Full text of keynote address by Zimbabwe ICT Minister at 2010 ICT Achievers Awards

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Chamisa Keynote addressWe managed to get the keynote address delivered by Zimbabwe’s ICT Minister, Nelson Chamisa at the inaugural Zimbabwe ICT 2010 Achievers Awards. We post it here as it contains information relevant to Zimbabwe’s ICT entrepreneurs and the general non-ICT business community. Information like the mobile & internet penetration, progress on the Zim ICT Strategic plan and general government position on some ICT issues especially to do with connectivity.

The address:

Good Evening,

We are gathered here tonight to solemnize light and the great value of ICTs in our lives. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are not well understood by many of you but are used by all of you. ICTs are bound to play an increasingly prominent and pivotal role as a key enabler of renewed and sustainable growth, given that it has become an essential element of the infrastructure underpinning competitive economies. ICT will continue spreading its revolutionary power to modernize and catalyze economies and societies and improve living conditions and opportunities around the world. ICT performance  will  remain crucial  for sustaining  and enhancing  the promising countries  in  their innovation  potential  and  long-term  competitiveness,  but  also  for  fostering  structural  transformations,  increasing efficiency,  effectiveness  as  well as reducing  the  digital, economic,  and social divides or walls  within their territories

Zimbabwe has positioned these technologies at the heart of its national development plan to build a knowledge-based economy by 2014-. It also ultra-evident in the way the government continues to create a national digital culture and provide ICT access for many, regardless of gender, region, or any other criteria. To date, our mobile penetration rates have increased from 9% in 2008 to over 60 % in 2010.Sim cards are now ubiquitously available. Its now a lose and buy affair. Internet penetration rates have risen from 1.5% to anything between 11% and 20% during the same period, although our regulatory body and Zimstats are still to complete the statistical survey and compilation. Thanks to a cocktail of the government policy mix (particularly the removal of duty on all ICT products) and the complimentary innovativeness of our service provider’s .The quality and price of calls remain below expected standards to which issues we have directed Potraz and the operators to deploy attention and action with immediacy and urgency. Speed and cost issues of internet are likely to be part of our history once we complete the fibre optic connection for a handshake with the rest of the world.

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In other spheres, we are working together with the education Ministry to come up with an ICT savvy curricular .We also have set up an ICT Government school to train and equip our hardworking civil servants to be polished and round techno-players. The e-Government framework (Zimconnect) has been finalized. Government and Ministries websites are up and running, which is a key milestone in the journey to a paperless and information society by 2014.

Going forward, with the coming of a new year, we shall have new initiatives focusing on rural areas through PC per classroom project and setting up of information kiosks. The laying and completion of a dependable and robust national backbone remain the Government’s top priority—Seek ye first the kingdom of infrastructure and connectivity, the rest will follow.

The government also is working on establishing a trust- worthy ICT legislative environment through the development of a specific legal framework, which is seen as a prerequisite for the successful implementation of E-government encompassing the areas of e-commerce, e- banking, and other online service

The development and rise of the Internet through broadband and supersonically increasing mobile telephony penetration rates have enabled a massive amount of information to be aggregated and processed and has substantially transformed the way the public can obtain and disseminate information, as well as increased the digitalization of society. Many different nations are exploring ways to develop the ICT industry.

The government of Zimbabwe is committed to building community awareness on the important role ICT plays in today’s constantly evolving world. The ICT Achievers Program is a gesture to inspire   Zimbabweans to see ICTs as the key to fulfilling their life-wide aspirations, reward excellence and create appetite for success for those companies in the habit of super-achievement.

ICT is a locomotive force for  socio-economic development in developing countries, as a result, efforts of individuals and organizations who have excelled, been innovative and have contributed meaningfully to the development of the nation through ICTs need to be acknowledged. It is important that excellence is celebrated in any sector. Equally, it is important that any industry such as ICT embraces discussions and utilises opportunities such as this event to build lasting partnerships.

The Annual Zimbabwe Information Communication Technology Achievers Awards (ZICTAAs) is the government’s way of appreciating the efforts of those operating in the ICT Industry and will hopefully mark the beginning of a great and renewed thrust for excellence, and use of ICTs to improve people’s lifestyles, workstyles and business operations.

This day marks the launch of the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, the Annual Zimbabwe ICT Achievers Awards (ZICTAA) 2010. The Zimbabwe ICT Awards ceremony has been established as a collaborative public-private partnership effort among ICT industry organizations, ICT professional bodies, academia and the Government to establish a large scale and internationally recognized branding of ICT endeavours in Zimbabwe. Aiming to promote and commend the excellent achievements of the local ICT professionals and ICT industry, the Awards also encourage local practitioners to develop 21st century world class innovative and creative ICT solutions, which will uplift the image of the Zimbabwe ICT sector, both locally and internationally towards our goal to be the doyens of ICTs on the continent and ultimately in the world.

The ICT industry is a significant part of our economy. Almost every aspect of our lives is influenced by ICTs-the houses we live in, small or big, the cars we drive, the offices we work, etc. In the not so distant future, it is becoming clear that our entire lives will be inextricably linked to and supported by ICTs.

Objectives

The ZICTA awards ceremony will:

  1. Celebrate the achievements of players in the ICT Industry.
  2. Reward and encourage excellence, in practice and ethics, in the ICT industry.
  3. Promote development  and localization of ICTs in Zimbabwe
  4. Provide a platform for players in ICT and related industries to meet and form networks beneficial for the development of the nation through ICTs.
  5. Ignite interest in ordinary Zimbabweans to use ICTs in their learning, everyday life and employment for the betterment of their lives.

Benefits of the Awards Program

  1. Stimulate innovation and creativity
  2. Provide recognition and a platform for the benchmarking of innovations in the ICT industry
  3. Create an opportunity for the top winning companies to represent Zimbabwe at the regional and international levels.
  4. Provide participants with networking opportunities so that strategic business alliances can be formed
  5. Winners to be brought to the notice of venture capitalists and investors
  6. Create a larger pool of knowledge workers that is essential for the development of the knowledge society
  7. Increase the general awareness of the development in the ICT industry

Congratulations to all the nominees. The fact that you have been nominated is testimony and testament to your claim to outstanding contributions over your many years of involvement in the industry and service to our beautiful country. Hearty congratulations to the winners.

Remember,  Excellence  and extra –ordinary achievements  are ordinary achievements  in extra  doses,  Excellence  can  be obtained  if  you care more than others  think is wise, Risk more than others think is safe, Dream more than others  think is practical,  Exhume possibilities  where others think it is impossible. In short, Excellence is not just the virtuosity and merit but an attitude. Your attitude shapes your altitude in life and business. What is your attitude??

It takes a thinking being not a sinking one to know the difference

God bless, unite and prosper Zimbabwe and may its people live in eternal peace and prosperity!!!!

Thank You



4 Comments

  1. taribabe says:

    inga Chamisa aita matama!

  2. JamesM says:

    Government can encourage ICT growth by eliminating barriers to entry (i.e. get rid of POTRAZ) and exorbitant licensing fees. North African Arab countries are the only once on the continent with visionary ICT policies and regulations. And it’s no wonder the fastest internet speeds in Africa are in north Africa.
    ICT education and appreciation should be mandatory and start in high school. Internet prices should come down drastically. More and more countries have school curriculas that require students to do research online. Very soon school libraries will be eclipsed by online ones.

    Zimbabweans have brains and minister Chamisa would do well to ensure that no obstacles/barriers stand in the way on of those brains otherwise ICT will always lag in this country.

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