Govt committed to equitable ICTs access

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INFORMATION Communication Technology (ICT) minister Jenfan Muswere says the government is committed to providing equitable access to digital technologies to all citizens, including those in rural areas.
Speaking through his deputy Dingumuzi Phuthi at the commissioning of a communication information centre (CIC) in Hwange yesterday, Muswere said:
“My ministry will, through Potraz (Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe) and other industry players, continue to roll out programmes aimed at ensuring that the rural communities are kept abreast of technological development, especially now when we all need to be kept informed of the different aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
He said while the job market was shrinking, opportunities were opening up for those in the technology industry, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning and block chain.
“Like I said last week, in Mashava, (Masvingo) knowledge in ICTs is replacing low quality and low income jobs with better quality and more rewarding jobs. I, therefore, repeat my call for our youths to take up studies in ICTs so that they can occupy their rightful place in the emerging fourth industrial revolution,” Muswere said.
He urged the Hwange community to develop Internet-based content written in their own languages and dialects.
“I call upon the local community of Hwange to start identifying local content that could be digitised and be made available through the Internet for the benefit of the local community,” the minister added.
Speaking at the same event through his deputy Alfred Marisa, Potraz director-general Gift Machengete urged farmers to take advantage of CICs being set up by the government across the country to market and sell their products.
Machengete said government had established 146 CICs across the country’s 10 provinces, 114 of which were already fully functional.
“The business and farming communities can take advantage of the new wave of digital marketing and e-commerce to market and sell their commodities on the various digital platforms available.
“Therefore, through the utilisation of CICs, community members can circumvent the negative effects of Covid–19 and continue living their normal lives,” Machengete said.
He said CICs created employment opportunities for several youths in various communities.
“I am, therefore, very confident that this community information centre will make a valued contribution to the economic, social and cultural lives of the people of Hwange and surrounding communities,” Machengete said.
Potraz together with the ICT ministry have embarked on various projects that support the penetration rate of ICTs across the country.

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