Minister of Information Communication Technology ,Postal and Courier Services Honorable Kazembe Kazembe officially opened the Mpandawana Information Centre on Friday in Masvingo, as part of efforts to develop telecommunication standards and remain competitive in the ICT-driven global economy.
The launch comes at a time when the world is commemorating the 50th World Telecommunications and Information Society Day and Mpandawana was chosen on a rotational basis meant to ensure inclusivity of all provinces nationwide.
Speaking during the official launch Minister Kazembe said going digital is the future and that digitisation is no longer a matter of choice or demonstration of opulence rather it is much needed for socio-economic growth.
“It is up to us to ensure that to ensure that the current wave of industrial revolution does not leave us behind. It is up to us to ensure that the digital divide is bridged and that the future is smart- smart agriculture, smart mining, smart Health, smart grid and smart communities” he said.
Minister Kazembe encouraged local people to utilize the information centre and facilities that are there which include computers, printers and gaming stations.
Potraz Director General, Dr Gift Machengete urged the Mpandawana community to invest on digital agenda and prioritize critical reforms in the ICT sector.
“Among the most important things to be done, is to increase investment on the digital agenda and prioritize critical reforms in the ICT sector as this would lead to an exponential growth in GDP” Dr Machengete said.
Dr Machengete said as Potraz, they will make sure that no citizens are left behind, even those in rural areas must be part of this digital era.In addition, they will achieve this through setting up more containerized village information centres which will be equipped with computers and other facilities to educate locals in ICTs.
Educational institutions have a vital role to play in the ICT sector, and the Regulator has implored these institutions to focus more on teaching critical thinking than rote learning focusing more on future jobs from programming and coding, to advanced technology like artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality.
The event, also saw the opening of Zimpost’s newly-renovated Gutu Post Office, which has since been divided to create space for a computer lab, printers and scanners that will be used for surfing the internet at lower rates.