Zimbabwe now has a new president, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. The honor comes with the task of delivering the promises he made in his party’s manifesto. He made many promises across different areas but as techies, we are more interested in the promises he made for the Information Communications (ICT) Sector. Here are the promises;
Promise#1-Liberalizing the airwaves
This means that the use of state-owned media will no longer be monopolized by the government.
Promise#2-Expanding mobile networks
We expect more than 3 mobile network operators (MNO) within 5 years. Currently, Zimbabwe has 3 MNO’s, Econet, Telecel, and Netone, of which government owns the latter 2. The 3 MNO’s currently serve 11.7 million people.
Promise#3-Adopting modern technologies
This promise is both vague and too broad. I don’t know if it means we are adopting modern technologies like blockchain, self-driving vehicles, 3D printing, E-learning, artificial intelligence etc.
Promise#4-Upgrading and expansion of backbone and core networks, towers, base stations
Yes, there are many areas where people are starving to get connected to local MNO’s networks. So with the execution of this promise, those areas will get connected.
Promise#5-Establish more information centers
This is another vague promise but after adding 2 and 2, I think “Establish more information centers” means establishing more Community Information Centres (CICs).
Community Information Centres are “public places where people can access computers, the Internet and other digital technologies that enable them to gather information, create, learn and communicate with others while they develop essential digital skills”.
CICs will be of help to further the knowledge and appreciation of ICT in those areas I once mentioned where they can’t access MNO’s networks.
Promise#6-Establish a new International Gateway, connecting all government ministries, on Optic Fibres
This third promise I’m not really sure what it means. An International gateway is a telephone number through which calls are routed to get cheaper rates on international long distance charges or to make calls through voice over IP (VOIP) networks internationally. And international gateways are used by scammers in making an international call into a certain country appear as if it is originating from a local number rather than the real location. So I’m not sure what the president meant by an International gateway
Besides that, I expect better administration with E-governance as the government gets connected to the internet. But for E-governance to take off, the government may need to hire new, stuff which is young (this comes with tech savviness) that can quickly learn new technology.
Promise#7-Networking of central hospital
I’m not sure what this means. All I know is that networking is the exchange of data between nodes over a shared medium in an information system. I don’t know which is the central hospital. Also, I don’t know what (and which) is the central hospital.