Keeping You posted

With Trusted Zimbabwe News as well as Local and Regional Perspectives.

CICs Enabling Communities To Access The Internet & Participation In The Digital Economy

By Faith Chimutsa

Community and Information Centres in Harare Province were launched on Tuesday by Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Hon Dr Jenfan Muswere on the backdrop of inclusivity and equality.

Speaking at the launch of the ten Community and Information Centres (CICs) in Glen-View at one of the CICs, Minsiter applauded the programme as it was not leaving anyone behind with urban areas also being considered after the programme had been carried in rural areas.

“The programme has been included in urban areas so that those who were complaining due to lack of free internet access in urban areas are covered”, Muswere said.

This is because the importance of CICs to everyone in the country cannot be understated. CICs enable communities to access the Internet and participate in the digital economy. CICs also promote Human Capital Development and Innovation through free computer skills training as well as research which is conducted at these centres.

Communications service providers Econet, Telone, Netone and Telecel graced the event at Glen- View Post Office.

Speaking at the same occasion, POTRAZ Director General Dr G K Machengete said the Authority is moving with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) theme of “Leaving No One And No Place Behind”, which theme has also been adopted and adapted into NDS1.

“One such project, which is leaving no one and no place behind is the Community Information Centre project. The launch of CICs in Harare Province excites me as it dispels allegations that POTRAZ only focuses on rural areas – leaving urban communities behind”,said Machengete.

“While I admit that we are more visible in rural areas due to the existing rural-urban divide, we are cognisant of the need for Internet access and use programs in cities and towns too, hence the setting up of CICs in Harare and other urban parts of the country as we promote inclusivity and equality”,he added.

CICs are source of economic emancipation as community members including women and youth get to use the Internet to market their products and services, which enhances their capacity to do business.

To date, a total of 170 CICs have been established country wide and an additional 32 are under construction and will open their doors to the public next year.

Internet surfing is free of charge at all CICs, hence, everyone is encouraged to visit their nearest CIC every now and again and make full use of these facilities.

If used irresponsibly, ICTs can bring more harm than good to society. In this regard, as the Authority responsible for Data Protection, POTRAZ is rolling out programs aimed at ensuring that risks associated with Internet use are mitigated.

As the ICT sector regulator, POTRAZ pledges full support in implementing the Smart Zimbabwe Masterplan and at ensuring ICTs make a meaningful impact to society as demanded by NDS1 and also contributes meaningfully towards the attainment of Vision 2030.