Access To ICTs Now A Basic Human Right: Kazembe

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Information and Communication Technology is now central to humanity in the same way energy, clean water, health facilities and food are, minister Kazembe Kazembe has said.

He made the remarks during the official opening of a shared base station in Gacheche, Kariba last Thursday.

Kazembe said access to ICTs was now a basic human right.

“There is no doubt that ICT’s are now central to humanity in pretty much the same magnitude of importance as energy, clean water, health facilities, learning institutions and healthy food,”said Kazembe Kazembe.

He however highlighted that Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) and the government still have a long route to traverse in widening network connectivity across the country’s remote areas as there are many communities which are still to receive ICT infrastructure facilities.

The Gachegache Multi Operator Radio Access Network (MORAN) base station is solar powered and allows Zimbabwe’s mobile network operators, Econet, Telecel and NetOne to share the infrastructure hence enabling them to extent their services further into marginalized communities where they have not been willing to invest individual base stations due to various economic factors.

The POTRAZ Director General, Dr Gift Machengete who also graced the event said the regulator still upholds its mandate of ensuring that every Zimbabwean has access to reliable, affordable and sustainable information communication technology services.

“Through the Universal Services Fund POTRAZ, working together with the Ministry of ICT and working in partnership with public network operators, extend network coverage to areas that operators, in their respective individual capacities, would  consider to be commercially not viable.” added Dr. Machengete.

The shared base station infrastructure setup uses MORAN which allows more than two operators to broadcasts their network signals using one shared base station in the same geographical area.

 

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