Home » Governance » ZIMBABWE GOVT URGED TO EMBRACE ICT TO HELP TURN AROUND THE ECONOMY

HARARE, Dec 17 — The Zimbabwe government should seriously consider embracing Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to assist in turning around the economy, the National Assembly has been told.

The ICT sector in Zimbabwe has registered tremendous growth in the past five years with mobile penetration surging to 104 per cent last year while Internet penetration recorded an estimated 40 per cent growth.

However, despite such growth, use of ICTs remains largely concentrated in urban centres while other parts, particularly the rural areas, have not seen much penetration.

Debating the 2015 national Budget, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on ICT and Kuwadzana Member of Parliament, Nelson Chamisa, said Tuesday that many developed countries had recorded significant economic growth by leveraging on the ICT sector.

“There seems to be a serious lack of appreciation by this government of the importance of ICTs in economic development,” he said. “Other countries are now talking of e-government, i-government. If we do not do something we will forever remain on the back foot.”

Chamisa bemoaned the budget allocation for the ICT Ministry for 2015 as being too little to carry out any meaningful development. “We know that the economy is the land and the land is the economy, but we need also to start thinking that ICTs are the economy and the economy is in ICTs.”

Analysts contend that ICTs, if fully exploited, can provide economic opportunities to both urban and rural populations that can lift economies, and provide smart, high-end jobs for the next generation.

Connectivity whether through the Internet or mobile phones is increasingly bringing market information, financial services and health services to remote areas. New ICTs, in particular high-speed Internet, are changing the way companies do business, transforming public service delivery and democratizing innovation.

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

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