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Major ICT boost for Bulawayo Province


THE Information Communication Technology Postal and Courier Services (ICT) ministry this week elevated Bulawayo to a digital giant, enthused by a special obligation to make sure that all Zimbabweans, regardless of geographical location, have digital access.

Bulawayo saw the launch and commissioning of an ICT laboratory at every school in Waterford and Emakhandeni suburbs, a public finance management system centre, Elangeni digital training centre for the civil servants’ laboratory, and a data recovery site at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe offices.

Addressing delegates at the launch, ICT minister Jenfan Muswere said it was the government’s desire for all Zimbabweans to be able to have access to the Internet and communication in general.

“If a student does not have Internet access, they will struggle to type their school papers or do online homework assignments, or learn basic computer skills, or try to get help from their teachers. If a Public Servant does not have adequate ICT skills, they will have challenges utilising ICT equipment and in so doing give slow and poor service to the citizenry,” Muswere said.

He added that as citizens interface with modern ICT equipment, all efforts would be in vain if there is no backup data.

“We also believe that Internet access and ICT training on its own is not enough. To truly bridge the digital divide, there is a need for locally relevant content and tools aimed at creating a platform for crowd sourced content and educating communities on local content production by local creators.

“This is particularly important to state as we are here in the City of Kings and Queens, a city widely acknowledged as the cultural hub of our Zimbabwe,” the minister said.

He said his ministry had been mandated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to work on the SMART Zimbabwe 2030 Master Plan, which seeks to exploit the potential of ICTs so that Zimbabwe attains its vision of becoming an upper Middle-income economy by 2030.

“The master plan, once fully rolled out, is expected to see the country achieving the Digital Economy aspirations of the National Development Strategy One (NDS1).

“It will completely transform government processes, services and management, and make information access and service delivery to the general public, more efficient 

“Over and above all this, the master plan, together with the flagship projects to pilot its implementation, will steer the march towards the digital future that will transform the country into a regional technical hub, raise the country’s competitiveness and align the country in line with vision 2030’s digitalisation agenda.

These aspirations of creating a digital economy can only be achieved if we first create a digitally literate population,” he said.


by bBeaven Dhliwayo

STAFF WRITER

dhliwayob@dailynews.co.zw