COVID 19 enhanced ICT adoption- ICT Minister

by | May 18, 2021 | COVID 19, Local News | 0 comments


Brian Rungano Temba

The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of digital processes and ICTs Minister of Information Communication Technology Dr Jenfan Muswere has said.

In remarks commemorating World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) Dr Muswere said the silver-lining in the pandemic is how it sped up adaptation of ICTs.

“As evidenced in the past year, COVID-19 has brought to the fore the importance of ICTs in all aspects of life as they have kept societies and economies functional and to some extent sustainable.

This has resulted in an unparalleled surge in the use of the internet in providing e-services, among which e-learning, e-shopping, e-worshiping and e-health would quickly come to mind,” said Dr Muswere.

The utilization of the internet in these spaces necessitated the over drive mode his Ministry was on opening information centers.

POTRAZ and Public Network Operators followed suit extending network coverage to the uncovered areas and communities of Zimbabwe.

“The strongest desire is for digital transformation to be the cornerstone of the National Development Stratergy (NDS-1) which was launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in November last year.
Indeed the digital economy is stated one of the fourteen national priorities underpinning the strategy for period 2021-2025 as we thrive to become an Upper Middle Income society by 2030,” he added.

Dr Muswere however noted that a significant number of areas and communities remain outside the network coverage, a situation which is both undesirable and unsustainable.

A number of schools have also been facing difficulties funding their respective e-learning programme on account of the unaffordable internet bandwidth.

“In mitigation POTRAZ has moved in to pay for band with for 400 schools across in the country, from May 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
While this gesture is applaudable call upon the Regulator and Network Operators to look for sustainable solution to the affordability challenge bedeviling our schools,” said Dr Muswere.