11 November 2021
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has launched a project to connect 1,500 schools and 1,500 health centres in rural areas to the internet.
Speaking at the Potraz 2022 strategic planning workshop held in Bulawayo, the minister of information and communication technology, Jenfan Muswere, reiterated the critical role of Potraz in facilitating digitization. He stated that "we can neither avoid nor run away from the technological tsunami. We just need to be prepared for the rapid changes in technology. He therefore urged the telecom regulator to strengthen its research and development department and enter into partnerships with research institutes to come up with modern ICT projects.
The connectivity project in 1,500 schools and 1,500 health centers is a continuation of the many actions undertaken since last year by Potraz to improve access to the Internet and mitigate the effects of Covid-19. These include the program to relocate telecom towers in densely populated rural areas and the deployment of community information centers. There is also the densification of the telecom network in rural areas, piloted through the universal service fund.
Director general of the public body, Gift Machengete, said that this investment is one of the components of the rural connectivity project. He also explained that bringing the Internet to schools and health centers in rural areas will not only improve the dissemination of information about Covid-19, but will also contribute to improved learning for students in the education sector and better patient care in the health sector.