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Zimbabwe sees ICT masterplan as economic lifeline

Zimbabwe , 26 Oct 2020

Zimbabwe’s government has announced its intention to roll out an ICT masterplan to fully develop the sector and help achieve its target to emerge as a middle-income nation by 2030.

Called SMART Zimbabwe 2030, the master plan is being drawn up by the Ministry of ICT in line with the country’s ICT of Vision 2030 policy – its road-map to emerge as a regional technological pillar by the year 2030.

Speaking at the launch of a Community Information Centre in Bulu, South Matabeleland, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Jenfan Muswere said: “The master plan, with the flagship projects to pilot its implementation, will guide the march towards the digital future which will transform the country into a regional technological pole, (and) increase the country's competitiveness.”

Muswere said the plan will spell out specific strategic actions to grow the sector. “It will establish the ICT sector as a strong pillar of Zimbabwe’s national development policy in its quest to transform Zimbabwe into a middle-income country by 2030.”

“The master plan, when fully deployed, will completely transform processes, services and government management, and will make access to information and service delivery more efficient,” he added.

Gift Machengete, director general of the Zimbabwe Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, said COVID-19 has demonstrated the need for a highly efficient national ICT system.

“The pandemic has validated the important role ICTs play in ensuring that businesses, governments and societies stay connected and functional,” said Machengete.

Zimbabwe continues to struggle with double-digit contraction of agriculture, electricity, and water production.

In reference to the country’s fiscal challenge, a statement by the World Bank reads: “Policy missteps - lack of effective fiscal-monetary-forex policy coordination and significant quasi-fiscal activities by the Central Bank -undermined the de-dollarisation effort and resulted in a rapid depreciation of the local currency and high inflationary pressures.”

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