Hon Muswere at the forefront of the Innovation Drive, it is with no doubt that bigger things are to come on the innovation front,” Dr Machengete said.

He said self-sustaining home-grown solutions like GLUE VP 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.

COVID-19 has changed the way of life by teleporting us all from the physical space to the virtual space. This has created a ‘New Normal’, where virtual meetings have replaced the good old-fashioned face-to-face meetings.

“Virtual meetings are now the order of the day. Yesterday we witnessed the first-ever virtual Cabinet meeting, which was chaired by His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa. On the same day, SADC virtually convened its 40th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government.  What is apparent is that as long as COVID – 19 is within our midst, we shall witness all such official meetings being held on virtual platforms.

“Ladies and gentlemen, real-time voice and video functions of these virtual meetings has given them the look and feel of physical meetings. Just as physical meetings, one can express themselves through gestures.  Just as physical meetings communication can be made through facial expressions. These non-verbal cues are touted as the major advantages of face-to-face meetings. Furthermore, Just as physical meetings one can interject during virtual meetings and one can probe during virtual meetings, thereby making them quite similar to face-to-face meetings.”

The GLUE Virtual Platform is the first real-time virtual platform to be conceived and developed in Africa, by Africans and for Africa and of course – beyond. The global platform, which can be accessed and used by anyone, anywhere at any time, will certainly put Zimbabwe and Africa on the map.

Africa has had to rely on Virtual collaboration and communication platforms developed outside the African continent such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Team, Google Meet and Cisco Webex among others.

The Glue Virtual Platform is versatile as it offers more features on its basic package than any virtual communication and collaboration platform on the open market.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende