Govt adopts broadband plan to reduce internet costs

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By Xinhua

HARARE: The Zimbabwean government will roll out a national broadband strategy in the next seven years to reduce the cost of broadband to accelerate economic development, a senior official said on Tuesday.

To this effect, the Cabinet of Zimbabwe on Tuesday approved the Zimbabwe National Broadband Plan that will run from 2023 to 2030, aimed at reducing the cost of broadband access to 2 percent of the average monthly income from the current 10.1 percent.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the plan will promote access to and adoption of broadband services at government, business, household and individual levels, to transform Zimbabwe’s growth trajectory from being largely driven by the exploitation of natural resources to innovation-driven growth.

“The vision of the plan is to have an all-inclusive digital society powered by premier innovations by 2030,” Mutsvangwa said at a post-cabinet media briefing.

She said increased internet access will enhance Zimbabwe’s global competitiveness, create more jobs, and improve national security as well as performance in education, agriculture, health, and governance.

“All these are prerequisites for achieving sustainable development goals,” she said.

She said the government will take the leading role in raising funding for broadband deployment, with private investors also expected to help.

“A broadband committee will be created to provide a periodic evaluation of progress, facilitate coordination and collaboration, as well as highlight areas of program adjustment,” the minister said.