By Tongai Mwenje
The Zimbabwean Government has reaffirmed its commitment to ICTs and amplified their message that they have upgraded their priority towards it in the ZimAsset, the government`s strategic plan towards turning around the economy.
The Vice president Hon Joice Mujuru said ICTs will play a very signficant part in turning around the fortunes of the country and is amongst the top performing industry as it is going through tremendous growth. The Vice President stated that ICTs are as important and significant as Agriculture and Mining in Zimbabwe, a sure confirmation that the newly introduced ministry is getting the proper attention it deserved, equaled to other vital revenue earners for the nation
The ministry of ICT has held a successful e-tech Africa 2014 Exhibition Expo recently at the Harare International Conference Center, running from the 12th -14TH of March 2014.
The expo was attended by a quite number of renowned companies, organisations and institutions sending a bold message to the world that Zimbabwean technology community is now ready to tap into the 21st Century technology. With the quality of products and services show cased during the expo it has become obvious that the government is left out with nothing but to consider this fast growing industry in its economic blue print, the ZIMASSET.
In his speech, the guest of honour, honourable senior minister in the office of the president and cabinet ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo hailed the ICT ministry, and had words to stamp that surely its part of the ZIMASSET agenda, ¨ICT is a cross cutting sector and is one of the principle drivers of economic development. It is in fact one of the major pillars on which the ZIMASSET strategy document is anchored¨, he said.
Government has been committed to ensuring the growth of the Information Communication Technologies industry since independence and will continue to work towards increased growth as the sector is important in the realisation of the country’s goals, a cabinet minister has said
In his speech at the review of the ICT policy framework recently, the minister of ICT honourable Webster Shamu said the inclusion of ICT Governance in ZIMASSET was a signal of the government’s commitment to the industry.
¨ZimAsset has ICT governance as of the quick wins, forcing on issues of developing and reviewing the appropriate ICT legislation and policies. It also seeks to promote the growth of the industry for empowerment and employment creation,¨ he said
Minister Shamu indicated that government’s commitment had played a pivotal role in promoting the growth that the country had registered so far.
¨The growth we witness has been achieved through a realisation of the indispensable, nature of ICTs, and government initiated the development of the first national ICT Policy framework in 2005 which was launched by his Excellence President Robert Mugabe.
The sector is making significant roads into the Zimbabwean society. Huge investments are being made by both the public and private sectors in the ICT business in the country. The past few years have witnessed tremendous expansion in ICT resources and facilities,¨ he said
The development and application of information technologies since independence, Minister Shamu said, has seen unprecedented changes due to the fast technologies developments that have been registered in the sector.
Mobile penetration has also risen to close to 104.4% thus translating to approximately 13.6 million subscribers in the country and the internet penetration rate increased to 39.8% from 33.4 as of December 2012, he said
Various experts from service providers, content creators, programmers, developers to mention but a few showed why the government had to consider this sector as a pillar on which the ZIMASSET strategic agenda document is anchored.
They proved why they had left the comfort of their offices, it is this preparedness mindset to turn around the economy that forced them to be part of the event.