BY EVANS MATHANDA
The containerised Village Information Centres that have been set up in Zimbabwe are expected to see the country achieving the digital economy aspirations of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), information communication technology minister Jenfan Muswere has said.
Officially commissioning the St Albert’s Village Information Centre on Friday, ICT minister said a fully digitised economy will see Zimbabwe compete at the international arena.
Said Muswere: “The Master plan, once fully rolled out, is expected to see the country achieving the digital economy aspirations of the NDS1. It will completely transform government processes, services and management, and make information access and service delivery to the general public more efficient. Over and above all this, the master plan, together with the flagship projects to pilot its implementation will steer the march towards a digital future that will transform the country to a regional technical hub, raise the country’s competitiveness and align the country in line with vision 2030’s digitalisation agenda.”
Muswere also urged communities to use ICT infrastructure productively in an era where cyber-crime and cyber bullying are threatening technology use.
“As we deploy ICT infrastructure throughout the country, let me reiterate the need to ensure that safety and security of users is guaranteed. As I always say, building and maintaining user trust is paramount to the success of the digital economy. Users want assurance that they will be safe, and their personal data will be protected whilst they are transacting in cyberspace. We are pleased to note that the Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill is now very close to becoming law, after it went through parliament last month.”
“The main purpose of this Bill is to consolidate cyber related offences and provide for data protection with due regard to the Declaration of Rights under our Constitution and the protection of the public and national interest,” he added.
Speaking at the same occasion, postal and telecommunications regulatory authority (POTRAZ) director general, Gift Machengete said community information centres will transform communities providing easy access to e-learning facilities.
“Lives can be transformed through ICTs; people can be empowered and emancipated through ICTs. The advantages of community information centres are enormous as they facilitate e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture and e-commerce and soon, e-government. At community information centres, people can acquire digital skills such as web designing, graphic designing, digital marketing, robotics, animation, content creation and 3D printing among others,” Machengete said.
Chief Matthew Chitemamuswe Chiweshe called upon the Zimbabwe republic police to help in protecting their newly installed IT infrastructure since incidences of crime have been on the rise lately in that area.
“It is a precious thing that our children now have a place to learn computers for free and no one should be left behind, technology is the way to go. However, our police officers should be responsible enough to protect this village information centre,” he said.