Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Honorable Kazembe Kazembe has commissioned the 146th Community Information Centre (CIC) today in Beitbridge, as government bridges the digital divide between urban and the remote areas around the country.
Speaking during the launch, Hon Kazembe spoke on the progress that government has made in commissioning CICs and how they envision every person in Zimbabwe to have access and basic literacy skills in ICTs.
“Beitbridge Community Information Centre is one of the 146 Community Information Centers set-up in the 10 Provinces of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“Ninety eigh of the CICs are already operating and 41 of them will provide free training in the use of computers to members of the community,”.
The launch of CICs across the country has generally been anchored on the need to enable connectivity. Minister Kazembe added that CICs will not be enough to ensure connectivity rather internet access was also of high priority in these areas.
“The establishment of Community Information Centers alone will not address all the ICT needs of our communities. Government is working hard to ensure that there is adequate Mobile Network Coverage in all wards in Zimbabwe,” he added.
According to the Minister, Potraz has also agreed with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to fund the construction of 15 Base Stations in underserved areas under the Build Transfer and Operate (BTO) arrangement. Construction is expected to kick off this year. When complete, this development will see identified areas without sufficient network coverage being catered for.
Meanwhile , Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete implored members in the private sector to put their financial muscle behind Government ICT programs that are aimed at improving both access and use.
“Private Public Partnerships in ICT infrastructure roll out and in ICT training and development are therefore the way to go if ever we are to attain our ICT access and use targets,” he said.