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[July 12, 2014]
President Launches Information Centre
(AllAfrica Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) President Mugabe yesterday launched the Murombedzi Community Information Centre as part of a programme to ensure rural communities have access to information technology, a critical aspect to foster growth and development.
Similar centres will be set up in each of the country's 52 districts.
The programme is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services and ZimPost.
Addressing hundreds of people at Murombedzi Growth Point, President Mugabe said the Community Information Centres were meant to keep rural areas with development in ICTs.
"This is in line with the World Summit on the Information Society Geneva Declaration of 2003, where with other Heads of State and Government we laid the foundation of the information and knowledge society," he said.
"The WSIS declaration and subsequent activities seek to specifically provide ICT access to rural communities.
"One major problem facing rural communities in Zimbabwe and Africa in general is the limited access to relevant and current information about health, education, economy, transport, agriculture and market access. Without information, the rural communities are hampered from fully participating in national development.
"The overall aim in the establishment of these Community Information Centres is to achieve equity of access to information and thereby bridge the digital divide between rural and urban communities." President Mugabe said ICTs were a powerful tool for socio-economic development, adding that the centres would also assist rural communities in accessing e-government services and information.
"Community Information Centres have training facilities which can serve as disaster management centres in cases of emergency, such as disease outbreaks, drought spells and pest invasions," he said.
"In addition, ICT appreciation courses are continuously conducted so as to increase the ICT literacy levels within our communities. I am informed that 100 people from the local community have already been trained at this centre." President Mugabe said Government was committed to ensuring that every community was connected to the digital world, adding that the centres would benefit ordinary people in rural areas, farmers, students, entrepreneurs, tourists, school-leavers, pensioners, civil servants and the elderly.
"The establishment of these Community Information Centres resonates well with the Zim-Asset which treats communication in general and ICTs in particular as one of the pillars for economic growth," said President Mugabe.
"As you are aware, in 2013 Government adopted the Zim-Asset, an economic blueprint for the period 2013-2018.
"The blueprint is aimed at growing the economy through the creation of jobs, improving health, social service delivery and providing affordable housing." President Mugabe said the establishment of the centres was an extension of the schools' computerisation programme that saw him donating thousands of computers to various schools across the country.
"Saka zuva ranhasi pano tati tiite nekuvamba kuisa centre yedu inoratidza ruzivo irwo rwemacomputer irworwo yava dzidzo muno munyika tazviona kuti aah zvinofanira kudzidzirwa. Ndakavamba kuita programme yangu yekuti zvikoro zvese zvinenge zvine magetsi tozvipa macomputer," he said.
Delegates that were attending the 4th Ordinary Session of the Africa Telecommunications Union that ended in Harare yesterday also attended the launch.
The International Telecommunications Union country office pledged to assist Government in training the trainers that would be stationed at the information centres.
During the launch, the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services gave 10 computers to President Mugabe to donate to a school of his choice, while TelOne gave a personal I-Mac computer to the President.
He also received a chair from ZimPost, while the Zvimba community gave him a bull.
Copyright The Herald. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
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