Story by Tichaona Kurewa
The implementation of the Zimbabwe National Broadband Plan (2023–2030) has begun, with a fibre optic cable project that runs from Beitbridge to Victoria Falls being commissioned in the resort city this Wednesday.
The Zimbabwe National Broadband Plan aims to provide access to and adoption of broadband services by all economic players to ensure innovation-driven economic growth.
The commissioning of the fibre optic cable project from Beitbridge to Victoria Falls this Wednesday saw the government noting the importance of the project.
“It ensures we have a digitally connected empowered community by 2030. It will transform the lives of the people of Zimbabwe. The deployment of fibre across the country will ensure that everyone is connected including rural health centres, schools and other institutions. This is also a very good platform for investors to come into Zimbabwe as the country will be connected to the rest of the world,” said the Minister of Information Communication Technologies, Postal and Courier Services Dr Jenfan Muswere.
Implementing partners, Bandwidth and Cloud Services and the National Railways of Zimbabwe also outlined the importance of the project, which involves the mechanical laying of the fibre optic cable along the railway line.
“Our vision is to make Zimbabwe the Internet traffic hub of Southern Africa. As the Zimbabwe rail network is the hub of the rail network in Southern Africa, the ongoing BCS fibre deployment along the rail tracks will significantly reduce Internet access costs, increase reliability and bring high-speed Internet access to the rural areas of Zimbabwe. In addition to serving Zimbabwe, the network will also be used to connect Maputo, Beira, and Nacala in Mozambique to each other, and overcome the challenge of cyclones destroying the overhead fibres inside Mozambique. It will also transport traffic from Southern and Central DRC not just Lubumbashi, but deep in rainforests of Kindu, Kisangani, and Kalemie,” said Mr Yonas Maru, Managing Director – Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group.
With broadband penetration linked to economic growth, the Second Republic is determined to ensure that no one and no place is left behind.
The transformative benefits of broadband include the enhancement of global competitiveness, job creation, increased productivity, improved national security, and enhancement of performance in education, agriculture, health, and governance.