Zimbabwean startup launches digital communication platform to rival Zoom


ZIMBABWE has firmly put its footprint on the global digital market after a local software engineer developed a versatile virtual learning and communications platform in collaboration with the country’s telecommunications regulator, Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

The Glue Virtual Platform, developed by South African-based Zimbabwean engineer Richard Chinomona, was launched in Harare on Wednesday by Potraz director-general Gift Machengete.

The platform, according to Machengete, has the capacity to compete with international products such as Zoom which has become a household name since the outbreak of COVID-19.

“Indeed, this latest platform that we are launching here today deserves recognition because for a long time, 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,” Machengete said.

Glue offers more features on its basic package, making it affordable for many who have been failing to pay for advanced features on other platforms.

“Honourable (Information Communication Technology minister Jenfan Muswere) minister, what is most impressive about the Glue Virtual Platform is its versatility as it offers more features on its basic package than any virtual communication and collaboration platform on the open market,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Muswere said he was excited because the platform was safe to use by African governments who can now store their own information securely in an era of espionage.

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

The new virtual platform will provide an African alternative to the likes of Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Team, Cisco Webex and Google Meet.

According to the developer, 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 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.

Professor Chinomona said Glue VP can provide African governments with a secure alternative form of 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” said the Professor.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Professor Chinomona as he is commonly known, is a visionary, ambitious and proudly African entrepreneur, innovator, disruptor, futurist, academic and researcher.

He holds a PhD, MBA, MEC, MPA, HEC, HPA and DPPM from different universities.

He conceived the Virtual Platform back in 2015, it has been 5 years in the making.

Professor Chinomona aims to use technology to build an ecosystem of disruptive and innovative solutions to the current and future challenges faced by Africa and the world at large.