The Sunday News
Mthabisi Tshuma, Business Correspondent
GOVERNMENT has embarked on a drive of using Information Communication Technologies in communities in a bid to ensure agricultural productivity through easy flow of information and trade.
The country is into the 2020/2021 farming season preparation period for the rain fed farming approach as rains have been predicted to be above normal this year.
In that drive, the Government recently introduced the Pfumvudza/Intwasa concept which is expected to alleviate poverty in households with surplus produce set to be channelled towards regaining the country’s food security status quo in the SADC.
Through implementation of Information Communication Technologies by setting up network base stations, communities are able to freely communicate and give full attention to the agriculture necessities as trade is easily facilitated.
From each corner of the world, business is brought at the disposal of the service provider and end user on one platform mostly social media networks.
As Government moves in to offer such in-depth coverage, Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Dr Jenfan Muswere said network base stations will revolutionarise business and agriculture.
“It is a great privilege and honour to stand before you today, as we officially commission Chatumbama Base Station, which is set to revolutionize business, agriculture and enhance communication within the Province and beyond.
“As a Ministry, our resolve to improve mobile accessibility, is strengthened by the visionary leadership of His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. The world is being driven by innovation and as such ICTs have become key fundamentals in the attainment of Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030,” said Minister Muswere where he was speaking at the official commissioning of the Chatumbama Base Station in Mount Darwin in Mashonaland Central on Wednesday.
Minister Muswere said access to ICT brings about growth of communities at both rural and urban level.
He said they will continue to fulfill their mandate of ensuring equal access to ICTs to all Zimbabweans as a Ministry led by youthful figures, him and Deputy Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Dingumuzi Phuti.
“As the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, our mandate is to ensure the equitable access and use of information communication technologies to improve the livelihoods of all Zimbabweans. This enhanced access to connectivity plays a pivotal role in ensuring that we achieve connected communities, thus the investment in the necessary infrastructure in both rural and urban centres, one of which we are witnessing today.
“It is no secret that improved access to ICTs, will not only promote growth and development within the constituencies, but will also have spill over benefits on the overall growth and development of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Minister Muswere hailed combined efforts by the country’s three telecommunications companies for their unity in bringing about viable network development in societies.
He said such efforts lead to employment creation which is one of the key mandates of the Second Republic led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“I acknowledge the sterling efforts of NetOne, as it continues to expand its network footprint and increase service provision in previously marginalized areas such as Chatumbama. This will no doubt promote employment creation by enhancing distribution and access channels.
“I have also been advised that this base station has already been provisioned for infrastructure sharing, and Telecel has already activated its equipment to provide network coverage, with Econet installation expected before the end of September 2020,” said Minister Muswere.
He added the need for the communities with these base stations to embrace the enhanced network provision to facilitate and promote trade within the areas of stay.
“The Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services will continue on this trajectory to ensure equitable access to ICTs by all citizens, including disadvantaged groups and rural communities in Zimbabwe. Please join me in acknowledging the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Mashonaland Central Province, Hon. Monica Mavhunga, not only for being a courteous host, but for actively spearheading development within the province.
“As we commission Chatumbama site, I hereby urge the community to safeguard the infrastructure to ensure that it is not vandalized. We look forward to more interventions and network expansion from NetOne, as well as all the other players within the ICT sector,” said Minister Muswere.
Minister Muswere reiterated that Zimbabwe is open for business thereby calling on various stakeholders to jump on board in developing the ICT sector.