Zimbabwean government rolls out MTP to drive growth in ICT and mobile sector

Zimbabwe mobileThe report reveals there is a need to increase access and quality of services for both data and voice services. (Image source: kiwanja)

The Zimbabwean government has implemented a Medium Term Plan (MTP) for 2011-2015 to ensure that sustainable growth and progress are achieved in mobile communications and ICT

According to a recent review, ownership of mobile phones in Zimbabwe has risen dramatically since a 2005-06 survey from 14 per cent of households to 62 per cent in 2010-11.

The report noted, however, that there was a need to increase access and quality of services for both data and voice services.

The first phase of this project has been completed within a budget of US$18mn, enabling broadband connectivity within the country to improve ICT services. 

Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister, Tapiwa Mashakada, said in the MTP review that significant efforts have been made towards the implementation of the eight-year e-Government project, with completion currently standing at 25 per cent.

An e-learning programme has also been seeking to fully equip every school in the country with a computer laboratory. To date, coverage stands at two per cent completion rate.

A total of five centres have been identified for the development of community information centres, with two centres having been equipped so far.

"The project is less than two per cent complete, mainly due to financial constraints. The WSIS second goal is to connect African Villages to broadband ICT services by 2015," Mashakada said.

To complement developments in the ICT sector, a number of key policy and regulatory frameworks were planned in the MTP.

This included the assessment of the National ICT policy review which was completed by the end of 2012 and the development of a framework for the e-government.

"This project was completed in 2011. To date, the successes include having all government ministries networked,head offices and departments and all provincial offices, as well as development of websites for all government ministries have been completed," Mashakada said.

Wallace Mawire

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