ICT to play a key role in Zim economy

By utilising ICT, a business can improve its efficiency and effectiveness, while also being more responsive to customer requirements.

ICT's ability to extend the range of technologies, including high-speed internet, mobile broadband, and computing allows for economic growth, while also improving productivity and communication among people.

The United Nations (UN) report on ICT highlights that knowledge and information are fundamental to the achievement of all sustainable development goals (SDGs) and have become essential components of our lives. Knowledge and information are the driving forces behind people's actions, whether in government or small villages. The 2030 Agenda highlights the importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to create knowledge societies where everyone has a chance to learn and engage with others.

Additionally, ICT is crucial for this development. According to SDG 9, countries should strive to create a strong infrastructure, encourage inclusive industrialisation, and promote innovation.

ICT encompasses all technology that facilitates the utilisation of information by individuals, businesses, and organisations. The term is used to describe all electronic products that handle digital information.

Wireless networks connect mobile phones to the internet, which are both included in ICT. Additionally, it encompasses all the aged technologies, including outdated devices like landline phones, television, and radio.

ICT products imports (% total goods imports) in Zimbabwe were reported at 2,1478 % in 2021, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognised sources.

Nevertheless, in several regions of Zimbabwe, individuals and communities do not know how to use computers or the internet. The use of the internet is more prevalent in developed countries, with over 80% of people using it, while less than 35% do so in developing countries.

Most of the other 65% are often impoverished and isolated communities, or marginalised groups. It is possible that these communities are fragile and face difficulties in recovering from years of conflict. Access is necessary for all these communities, and I believe this holds true, especially for those who have been affected by conflict or have experienced a post-conflict period.

By utilising ICT, a business can improve its efficiency and effectiveness, while also being more responsive to customer requirements. The use of ICT can enhance business activities, such as design, manufacturing, R&D, distribution, sales, and feedback.

The reports that suggest ICT will decrease the demand for face-to-face communication and result in greater dispersion of economic activity, contradicts the commonly held beliefs. The use of ICT drives industrial agglomeration. Moreover, the utilisation of the internet for job and recruitment research can result in efficiency improvements for both labour markets and the economy, as it reduces transaction expenses and enhances matchmaking between employees and vacancies by disseminating job information more effectively.

Unicef Zimbabwe has been working closely with several ministries, including the Primary and Secondary Education, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, and Youth, Sport and Recreation to promote inter-ministerial cooperation and implement digital learning in all schools across Zimbabwe.

According to Unicef, 7 650 schools out of 10 522 are without internet connection, and 36% of the schools cannot access electricity.

Unicef, with the assistance of the United Kingdom, is implementing solar projects in 154 schools to enhance education quality for all children by providing electricity to remote schools.

The use of ICT in the corporate environment facilitates faster and more efficient communication among employees, departments, and customers.

Collaborative efforts are made easier with this. Employees, who are not physically present in the office, can engage in more productive conversations. Video conferencing technologies, like Skype and Zoom, make meetings from across geographical borders convenient.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) facilitate global economic activities, commercial transactions, and professional interactions, which are collectively known as the digital economy.

The economy can be roughly characterised as one powered by digital technologies.

The digital economy of Africa is being promoted through various programmes and initiatives in Zimbabwe.

Vision 2030 includes the establishment of ICT Special Economic Zones, a knowledge economy that is centered on ICT, and digital banking.

In its early stages, the digital economy was sometimes referred to as the internet economy, also known as "the new economy", or simply web economy due to its dependence on internet connectivity. Nevertheless, some economists and business leaders maintain that the digital economy is more advanced and intricate than the internet economy, which can be defined as simply referring to economic value obtained from the web.

Instead, the digital economy emphasises the necessity for organisations and individuals to utilise technologies to perform tasks more efficiently, frequently and often in ways that differed from traditional methods.

The Zimbabwean government must embrace ICT with urgency. The government website has not yet uploaded the list of new ministers appointed after the August 23 general elections.

What will be the effect on ICT policy implementation if IT officials working for government do not update the website regularly?

To promote the digital economy, Zimbabwe should consider introducing high-speed internet services providers like StarLink.


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