Zimbabwe is hoping to hit 100 percent teledensity by the end of this year, providing further evidence of claims by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that it has one of the most dynamic ICT sectors in the world.
Minister of Information Communication Technology, Nelson Chamisa made the claim in an interview. The Post and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) puts Zimbabwe’s current teledensity at 89.8 percent.
“We have been commended by the ITU as one of the countries with the fastest growing ICT sector in the world together with Kenya and Rwanda,” Chamisa said. “We need at least to reach the 100 percent mark, and this is achievable. It seems those who do not have lines do not need them because even the prices of phones, especially the used ones are very low.”
A recent ITU report ranked Zimbabwe as the second most dynamic ICT nation in the world, after only Ghana. It said that Zimbabwe had registered significant increases in the number of Internet users and in mobile-broadband penetration. It leapt three places from last year’s ranking of 118, and nine in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“For now we just study the market growth and see any areas of improvement. Our thrust is to gravitate towards the data platform. We need to have more people on the 3G platform and other data services in line with the global trends,” said Chamisa.
The Zimbabwean prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently called on ICT stakeholders to participate in the country’s ICT policy review, which is now at a consultation stage, in order to position the tech sector as the main driver of economic growth in the country.
“Policy issues are crucial if we are to make our ICT sector vibrant,” the prime minister said. “It is therefore my appeal to you stakeholders to take advantage of the review process and contribute meaningfully to it.”
He promised government support to tech firms in Zimbabwe as a means of promoting economic growth.