Zim should intensify digitisation drive

ZIMBABWE should intensify efforts towards a digital economy in response to challenges emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic, World Bank country manager Mukami Kariuki, pictured, has said.

Speaking during a virtual launch of Zimbabwe’s “Digital Economy Diagnostic Report” at the weekend, Kariuki said the world was slowly adapting to digitisation.

“The fact that we are holding this launch event virtually, rather than in person, is testament to how our world has changed and how central digital technologies have become in our lives.

“Yet it is not unexpected as our 2019 World Development Report on the Future of Work highlighted the fundamental changes that the working population will face in the coming decades.

“In fact, rather than bemoaning the challenges that this has created, it is important to see this an opportunity to build back better — using this crisis to propel us forward,” Kariuki said.

The World Bank country manager said the country’s ‘Digital Economy Diagnostic Report’ was part of the global bank’s Economy for Africa initiative which seeks to support the continent’s move towards a digital age.

“The report dovetails well with the government of Zimbabwe’s thrust of modernising and digitising the economy as reflected in the National Development Strategy 1 (2021-2025).

“With today’s launch of this report and discussion of its recommendations, we hope to enable stakeholders to contribute further to operationalizing the Digital Economy pillar of the NDS1.

“The data economy and digital economy are more and more intertwined. Specifically, within the public sector, the new trend is to maximize the power and benefits of data within the government, and for citizens,” the World Bank country manager said.