Yesterday Minister for ICT, Jenfan Muswere along with POTRAZ Director-General Dr Gift Machengete launched the Nyachuru “Containerised Village Information Centre” (CVIC).
The unveiling of the new centre was also accompanied by the disbursement of computers to schools in the area as was promised by the government in its e-learning drive.
Below are the remarks of ICT Minister Jenfan Muswere at the launch of the Nyachuru CVIC:
Allow me Hon. Minister to start by thanking you for the warm welcome to Mashonaland Central Province. I am indeed, humbled by your hospitality and that of the people of this province. It is my pleasure, and indeed an honour, to preside over the official launch of Nyachuru Containerised Village Information Centre (CVIC), here in Mashonaland Central Province.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, we have just emerged from a level 4 national lockdown. We are indeed living in trying times. At a time when we all thought that we were winning the war against the COVID-19Pandemic experts told us early this year that the virus was mutating into even more dangerous variants in terms of its ability to spread among people. Although conditions have now been slightly relaxed, the virus is still with us and it is still not possible for us to mix and mingle freely in our numbers as we used to do. We continue to use our homes as our offices and meeting places as we conduct all our business meetings and social gatherings in the virtual environment.
Ladies and gentlemen, this really is entrenching itself as the new reality, an environment where every aspect of life is now underpinned by broadband connectivity. It is, therefore; only fair that as a country we do not leave anyone behind when it comes to broadband connectivity, whether they are living in rural areas or in urban centres. It is for this reason that our Ministry is in full support of the drive by POTRAZ to bridge the digital divide through the different programmes the Regulator is undertaking to ensure that those in remote rural areas of our country also have access to ICTs, just as their urban compatriots. Community Information Centres, and indeed, Containerised Village Information Centres, are an integral part of that drive as they enable local communities to have access to Information Communication Technology (ICT) services at affordable rates. I therefore, would like to reiterate our Ministry’s commitment to the continued rollout of programmes aimed at ensuring that the rural communities are kept abreast of technological development, especially now when we all need to be kept informed of the different aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic. I however, urge you to observe all the COVID-19 hygienic requirements as you make use of the facilities at these centres. Most importantly however, I urge you all to get vaccinated.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, once again, allow me to reiterate our commitment, as Government, to the attainment of a digital economy and a knowledge society. As government we will continue to provide an enabling environment for the growth of the telecommunications sector. Access to ICTs and effective participation in the digital economy remains critical in improving the quality of life for all the people of Zimbabwe. It is therefore, our wish as Government that all citizens of Zimbabwe have access to broadband connectivity, including those in rural and low-income communities. We are making every effort to ensure the ubiquitous availability of ICTs throughout the country in order to enable those in the remote rural areas to participate in the digital economy and to increase their overall economic well-being, competitiveness, digital inclusion, poverty reduction and improved health and education. I therefore, would like to urge the local community of Nyachuru and surrounding areas, to make full use of the facilities we are commissioning here today to uplift their lives.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I cannot overemphasise the enabling role ICTs play in facilitating the attainment of the aspirations of the National Development Strategy (NDS1), which was launched by His Excellency, the President, Cde. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, in November last year. Indeed the Digital Economy is stated as one of the fourteen national priorities underpinning this strategy for the period 2021 – 2025, as we thrive to become an Upper-Middle Income society by 2030.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, like I have always said Community Information Centres provide opportunities for the people to be creative and try things out, to envision possible futures, whether it is in agriculture, mining, health or commerce.This, indeed, provides an opportunity for the innovative and creative minds in our communities to push boundaries and come up with home grown solutions in health, or prototypes in industry or agriculture, among many other possibilities. For our young minds, CICs provide opportunities for play and simulation, whilst delivering the whole world in their fingertips. Community Information Centres therefore, bring the global and the local together, a phenomenon referred to as “glocalization”, which nurtures a global mindset and reach among our children, whilst at the same time accommodating our local cultures, values, ideals, and the needs of our local communities.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude by urging you, the local community of Nyachuru and surrounding areas, to make full use of the facilities we are commissioning here today to uplift their lives. Do not vandalise the equipment or allow it to be vandalised. Guard your CVIC jealously as it is your gateway to sustainable community development and personal advancement.
With these few words, ladies and gentlemen, it is now my singular honour to declare Nyachuru Containerised Village Information Centre officially LAUNCHED.