‘Zim lacks political will to implement digitalisation programme’

Source: ‘Zim lacks political will to implement digitalisation programme’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe

GOVERNMENT lacks the political will to implement digitalisation programmes for public institutions, leaving the country lagging behind as the world migrates to e-technologies.

This was said by Janet Zhou, the executive director at Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd), in a paper titled Digitalisation Implications on Macro-economic Stability: Moving From Cliché to Government Action Part 1.

ZBC’s digitalisation programme has missed several deadlines due to underfunding.

Zhou said Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s $3,3 billion allocation for information communication technologies in the 2022 national  budget was too little to drive the digitalisation agenda.

“Given the huge need to develop the digital infrastructure exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a meagre allocation as it has to be divided across sectors for a digitally-facilitated rebound from the impacts of the pandemic,” Zhou said.

“However, Zimbabwe, like many other African countries, lacks investment in digital infrastructure due to the debate around who should meet the costs, the huge infrastructural funding gap and the lack of political will to roll out digitalisation programmes for public institutions.

“This includes hardware and software infrastructure for production enhancement, communications networks, payment services, market linkages, detection of risks, transparent and accountable operations among others.”

Zhou said digitalisation had the potential to transform the economy.