‘ICT set to drive economic recovery’

ZIMBABWE Information and Communication Technologies (ZICT) says the information and communications technology (ICT) sector has potential to create 40 000 jobs as it is one of the fastest growing sectors.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

“While all the other sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy experience a period of extreme difficulties, the ICT sector presents a tremendous opportunity for economic growth. Without a doubt, ICT is a critical foundation upon which the Zimbabwean economic recovery will occur,” chairperson, Jacob Mutisi, said.

“To ensure this potential, all parties including the government of Zimbabwe must uphold their responsibilities to ensure healthy market-based relationships, where parties both compete and cooperate. Make no mistake; the ICT industry sector is strong and economically healthy. The ICT sector has the potential to create plus or minus 40 000 new jobs if it participates in all current and future infrastructure development.”

He said unlike many other sectors of the Zimbabwean economy facing all sorts of operating challenges, the ICT industry had remained remarkably resilient in the face of the macro-economic instability.

“At this time when our economic growth is slow and continuously volatile in Zimbabwe, the new government should be looking for policies that will stimulate growth and create new jobs,” he said.

“With the incoming President Emmerson Mnangagwa stressing the importance of, ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ and the need for economic growth, at the present time, ICT has become a serious economic driver and the number one contributor to the fiscus. It is not only one of the fastest-growing industries directly creating thousands of jobs, but it is also an important enabler of innovation and development.”

Part of Mnangagwa’s economic recovery plan includes creating jobs in the economy, where an estimated 90% of the country’s working class are unemployed and have turned to informal activities to eke a living.

Mutisi said by adopting the right policies, strategies and programmes the government should encourage the incorporation of ICT investments in all physical infrastructures which would lead to jobs.

In the 2018 National Budget released, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said government would deepen the use of ICTs in the economy, consistent with the National Policy on ICT.

He added that this would be done by targeting e-Government and e-learning programmes, and expanding coverage of the fibre optic backbone infrastructure.

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