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Zimbabwe clocks 60% Internet penetration

by Staff reporter
22 Dec 2020 at 06:48hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE'S Internet penetration jumped to about 60 percent in the third quarter of 2020 from 56 percent in the previous quarter as the country intensifies efforts to increase digital connectivity, which is vital in building a vibrant digital economy.

The attainment of a digital economy and a knowledge society are some of the key pillars of National Development Strategy (NDS1:2021-2025), launched last month by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a building block towards an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

The new blue-print places the digital economy as one of the 14 national priorities for the period 2021–2025. Zimbabweans are increasingly embracing digital technologies as a new normal under the Covid-19 lockdown, which demands social distancing and contactless means of transacting.

Internet connectivity is one of the national key result areas for outcomes leading to improved access and usage of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs.) and developing a digitally enabled economy.

A youth accesses Internet at the newly commissioned information centre in Filabusi yesterday Dr Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of ICTs, Postal and Courier Services, said this yesterday in Insiza, Matabeleland South, where he officially launched the Filabusi Community Information Centre (CIC).

"Internet penetration rose by 3,2 percent (in third quarter) to reach 59,9 percent from the 56,7 percent recorded in the second quarter of this year," said Dr Muswere.

"It's important for the country to maintain this growth trajectory so that no one is left behind in the digital economy."

The minister said the inclusion of the digital economy in NDS1 was testimony of the Government's commitment to facilitating increased ICTs usage and other emerging technologies to transform the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.

As such, he said CICs were part of the equation as they provide an affordable alternative for underserved communities to participate in the information age.

"The Government will continue to provide an enabling environment for the growth of the telecommunications sector. Access to ICTs and effective participation in the digital economy remains critical in improving the quality of life for all the people of Zimbabwe," said Dr Muswere.

The launch of the Filabusi CIC comes after the launch of a similar facility in Maphisa in August.

The Government, through the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) and the Universal Service Fund (USF), has been investing in establishing mobile network base stations to remote areas across the country to enhance network connectivity.

Private sector players such as Econet, NetOne and Telecel have also spread their base station footprint in a bid to expand the number of subscribers.

To facilitate more ICT-related investments, Dr Muswere said the Government would continue providing a conducive environment for the growth of the telecommunications sector.

He called upon the youth in Insiza District to take up studies in the different disciplines in the ICT sector and to make use of the CIC to conduct research and when preparing for their examinations.

Source - chronicle

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