ICT should be the new normal: Minister

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Jenfan Muswere

BY MOSES MATENGA

GOVERNMENT yesterday called for concerted use of information communication technology (ICT) in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was said by ICT minister Jenfan Muswere during the launch of the Nyachuru containerised village information centre in Mashonaland Central province.

Muswere said the respiratory disease was still upon us, hence use of ICTs should be the new normal.

“We are, indeed, living in trying times. At a time when we all thought that we were winning the war against the COVID-19 pandemic, experts told us early this year that the virus was mutating into even more dangerous variants in terms of its ability to spread among people,” Muswere said.

“This really is entrenching itself as the new reality, an environment where every aspect of life is now underpinned by broadband connectivity. It is, therefore, only fair that as a country, we do not leave anyone behind when it comes to broadband connectivity, whether they are living in rural areas or in urban centres,” he said.

Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) director-general Gift Machengete said ICTs had enabled communities to function even during the deadly COVID-19 pandemic; hence the need to ensure connectivity.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the true value of ICTs to humanity.  In the midst of the pandemic, ICTs provided platforms for e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture, e-commerce and virtual meetings where physical interaction was replaced by virtual interaction. ICTs also provided for livestreaming of church services, weddings and funerals,” he said.

Machengete said Potraz assisted Mashonaland Central province with 15 community information centres, four of which were containerised, while 11 were set up at post
offices.

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