By Shingirai Vambe
Harare- The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology’s (ICT) drive in digitalising and improving voice and internet connectivity across Zimbabwe since time immemorial has recorded growth, the Postal and Telecommunication authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) reveals.
POTRAZ Director General, Dr Gift Machengete told journalists in Harare (Monday) that the telecommunications sector is positively improving the economy with high performance figures highlighted in the 2021 fourth quarter postal and telecommunications sector performance report.
The Government of Zimbabwe, during the tenure of the later former president, Robert Mugabe equipped schools across the country with computers while telecoms companies increased coverage so as to improve and modernise movement of information in the country.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also contributed to push the sector’s performance and growth as physical gatherings got suspended. The lockdown resulted in increased use of virtual platforms for work related meetings including the education sector. This resulted in a sharp increase on the use of Internet data in the country, said Dr Machengete.
He added that due to climate change, adaptation and the stipulated 40% target towards reducing emissions, the use of generators has significantly decreased with communities adopting the use of more cleaner renewable energy.
Dr Machengete emphasised the importance of promoting Community Information Centres as a way of popularizing and encouraging communities to adopt the use of solar energy especially among rural communities.
He emphasized why it is important to promote the use of the internet and the installation of fibre within rural communities at a more larger scale adding that this not only improves linkages and the smooth flow of information but it ensures fast and cheaper connectivity.
“We don’t want rural schools to be left behind, and we are connecting them using bandwidth together with rural clinics using the Universal Service Fund (USF).
Machengete said his organisation is going to establish 800 computer labs around the country, giving a total of between 80 to 100 computers per province.
The over argued price of data in the country was clarified, said to be the cheapest in the region.
Arguments are that the majority are now failing to buy data for business and educational purposes, as it is creating bottle necks between the rural and urban settlers.