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ICT revolution an opportunity for business

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BY BUSINESS REPORTER

President Robert Mugabe has said local business leaders should always strive to be employers, taking advantage of the revolution happening in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.

“We do not want to be always employees, we also want to be employers, even better employers,” Mugabe said at the official opening of the Bindura Community Information Centre on Saturday.

The centre is the eighth to be officially opened by Mugabe following those in Masvingo, Manicaland, Matabeleland North,
Matabeleland South, Midlands, Mashonaland East and Murombedzi.

ICT, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira said the ministry was doing a lot in the ICT sector, urging the business community to take advantage of the revolution.

“The initiative to computerise our communities is also a huge opportunity for the business community. You were interacting with them on Thursday, and one of the most important things industry must do is to retool and this includes a very important component which is ICTs.

“The business community should see the opportunity on the work that we are doing through you President. These computers are imported, but they should be assembled in this country, the smart phones we are importing should be manufactured in this country. We are inviting the business community to see these opportunities,” he said.

Mandiwanzira said his ministry was also working with the Primary and Secondary Education ministry to provide computers and necessary equipment for ICT development in schools.

The government is targeting more than 160 information centres by year-end, while looking into having information centres in all the country’s constituencies.

The ICT revolution is set to bridge the digital divide, according to Ozias Bvute, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) chairman.

“As Potraz, we will make sure there is connectivity in all parts of the country,” he said.

In his 2016 annual budget review, Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa said extending the ICT infrastructure to all parts of the country remained central in enhancing communication systems in the economy.

“Support towards back-bone ICT infrastructure, digitalisation migration projects, as well as the E-Government programme, amounted to $85,6 million during the year 2016,” he said.

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