Forex shortages stall roll out of computer programmes

HARARE - Foreign currency shortages are hobbling Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) from rolling out programmes for physically challenged computer users.

Potraz, in collaboration with ICT and Cyber Security ministry, has been working to ensure that the uptake of ICTs is spread evenly to previously marginalised communities.

In an interview, director Postal and Courier Services Kennedy Dewera told the Daily News that they have already disbursed the equipment they purchased for institutions set to benefit from the programme.

“The challenge that we faced, in terms of the software and hardware, is that they have to be imported and we have done all the internal processes. We have submitted our requisition so that we can have an allocation of foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) but as you may be aware, there is an acute shortage of foreign currency that has stalled this programme,” Dewera said.

This comes after many physically challenged people have not been prioritised since the evolution of the Internet in Zimbabwe.

Dewera said Potraz has been engaging those with disabilities to prescribe softwares that promote ease of access, although a date for rolling out has not yet been finalised due to foreign currency challenges.

According to International Telecommunications Union (ITU) representative for southern Africa, Tumelo Chali, the blind, among those living with disabilities, are going to benefit from a voice recognition software that they can use to create, respond and access information.

Dewera, however, said the programme is largely centred on institutions as opposed to individuals in communities, so as to cater for a majority of physically-challenged people who can then access the software in formal institutions.

“We have around six institutions that are already benefiting from that programme.

“We have rolled out computers to institutions like Jairos Jiri, and we will be rolling out more computers to the likes of Karoi High School, but in terms of the software, it predominantly requires foreign currency, so we have made the budget to roll out as soon as we source the foreign currency.”

Comments (1)

Voice recognition hayinetse - munozobhadhara pa leta. Hamumbowana zvakadarika ipapa.

BYO 1 - 14 December 2018

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