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Zimbabweans should embrace digital technologies and leverage on these to ramp up production across economic sectors for the country to fully achieve sustainable development, the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Kazembe Kazembe, said yesterday.

Officially opening the ongoing Information and Telecommunications Union (ITU) Conference here, Minister Kazembe said ICT has become a key driver of economic revival hence President Mnangagwa’s government has taken a deliberate stance to mainstream its adoption.

“In this digital era we live in, our main pre-occupation should be ensuring that every citizen of the world, no matter where they live and no matter their level of income or education is afforded decent internet and broadband connectivity.

“It is now a well-established fact that leveraging ICTs enables nations to achieve sustainable development in all sectors of the economy. Let’s be mindful of the fact that it’s through embracing future network technologies that Africa among other emerging regions can leapfrog development towards universalising broadband access and full participation in the global digital and knowledge economy,” said Minister Kazembe.

He said ITU member states including Zimbabwe should be prepared to migrate from the 3rd industrial revolution to the next level, which is driven by technology.

This, he said, will help bridge the standardisation gap between developed and developing countries.

Minister Kazembe said by leveraging on ICT, governments will enhance e-commerce and e-government.

“With e-commerce, e-government services, e-agriculture, e-health, artificial intelligence, smart grid, internet of things, virtual reality and massive machine type communication fast becoming the dominant services, it is imperative that we take each other on board and move forward in unison,” said Minister Kazembe.

He said ITU standards set inter-globe connectivity hence Africa should play her part to derive benefits from this revolution.

The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Engineer Sam Kundishora, said Zimbabwe was moving in the right direction as mobile network operators were moving closer to launching 5G network.

Speaking at the same occasion, ITU-T Study Group 13 chairperson Dr Leo Lehmann said focus of the conference was on future networks, which was a transition of all internet protocol mobile networks and the evolution from 4G to 5G.

To enhance mobile connectivity, Government is working on plans to build 250 more base stations in previously excluded areas, a project being undertaken by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

ITU is a specialised agency of the United Nations that is responsible for issues to do with information and communication technologies.

The conference started on Monday last week and ends on Thursday.

Zimbabwe is the second African country to host the ITUconference in Africa after Uganda in 2012.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Natasha Chamba

Quelle/Source: Chronicle, 12.03.2019

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