ICT key to economic success: Minister

Michael Tome Business Reporter

Zimbabwe’s economic success hinges on maximum exploitation of information communication and technologies in all facets of the economy, Information Communication and Technology Minister Jenfan Muswere has said.

Minister Muswere revealed this while launching a Huawei ICT competition for 2019/20 in the capital yesterday, where he lauded the organisation (Huawei) for enhancing the ICT ecosystem in the country thereby increasing the possibility of an enhanced virtual community going forward.

Science, technology and innovation have become key factors contributing to economic growth in both advanced and developing economies.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) have been at the heart of economic changes for more than a decade now and they play an important role, notably by contributing to rapid technological progress and productivity growth in agriculture and other key manufacturing sectors.

Minister Muswere, told the participants at the event that ICT had great potential to stimulate economic growth and productivity in major economic sectors and his ministry was working towards the achievement of that objective.

“Indeed, our economic success depends on maximising on our ICTs capabilities. As a ministry, we are developing a digital infrastructure master plan in order to consolidate the utilisation of ICT’s for macroeconomic growth,” said Minister Muswere.

The ICT Minister bemoaned deficiency of investment in this lucrative sector at the same time applauding Huawei’s initiative, which plans to empower youths in ICT related field.

He also hinted on the potential amount of employment creation the sector possessed.

Events of the past week where thousands of people were left stranded as the EcoCash platform collapsed, is evidence of the ICT skills and capacity deficit in the country, calling for major investments in terms of skills and capital investment.

“Some of the challenges facing the ICT sector in Zimbabwe are lack of skilled ICT professionals and investment in the sector.

“It is therefore pleasing to note that supporting skills development is one of Huawei’s key priorities for building an ICT talent ecosystem through seeds for the future in Zimbabwe.

“With the right skills, our people are better prepared to contribute to economic growth, they are better prepared to contribute to economic growth, they have a better chance of securing decent jobs and they are also better equipped to set up their own business and in turn create jobs for others,” he     said.

The Huawei ICT competition, which is being run under the theme “Connection, glory, future”, brings together ICT students from several countries to compete for scholarships at China’s top technology universities.

Upon his assumption of office, Minister Muswere pointed out ICT infrastructure development as a priority during his tenure aimed at enhancing connectivity and efficiency of the cyber world in the country.

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