Zimbabwe’s government aims to improve internet connectivity in the country ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) general assembly, which is set take place next year
The adoption of fibre optic technology in Zimbabwe will strengthen connectivity to the rest of the world as well as reducing the country's dependency on satellite technology.
Despite funding constraints, the Zimbabwean government is planning to accelerate the project on laying the national grid of fibre optic cable (STM-64) transmission in time for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in August 2013, according to Tapiwa Mashakada, minister for Economic Planning and Investment Promotion.
"Further links to the rest of the country have been planned for but stalled due to limited funding," Mashakada said.
Mashakada disclosed in the Medium Term Plan (MTP) implementation progress report for 2012 that the Zimbabwean government should urgently implement the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls fibre optic cable link given the critical need to ensure faster connectivity before the UNWTO assembly.
The first phase of the project was completed at a cost of US$18mn funded mainly by the treasury and Tel One, the fixed telecommunications operator company.
In April 2012 Zimbabwe and Zambia signed a bilateral MOU on the co-hosting of the UNWTO 2013 General Assembly.
The governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia and the Secretary General of the UNWTO signed the trilateral host agreement for the assembly on 29 May 2012 in Victoria Falls.
The signing marked the official confirmation of the two countries' commitment to hosting the major event in August 2013, which will see Zimbabwe and Zambia host over 4,000 delegates.
The event is expected to promote the two countries as tourist attractions.