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Connect 1500 rural clinics: ICT minister

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BY ARNOLD FANDISO

INFORMATION and Communication Technology (ICT) minister Jenfan Muswere said he has ordered the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) to connect at least 1 500 rural health centres and rural schools to the broadband by December 31, 2021.

He was speaking during the launch of a community information centre in Raffingora, Mashonaland West province yesterday.

Muswere said while broadband was important for those in urban areas, it was also critical to connect rural communities so that they benefit from economic, health and educational opportunities that broadband brought.

“Indeed, access to broadband by rural communities helps to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban communities,” Muswere said.

“It is about giving the entrepreneur, the small businessperson in Raffingora, a chance to compete with the folks out in Wall Street, or across the globe.”

He also ordered ZimPost to provide free internet access at least up to December 31 2021.

“We, however, forget that people are not born coders. It is not as if suddenly if one is born in Harare they can figure out how to code a computer. That is not it. Children need to get exposed to digital technology early, so that they learn and soak it up like sponges as they grow,” the minister said.

Potraz director-general Gift Machengete said they have provided connectivity to 109 schools in Mashonaland West province under the schools connectivity programme and a further 21 schools were earmarked to benefit soon.

“Additionally, the authority has distributed 720 laptops to eight schools in the province. A further 543 laptops were also distributed to 32 schools from this province under the on-going e-learning project,” Machengete said.

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