Yesterday, we attended the National ICT Policy Review consultative process meeting for the Harare province that took place at the Harare International Conference Centre from 9AM to about 5PM. We, along with half a dozen other participants there,
live tweeted the event and posted a few updates to our Facebook page. This post here is just a report on what transpired from morning to the end of the day, told in pictures. We are going to follow this up with our opinion on the whole process based on the discussions and views that were presented there. We will also be posting audio clips of the meeting from morning to when it ended.
After some introductions and opening remarks the morning started off with a presentation by Ministry of ICT officials, the consultant facilitating the process, advocate Mukarakate gave a presentation of the 2005 policy that is being reviewed. Participants had all been handed a copy of the 2005 ICT policy review. He also gave an overview of how the day would go, specifically that the 150 or so participants would go intro groups and give their views on 5 categories (see below) for the new ICT policy.
Some participants, like this gentleman speaking in this picture, disagreed with the idea of going into groups to craft a new National ICT Policy, when nothing had been said about what the previous policy had achieved or failed to achieve. To his right right is current Computer Society of Zimbabwe president, Atwell Mukusha.
In the picture S. Kundishora , the ICT Ministry perm sec, comes in to assure the audience that a lot had been achieved by the 2005 ICT Policy and that going into groups would ensure Harare’s views included in the new ICT Policy. The consultant and ICT Ministry Principal Director, S. Chigwamba echoed the same.
But before the participants went into groups, a few speeches. In the picture, S. Kundishora, the ministry’s perm sec, gives a speech.
After the perm sec, came A. Tome, the Provincial Administrator for the Harare province to give the official welcome remarks.
Here the ICT Minister, Nelson Chamisa, also give his speech. He pointed out a few issues on eWaste, education, and the political bickering affects progress with ICT issues in Zimbabwe.
He also mentioned that having the ICT Act (remember the ICT bill?) approved before reviewing the ICT policy would have been putting the horse cart before the horse.
Next it was Thabani Tonny Khupe (Intel Director: Corporate Affairs Group, Sub-Saharan Africa) who spoke about the issues that the participants and the ministry needed to ensure were included in the ICT Policy. Such issues as entrepreneurship.
Initially we thought it was just us feeling these speeches were eating too much into the ‘consultative’ process.
Eventually the group work started. We were part of the group above that was discussing e-Services.
The participants were divided into the following 5 groups:
Regional position and Policy and regulatory framework on ICT and Institutional Mechanisms
Research, Innovation and Industry Development
Capacity Building and Content
download here the document that guided the views that each group gave. ( We’ve added a title inside for those that stumble upon without the context of this post.)
After the group work (and some lunch) the participants started presenting their views.
Chido Mushaya, an executive from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority presents her groups views on e-Tourism
Rinesh Desai, an executive at a local tech services company presents his groups views
Harold Muvuti, the current Computer Suppliers Association president, listens to the presentations. On his left is the ICT Ministry permanent secretary, Sam Kundishora.
A participant, Brighton Mukorera gives his views
Unfortunately, by this time a lot of participants had left.
Another presenter, giving his groups views on education
Advocate Mukarakate gives his closing remarks
And the event ended. An official from the ICT ministry, G. Chingonzo, gives a vote of thanks.
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