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Zambia’s 156 constituencies receive Starlink kits from govt

By , Africa editor
Zambia , 04 Mar 2024
Starlink - satellite broadband internet service - is now available in Zambia.
Starlink - satellite broadband internet service - is now available in Zambia.

Zambia's National Assembly received 156 Starlink kits from the Ministry of Science and Technology, in partnership with the Smart Zambia Institute.

These kits are intended for distribution in all parliamentary constituencies around the country.

During the transfer ceremony last week at the parliament buildings, Malungo Chisangano, first deputy speaker of the National Assembly, thanked the government and the Smart Zambia Institute management for the timely donation.

This comes as neighbouring country Zimbabwe is confiscating Starlink equipment and Zimbabwe's telecom regulator, POTRAZ, has warned that persons and businesses discovered supplying and advertising Starlink Internet service equipment may face arrest. Authorities have since initiated nation-wide efforts to capture those utilising Starlink.

Zambia’s Chisangano said the Starlink kits were a generous gesture that could not have come at a better time, given the National Assembly's desire to boost the use of information communication technology in its activities.

The Zambia National Assembly recently introduced the My e-Parliament app, a digital solution designed to improve contact between MPs and citizens.

“However, for this application to work, it requires strong Internet connectivity. Therefore, the Starlink kits being donated will facilitate the full implementation of the e-Parliament and will go a long way in bringing parliament closer to the people,” Chisangano added in a statement.

At the same event, Situmbeko Musokotwane, minister of Finance and National Planning, stated that the kits would boost digital connection with constituents and transform legislative operations.

Musokotwane stated that members of parliament will use the kits to effectively communicate with constituents on important issues, such as the Constituency Development Fund.

He added that such connectivity will eliminate the need for physical travel "to address a matter that can be resolved in good time using the Starlink device."

Meanwhile, Smart Zambia Institute national coordinator Percy Chinyama stated that the kits have a wide coverage area, ensuring that constituency offices are accessible for residents to use the devices for Internet services.

Starlink is now available in various African nations, including Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya, and Malawi. However, it remains inaccessible in South Africa, Africa's most developed economy.

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