The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) has embarked on a 2 month long process to craft a new ICT Policy. The current ICT Policy was produced in 2005. At a press conference prior to the review process, ICT Minister Nelson Chamisa explained the rationale for the review saying “it has been six years now, the time has come for a review of this policy, moreso considering the rapid nature in which the renovation of technologies for information and communications take place”.
The first public consultations were held on the 3rd of July, in Marondera followed by another workshop the next day in Mutare. Future public workshops are scheduled as follows:
One of the participants at the Mutare Workshop Phil Chard, the Sales & Marketing Manager at Bytron noted that there was intense debate around the role and mandate of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ). This included a debate on whose mandate it is to regulate the construction of cell towers and network boosters and the laying down fibre optic infrastructure. Another big issue with participants was the need to bring in quality yet cheap IT equipment for students.
Submissions to the Ministry can also be done via email using ministryict[at]zarnet.ac.zw or gchingonzo2[at]yahoo.co.uk
The Ministry is yet to provide feedback about how the process is going so far, but Chard indicated that in his opinion their officials are quite serious about this process. In as much as Zimbabweans are largely critical of government activities it’s worthwhile to engage with the ministry’s officials in this endeavour.