By Matabeleland North Correspondent
THE Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services has commissioned a Community Information Centre (CIC) in Victoria Falls amid calls for local residents to use the facility to further their education.
The country’s prime resort town was the only major centre in Matabeleland North which did not have a CIC, with the province have a total of 11 to date.
Locals in Victoria Falls have in the past complained about being sidelined especially in terms of job opportunities with companies defending themselves by saying there were fewer people with skills to employ hence they outsourced from other provinces.
The CIC concept is driven by government through POTRAZ to provide access to ICT and postal services to citizens.
POTRAZ deputy director, Alfred Marisa said more than 11 000 youths have been trained in basic computer skills through the CICs countrywide.
“This facility is one of the 146 CICs in the country’s 10 provinces and to date, 114 of these are already operating with 14 of them offering free training in the use of computers to members of the community.
“A total of 11 821 people have been trained in ICT at the CICs countrywide, with 696 being trained in Lupane, Matabeleland North,” said Marisa.
He said CICs were key to people’s empowerment.
Marisa said government plans to complete operationalisation of all CICs countrywide before the end of the year.
Computer skills are crucial in education both in and out of school with some entry jobs calling on people to have basic computer skills.
“The objective of CICs is to create centres where members of the community can access ICTs to promote business, advance education and improve livelihoods.
“Chinotimba CIC is furnished with modern computers that are connected to the internet to ensure that people in remote areas of our country are not excluded from the information age by making it easier for them to access ICTs and in order to upgrade their quality of life to the same level as their urban counterparts,” said Marisa.
The centre is located at Chinotimba Post Office.
ICT Minister Jenfan Muswere who officially opened the facility said government wants information community technology to drive economic development.
“Government has identified ICTs as one of the pillars and cornerstones for economic development and Communication Information Centres play an enabling role in our quest to provide access to ICT to the citizenry especially those in remote and underserved areas of the country,” said Minister Muswere.
“I therefore call upon youths to take up studies in the different disciplines in the ICT sector and to make use of the facilities we are commissioning today to conduct research when doing their homework and when preparing for their examinations.”