BY BEAUTY NYUKE
POSTAL and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director-general Gift Machengete yesterday said there was need for equitable distribution of resources so that no one is left out in embracing technology, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic period.
Machengete was addressing the Zimbabwe World Radio Communications 2019 (WRC-19) feedback meeting, a precursor to the WRC-2023, where he urged experts to push for progressive ideas at the conference.
WRC conferences are held every three to four years to review, and, if necessary, revise the radio regulations, among other issues.
“We are holding this meeting in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused unprecedented human carnage and devastation of economies and livelihoods,” Machengete said.
“As we look forward and contemplate the ‘building back’ era, we face the reality of a widening digital divide between the ‘haves and the have-nots’ and between the urban and rural segments of our populations. We need to urgently resolve these social vices,” he added.
“We need to move with speed to address these barriers and inequalities of our time. It is, therefore, imperative that the policy and regulatory environment is modernised in order to make it attractive for investment to flow into those areas that are currently being shunned for one reason or the other.”
He said it was imperative for those responsible for distribution of resources to create an equal society.
“A society where no one is left behind in terms of connectivity and in terms of the access to the social benefits that are brought about by the digital economy,” Machengete said.
“In this respect, Potraz will continue playing its part in ensuring that all citizens benefit from resources falling under its purview.”
He said the WRC-23 agenda comprises a number of items useful for rural development.
“Zimbabwe, along with other African countries is also looking to new technologies such as high altitude platform IMT base stations. I invite you as experts to thoroughly analyse the matters in the agenda and the studies related to them in order to propose positions that are most advantageous for our nation.”