Covid-19: Great Opportunity For ICT Sector’s Growth – POTRAZ 

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

HWANGE: The outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic has come out as a blessing and catapulted technological developments where societies have, overnight, migrated from physical space interactions to virtual platforms.

Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) deputy director-general Alfred Marisa said the outbreak of Covid-19 has seen nearly every citizen turning to digital media platforms for information or business.

He was speaking at the official launch of the Hwange Community Information Centre (CIC) Thursday.

“The world is experiencing tremendous digital transformation which has seen the emergence of a host of technologies. This technological revolution has been further accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic which teleported business and communities from the physical space to a virtual space,” said Marisa.

Most parts of Matabeleland North, including Hwange, are hampered by poor mobile and internet networks which leaves people with limited access to information.

However, Marisa said the CICs are strategic in the fight against coronavirus as they give communities access to accurate information on the pandemic.

“CICs ensure that rural communities are at par with towns in terms of access to information. Therefore, through the utilisation of CICs, community members can circumvent the negative effects of Covid-19 and continue living their normal lives,” he added.

Marisa said the CIC located at the Hwange Post Office will make a valued contribution to improved economic, social, and cultural lives of the local coal mining town community.

Speaking at the same occasion, Deputy Minister of Information Communication Technology Dingumuzi Phuthi, said the potential of digital technology can be a transformative power for countries to bridge the digital divide.

“Covid-19 is wreaking havoc around the world forcing changes in our daily lives. All of a sudden digital technology has become indispensable in almost every aspect of human endeavour. Even during the post-Covid-19 era, digital technologies will continue to play a pivotal role as we enter the decade of action to address the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” he said.

There are 146 CICs countrywide, and 114 of them are already operational with 14 providing free training in the use of computers to members of the public mostly youths.