Zimbabwe Ramps Up E-Government Development

Computing

Zimbabwe is in the process of ramping up the development of its e-government platform, Minister of Information and Communication Technology Nelson Chamisa has said.

Speaking at the inaugural Zimbabwe ICT Achievers Awards 2010 in the capital recently, Mr Chamisa said the development of the e-government platform would now be expedited following the completion of the draft framework.

"The e-government framework (Zimconnect) has been finalised. Government and websites for ministries are up and running, which is a key milestone in the journey to a paperless and information society by 2014. The Government is also working on establishing a trustworthy ICT legislative environment through the development of a specific legal framework, which is seen as a prerequisite for the successful implementation of e-government, encompassing the areas of e-commerce, e-banking, and other online services," he said.

The ICT company of the year award went to Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, while Afrosoft Holdings came second.

The ICT project of the year (public sector) went to NetOne for its solar-powered base stations project in rural areas, and in second place came Afrosoft Holdings for its development of the Department of Immigration's entry and exit system.

Econet chief executive Mr Douglas Mboweni was named the ICT businessman of the year while the ICT businesswoman of the year went to Ms Rudo Mudavanhu of Africomm.

In the 2011 National Budget, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said the Government had allocated US$8 million towards the establishment of the communication infrastructure. Minister Chamisa also said his ministry was working with the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture in the development of ICT-based curricular, as well as in the setting up of an ICT Government school to train and equip civil servants.

Economists generally conjecture that effective ICT performance is critical for the sustenance and enhancement of economies. Statistics show that Zimbabwe's mobile penetration rates have increased to over 60 percent this year from 9 percent in 2008.

Furthermore, internet penetration rates have risen from 1,5 percent to anything between 11 percent and 20 percent during the same period, according to Government statistics.

Meanwhile, Minister Chamisa has said the Zimbabwe Information Communication Technology Achievers Awards, a Government-initiative to appreciate performers in respect of ICTs in the country, will be held as an annual event.

"The ZICTA awards ceremony will celebrate the achievements of players in the ICT Industry. They will also provide a platform for players in ICT and related industries to meet and form networks beneficial for the development of the nation.

"ZICTA awards ceremony will ignite interest in ordinary Zimbabweans to use ICTs in their learning, everyday life and employment for the betterment of their lives," said Minister Chamisa.

Some benefits of the awards programme for Zimbabwean enterprises include the provision of a platform for the benchmarking of innovations in the ICT industry and the creation of an opportunity for the top winning companies to represent Zimbabwe at regional and international levels.