Potraz establishes 147 community centres

HARARE - The Postal and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) says it has to date trained over 9 000 people in information communication technology (ICT) efficiency after setting up 146 Community Information Centres (CICs) around the country.

The move is aimed at improving ICT penetration in the country, an official with the authority said.

Lazarus Makuvise, Potraz’s courier services executive officer, said the authority was doing this through establishment of Community Information Centres (CIC) in all of the country’s 10 provinces.

“We have managed to train 9 700 people since October 23, 2017. So far, we have set up 147 centres nationwide,” Makuvise said during a CIC tour in Chikombedzi.

According to the Potraz Annual report, a total of 4 114 people underwent training at the CICs from the period October 23, 2017 to December 31, 2017.

Chikombedzi CIC administrator Winani Ndabanyi said the hub had improved local lives as the community no longer needed to travel for connectivity.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We have 13 computers at this centre and locals come in to conduct business ranging from academic research to entertainment.

“Most of the people who visit us are males ranging from 16-30,” Ndabanyi said.

The CICs offer Internet and other ICT related services to communities.

These are established at post offices as a way of enhancing ICT knowledge among people in their respective countries.

In 2017, 10 of these CICs started offering computer training to their local communities and these were Bindura, Chikato, Chinhoyi, Gokwe, Gweru, Jahunda, Lupane, Maphisa, Mpandawana and Murombedzi.

Potraz director general Gift Machengete is on record saying the world over, people have adopted the CICs approach as the quickest route to ICT literacy.

“As Potraz, we are supposed to take ICT to the people. This is not only in Zimbabwe but other countries too are doing this, guided by international best practice.

“Everything is now evolving around ICT. CICs are therefore important in training people basic use of computers, the Internet and how they can use these to enhance their education, businesses and lives,” he said recently.

In communities such as Chikombedzi, Machengete said, CICs were crucial in providing knowledge on best agriculture practices, weather information from the internet while students from tertiary institutions use them to access information from digital libraries.

In remote areas, depending on demand, Potraz is using containers as the CICs. The same can be used as post offices. Within the next two months, 24 containerised CICs will be established across the country.

“We started with provincial CICs and now going to all the other post offices, we love to go to districts but right now we are targeting the existing post offices.

“In villages we put containers depending on the demand, that is if it warrants to have a CIC,” Machengete said.
— The Financial Gazette


Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.