By Tafara Chikumira
THE need for communities to get relevant infrastructure to receive accurate information to enhance development took centre stage during International Day for Universal Access to Information commemorations in Zhombe this Monday.
Stakeholders in the communication industry converged in Zhombe to celebrate the important day which also witnessed the commissioning of the Zhombe Community Information Centre (CIC).
The centre offers ICT services for free to the community and boasts of modern facilities and is solar-powered to ensure the community is well-serviced without hindrances.
“We are very grateful to our government for this great initiative. I am a student and I always come here to research my schoolwork. Without access to the internet, it becomes very difficult for me to do my work. It’s a huge plus on my part,” one of the Zhombe community members told ZBC News.
Added another, “I run a small business here in Zhombe. This facility has helped me immensely as I come here to network and get ideas on where I can place orders at a cheaper price. My business is beginning to show signs of growth as I utilise this facility.
“I want to thank our President cde Mnangagwa for remembering us the people of Zhombe. It’s not always easy to have access to such facilities. Our burdens have been lessened due to this facility.”
The government says it will continue to ensure the vulnerable are well-equipped with the necessary infrastructure to ensure they are not left behind in the digital world in line with the National Development Strategy One.
Dr Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of Information Communication Technologies, Postal and Courier Services said, “The Digital economy is the catalyst of the macroeconomic development of a country. Development of the National broadband plan is now in motion after the President has accessed funding for the project. We also now have a Smart Zimbabwe Master Plan which includes all sectors for universal access to information. International universal access to information is key to bridging the rural-urban divide. As such we will continue to make initiatives that address such.”
“Our goal is to ensure that every part of the country gets access to information. Information is key for our national development. It is therefore critical that people get access to information which guides the development of the country,” said Dr Gift Machengete, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe Director General.
Several schools in the Midlands province were presented with laptops and computers to furnish their computer laboratories as the government continues to empower schools with relevant ICT tools.