‘Covid has transformed internet into a basic need’ – Minister

Jenfan Muswere

INFORMATION and Communication Technology (ICT) minister Jenfan Muswere yesterday said COVID-19 had transformed the internet into a basic need and pressured government to speed up connectivity in marginalised areas.

He was speaking at the official launch of the community information centre in Ruwa.

“We are indeed, living in unprecedented times, a time where internet connectivity has become more of a basic need than a luxury,” he said.

“This is expected to boost e-learning, the preferred mode of education due to COVID–19,” he said.

Muswere said community information centres (CIC) offer a chance for creative and innovative minds to break down barriers and create solutions.

He said the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) together with the ICT  ministry and ZimPost were handing over CICS to the public so as to alleviate the challenge of affordability and access to internet facilities.

Demand for the internet rose during the COVID-19 pandemic as it promoted social distancing which was a prerequisite in curbing the spread of the virus.

He said to enhance internet access, authorities had also embarked on a project to connect 1 500 schools by year end.

Potraz director-general Gift Machengete said the ICT ministry continued to play an important role in the digitalisation agenda in line with the government’s national development strategy. – News Day