Zimbabwe has been ranked high in the digital economy given its widespread use of mobile money platforms, online banking and international activity, according to a World Bank commissioned Digital Economy for Africa Diagnostic Report.
This was revealed by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa at the 18th post Cabinet briefing yesterday.
She said Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Jenfan Muswere presented to Cabinet, a report on the launch of the World Bank Digital Economy for Zimbabwe, Country Diagnostic Report.
The report entailed gathering of data from stakeholders across all social and economic sectors from 2018 to 2019, with a draft report having been presented for feedback in 2020 and the final report completed in 2021.
A virtual presentation to senior Government officials and other stakeholders by a World Bank team was launched on May 27 2021, said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“The diagnostic report assesses Zimbabwe’s current position relative to other countries across the world, with the most advanced countries being categorised in the ‘advanced stage’ and the least developed being classified ‘nascent stage’.
“Highlights of the findings include that Zimbabwe is quite advanced in the digital financial services pillar, mainly due to the ubiquitous use of mobile money and online banking services.
“Digital infrastructure was considered to be fairly advanced in terms of international connectivity but still lacking in internal connectivity, particularly in rural areas,” she said.
It was noted that while the country generally had a high general literacy, specialised digital skills were deemed to be lagging behind technology.
“Digital Government platforms were considered to be improving rapidly even though lack of funding in previous years has meant that there is still large scope for further improvement.
“Finally, digital enterpreneurship was assessed to be in its early stages and in need of greater funding for start-ups as well as for development of links between innovation centres and businesses in order to enable commercialisation of inventions,” she said.
In a related matter, Cabinet also considered the country’s second Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals in Zimbabwe that was presented by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima.
The review entailed progress the country made since the adoption of the 17 SDGs with their 169 targets and 232 indicators underpinned by the core principle of leaving no one behind.
Minister Mutsvangwa said SDGs under review for 2021 included eradication of poverty, hunger, promotion of
good health and well being, decent work and economic growth, among others.
“Progress has been recorded in reducing all forms of violence and related deaths. This has been achieved through alignment of laws to the Constitution, improved inclusive access to justice and creation of new laws that promote human rights.
“The public is advised that improved agricultural production and productivity is addressing Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2, 5 and 8 through increased agricultural output, incomes, participation of women and throughout from agriculture to agro-processing industries,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“Furthermore, progress has been made towards universal health coverage through sustained investment in public health infrastructure, equipment, capacitation of human resources for health, procurement and distribution of medicines and sundries as well as development and review of health related legal and policy frameworks.”
She said High Level Political Forum on SDGs will be held virtually from July 6 to 15, 2021, under the theme “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development; building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.