Greetings fellow tech enthusiasts, digital pioneers, and aficionados of the cyber realm!
Today, let's embark on a light-hearted journey into the fascinating world of information and communication technology (ICT) in our beloved motherland.
Buckle up, and let's dive into the saga of the "ICT budget allocation not adequate".
Ah, the sweet aroma of progress!
While we applaud the Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube for the recent allocation to ICT and postal services, it seems some of us in the digital trenches are left yearning for a bit more budgetary love. It's like ordering a pizza and receiving just one slice – we appreciate it, but come on, we need the whole pie!
Data dilemmas and ISP struggles
Picture this: Data prices soaring higher than a kite, and our dear internet service providers (ISPs) grappling with power outages more often than a teenager changes outfits.
It's a real-life drama, folks!
- Budget dampens workers’ hopes
- Govt issues $24 billion Covid-19 guarantees
- Letter to my People:They have no answers for Nero’s charisma
- ZMX to enhance farm profitability
The impact of this tiny budget becomes even more hilarious when you consider the grand symphony of services that ICT conducts for our developing nation.
Taxman's tech troubles:
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), our taxman extraordinaire, trying to collect taxes on gadgets over data networks takes an effort to implement the new TarMS systems linked to other systems like SVYUDA , Registry , Deeds Office etc all with reliable connectivity.
Currently I know of no statutory instrument in place so as to enable Starlink kits acquisition and deployments.
The kits are sneaking in like mischievous party crashers, and the taxman is left scratching his head.
Taxman, it’s in your best interests to support more allocations to the digital arena.
Imagine trying to achieve the 2030 vision with an ICT backbone resembling a wobbly chair with a leg missing — not the most promising sight.
Our service level agreement (SLA) is like a report card, and right now, it’s certainly well below any acceptable standards.
Service level agreements (SLAs) for telecommunications, including network availability, are typically measured using key performance indicators (KPIs).
Network availability is a critical metric, and it is commonly expressed as a percentage.
The acceptable value for network availability can vary depending on the specific SLA negotiated between the telecommunications service provider and its customers.
However, industry standards and common benchmarks often set a target of 99.9% or higher for network availability.
Green dreams and solar schemes:
Let's talk about the eco-friendly kind. How about we trim down on overseas trips, save some hard-earned cash, and invest it in creating a fund for operators to go green? Solar energy enthusiasts, rejoice!
There are rebates waiting to be claimed. Reward the eco-warriors, and watch them reduce the load on our national grid - hello carbon green credits where are you?
Digital dreams and innovations:
The ministry of ICT holds the magic wand for digital dreams and innovations, but alas, the budget isn't adequate and likely not be adequate but as it stands it’s a bit on the low side.
Too many variables involved.
I am no economist and don't wish to be one.
Our youth are raring to dive into the realms of AI, ML, blockchain, and more, but they need a reliable internet connection and energy – not the kind that leaves you in the dark during an important Zoom call.
We did it during Covid-19 remote working and learning. “Why can't we did it now ?”
A plea for fewer seminars and more action
Let's cut to the chase – fewer seminars where people talk, clap hands, and then promptly forget everything discussed, but more hands-on workshops to impart hard core skills to our youth. With no skills base innovation hubs count for nothing.
I prefer the research and development approach.
There is a 2016 national ICT policy in place that needs a makeover to keep up with the ever-evolving cyber space. Security and privacy?
Yeah, we need a balancing act like a circus performer on a tightrope.
Dear Honourable minister of ICT, I humbly implore you to revisit the drawing board, dust off the original plan, and request the treasury to more than treble the ICT budget allocation.
Let those allocations be devolved to each province, like spreading margarine evenly on toast.
Let's not have 90% of all things ICT congregating in Harare – it's time to share the tech drive to all corners of the country. We are all in this digital journey together !
Punitive regulations and laws will only achieve the opposite effect.
Disruptive technologies follow no man made rules.
The best is to learn them, understand them and then take a proactive approach to pre-empty problems that may arise.
I don't have to narrate here what text messaging and email did to the post man and his letters.
Also I always wonder why government institutions use public and free, personal email platforms like Gmail?
Yours in the cyber trenches,
- Robert Ndlovu @robertndlovu | [email protected] | 263 77 600 2605