By Faith Chimutsa
In an effort to improve service delivery and increase the national mobile penetration rate, the Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services (ICT) has tasked NetOne to develop and implement robust network expansion growth projects in the country.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Base Station in Siyalima, Guruve on Thursday, Minister of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere said NetOne has recently launched Phase Three of the National Mobile Broad Band Expansion (NMBB3) which will see 345 new base stations being built and installed to connect communities.
In his keynote address, Dr Muswere added that, his ministry fully facilitates ubiquitous connectivity through the provision of infrastructure and support systems.
“ICTs access and utilization is poised to have a more profound impact on education and health care services, the management of energy resources, delivery of public transport, the manner in which government engages with the citizenry and above all, the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe.
“As the Ministry of ICT and Courier Services, our mandate is to create an enabling environment and policies that facilitate the use of information technologies and communication solutions, to improve the livelihoods of all Zimbabweans, regardless of location.
“Through National Development Strategy Number One (NDS 1) the Ministry will make sure there is improved access to ICTs at village level, while enabling the growth of our digital economy. This is aligned with the visionary leadership and commitment of His Excellency, The President, Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa to universal access by 2030”, Minister Muswere explained.
Minister Muswere called on the Siyalima community to embrace the enhanced network coverage which will facilitate and promote farmers through knowledge transfer and acquisition as they engage in the trade of farm produce.
He highlighted that the Ministry of ICT and Courier Services is here to ensure equitable access to ICTs by all citizens of Zimbabwe, including disadvantaged groups and rural communities.
Speaking at the same occasion, minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Mashonaland Central Monica Mavhunga said the second republic of Zimbabwe, has marked a new beginning and the momentum is high with every province witnessing growth and development.
Mavhunga added that the Use of ICTs at community level by our farmers, small scale and established miners and mining companies; and at school has become a natural part of daily life.
“This is true in Zimbabwe and even for many all over the world. It is unthinkable that millions of people in developing countries remain disconnected from the digital world.
“Through the telecommunications giant NetOne, enhanced network coverage and communication solutions, are now at our doorstep”, Mavhunga added.
She said the Siyalima Base Station will bring with it many downstream benefits which we, as a province, will capitalise on as we develop.
“Improved network coverage will enable Siyalima irrigation scheme farmers in Ward One to communicate with Agritex extension workers, while using online tools to find markets for farm produce such potatoes, beans, soya beans, wheat and maize” she said.
The provincial affairs minister said mining activities in chrome and
nickel will benefit immensely from the base station deployed in this area as they will now be able to communicate using various technologies to enhance their operations and productivity.
Netone Acting Chief Executive Officer, Raphael Mushanawani said Information Communication Technology (ICTs) is at the heart of the second Republic of Zimbabwe’s vision 2030 and National Development Strategy Goal Number 1 as an enabler for development, communication and business investment.
Mushanawani added that the Base Station is important and strategic towards improving connectivity and communication for many in Mashonaland Central.
“It is without doubt that indeed information communication technology is the backbone of the new normal.
“The nation and the world at large witnessed the critical role that information communication technology played when COVID-19 threatened to business to a halt.
“As a business NetOne has embraced its role in achieving the National Development Strategy Goal 1 that is to digitalize the economy through the use of information communication technologies. We are excited to be taking part in the provision of seamless information communication technology services.
“The world continued to function in a contact-less environment; business continued with its day to day operations, Government departments continued to provide the much needed services through e-services”, Mushanawani explained.
He said the health sector, education sector and the agriculture sector continued to provide services through e-health, e-learning and e-farming respectively.
Meanwhile, NetOne recently commissioned a USD71 million project which includes the construction of the wireless communication network, site energy provision, microwave transmission network, IP core network, network operation and maintenance system, and other supporting communication hardware and software facilities, and supporting engineering, throughout the country.