By Evans Dakwa
Government through the Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology, Postal and Courier services has called upon players involved in internet governance and education to pursue a leaving no one behind approach to accelerate the push towards a digital economy as espoused in the National Development Strategy 1(NDS1), the economic blue print guiding the government’s economic policies.
In a speech read on her behalf by Engineer Leonard Jukwa during a three-day third edition of the School of Internet Governance organized by the Internet Society’s Zimbabwe Chapter, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Dr. Beaular Chirume urged government partners to appreciate the need to make sure their services are taken to the lower strata of society as the internet has become an indispensable part of human life.
“Things are happening out there, people are hungry to learn and know quite a lot (on ICTs,) lets have more of these trainings devolved across Zimbabwe, let’s have provincial, district chapter training people, cascading from the national to provincial, district and ward levels. The digital economy is with us today and for us to make an impact in our communities, societies and our nation, as the Internet Society Zimbabwe Chapter, these are some of the platforms you can shine and show the powers that be that you are doing something, let’s have the proposals, the concept notes, we interrogate them and find a common position and deploy in our communities,” she said in the key note address to officially open the three day learning experience for the participants.
The Ministry underscored the need for the country to effectively harness the benefits of digital economy for effective development to take place.
“It’s high time we develop our local customized applications, social platforms learning, smart systems and deploy them, this is what all of us at the school must seek to do after the training,” she added.
She continued saying her Ministry is well aware that the Cyber space is not that safe, but like fishermen who knows how treacherous the sea is, but find that as no sufficient reason to keep ashore.
“For us to achieve cyber stability, we need to explore ways we can reduce the effects of cyber space in Africa and in Zimbabwe. We can’t live without the internet, we just have to find ways to make sure the spaces are safer.”
Participants in the third Internet School of Governance were urged to be brave and play their part in making a reality the smart systems that people love to see in the country and work towards reducing the digital divide to achieve inclusivity.
The learning curve touched on a number of aspects that affect internet governance including digital inclusion and factors affecting it, cyber security, digital gender gap, issues to do with digital accessibility and brackets of Internet Governance amongst a host of topics.
As the curtain closed on the three-day event participants vowed to play their part through active participation to take internet education to their different spaces towards achieving an internet that is inclusive, safer and accessible to all Zimbabweans.