‘Sanctions to blame for outdated ICT infrastructure’

Source: ‘Sanctions to blame for outdated ICT infrastructure’ | Herald (Top Stories)

Minister Kazembe

Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
THE country requires robust state-of-the-art infrastructure for ICTs to be competitive in line with the global trends, Information Communication Technology and Courier Services Minister Kazembe Kazembe has said. In an interview with The Herald last week, Minister Kazembe said there was need for infrastructure development in the ICT sector.

“In order for us to catch up, we have to make sure that we do have the infrastructure in place,” he said.

“To deploy that infrastructure, we need foreign currency. As long as we have these sanctions (imposed by the United States and European Union) in place, there is no way we can earn the required foreign currency.

“If Government does not have access to foreign currency, it cannot finance these projects because most of the equipment we deploy is imported. We import from companies like Huawei and ZTE, so we need foreign currency.”

Minister Kazembe said deployment of ICT infrastructure was capital intensive, which required the removal of sanctions to enable local players to approach international financial institutions for funding.

“ICT infrastructure is resource hungry; it’s quite expensive and capital intensive and for our companies to be able to deploy ICT infrastructure.

“They need assistance from international financiers and sanctions have blocked credit lines, which means our companies cannot borrow any money,” he said.

“This means we always remain behind in terms of technology. We cannot embrace new infrastructure such as base stations for mobile connectivity or other ICT equipment. For us to be able to use the latest ICT applications, the latest smart solutions, we first have to have infrastructure in place. We have to ensure there is connectivity for everybody, and for us to have better connectivity, we have to deploy better infrastructure, which basically means we need foreign currency.”

Minister Kazembe said sanctions had other effects. Production levels in the manufacuring sector were at their lowest as industries cannot retool.

“Since the industry requires retooling, we cannot produce, we cannot export and we cannot earn foreign currency,” said Minister Kazembe.

He called on stakeholders to come up with robust solutions to counter the effects of sanctions.  Minister Kazembe said it was important to start looking at the country’s capabilities and human capital to try and develop own applications, and try to manufacture ICT equipment, cellphones and computers.

He said in the short term, Zimbabwe needed financial assistance to boost its ICT sector.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    Cynical 1 year ago

    Well, conduct your reforms and prosecute the corrupt !!!

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    Saddened 1 year ago

    Errr, you had locally $US in the bank which you as government replaced when you raided the Nostra account stealing the life savings of the population. Perhaps instead of stealing from the people and then beating and shooting them when they protest you could allow free and fair elections and follow your own constitution.
    Remember bad debtors rarely get given loans. Ask the Chinese, even they wont lend to you any more.

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    Tendai 1 year ago

    Blaming Sanctions for the collapse of industry is nonsense …………we have no electricity to keep factories going , and the blame is with ZESA and the Government , they are the ones

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      GoRobin 1 year ago

      What a cock and bull excuse for complete incompetence and corruption by ZANU PF. They will soon blame sanctions on the very negligible value that their new ZIM$5 will have when they issue them shortly. Fancy $5 being worth about US 5 cents when it is released. And all that money to print a note which is worth less than one small coin of small change. Yes, it must be blamed on sanctions.

  • comment-avatar

    Only total idiots think there are sanctions on this country.

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    What load of rubbish. The problems are of your own making. Correct these and you might start to recover. I do wish you what stop belly aching about sanctions THERE ARE NONE. This article is all lies and shows desperation is setting in. Idiots Sat round a table, bits paper with ideas on them and the one that did not fall on the floor was ‘sanctions’ – “sounds good – public will buy it – we will go for that – Great – Golden future ahead – yes absolutely – it’s the evil world that will not bank roll us – That is what I like to hear, sold logical argument”: [Cat sat in corner] ” what about the looting, the dodgy deals, human rights, bent elections, people dead”: [the rest of the gathering] ” Nothing to do with that we have decided, we will go for the sanctions lie” [they all join hands and sing Hallelujah hallelujah]. FOOLS