Information and Communication Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa says Zimbabwe will by 2014 be the hub for information and technology (ICT) on the continent given the rapid growth experienced by the sector in the last two years.
Chamisa said government had adopted “ZimConnect”, which is a masterplan that seeks to transform the country’s ICT sector and the way of doing business.
Chamisa said government has since completed the $16 million optic fibre link that is set to fasten the flow of information.
The project is expected to be launched in a few weeks following satisfactory successful trial runs.
Chamisa said ICTs were enablers in areas of business, education, health and small-to- medium enterprises.
“Internet speed will be enhanced and our reliance on thin satellite pipes that restrict speed will be a thing of the past,” said Chamisa. “The cost of doing business will be low and volumes of data will improve. Quality of flow of data will also improve phenomenally.”
He said as part of efforts to ensure government operations are reformed in the way it conducts its business, all public institutions will be connected.
Presenting his 2011 National Budget, Finance minister Tendai Biti said substantial resources had been set aside to create an e-government platform which would enable citizens to obtain government information and services from their local district offices without waiting in queues and travelling long distances.
Chamisa said the completion of the fibre optic cable would also assist to bridge the urban and rural divide.
“There is a global handshake which is the undersea cable. All we have to do is link with the global communication handshake to link the whole continent. That is why I insist come 2014, we will be the hub of ICTs in Africa.
“We can do work for Europe from here. We have the best brains, geographical location and skills and nothing can stop us from having world-class communication infrastructure,” Chamisa said.
He said the ICT government school was functioning well with several civil servants expressing willingness to be part of technology.