Zimbabwe govt sets up 146 community information centres

Zimbabwe govt sets up 146 community information centres
Published: 05 July 2019
INFORMATION and Communication Technology (ICT) minister Kazembe Kazembe says government has so far established 146 community information centres (CICs) across the country in an effort to grow the economy. Speaking at the launch of Beitbridge community information centre, Kazembe said government has identified ICTs as one of the pillars and cornerstones for economic development.

Ninety-eight (98) of the community information centres are already operating, with 41 of them providing free training in the use of computers to members of the community," he said, adding that from a policy perspective, CICs are crucial in empowering the people of Zimbabwe, which allows effective participation in the digital economy.

"The aim of the community information centre concept is to create centres where the community can access and use ICTs to promote their businesses, advance their education and improve their livelihood," he said. According to the United Nations and the International Telecommunications Union, ICTs can help accelerate progress towards every single one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Kazembe said efficient and affordable ICT infrastructure and services allow countries to participate in the digital economy and to increase their overall economic well-being, competitiveness, digital inclusion, poverty reduction and improved health.

This comes as the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has embarked on various projects that support the penetration rate of ICTs across the country.

"To date twenty shared base stations have been constructed by Potraz. Five of them were constructed in 2018 courtesy of the equipment that was donated by Huawei of China," said Kazembe.

He said Potraz has also agreed with mobile network operators (MNOs) to fund the construction of 15 base stations in underserved areas under the Build Transfer and Operate (BTO) arrangement.

"The base stations will be constructed starting this year," he said.

"Potraz has also embarked on a project to establish Containerised Village Information Centres (CVICs) to address ICT needs for people living in areas where conventional CICs could not be established at Post Offices."

Containerised village information centres are modular and easy to fabricate and deploy compared to permanent structures. They are temporary structures, which can be moved from one area to another if the need arises.

The Zanu-PF Mazowe West legislator noted that the deployment of the first batch of 24 Containerised Village Information Centres has been completed countrywide.
- dailynews
Tags: Kazembe,


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