Zambia lags behind in local Content production

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                                           By Tovin Ngombe  Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) experts have charged that the country was not doing enough in the production of local information being updated on websites.The ICTs experts who spoke in separate interviews told ZANIS that poor production of local content has been as a result of limited access to computers and to internet usage.An ICTs expert and a consultant Millner Makuni says Zambians fail to  produce enough local  content hence much of what  is on the internet is western and it was not suitable for local consumption.Mr. Makuni who is also a member of E-brain Forum Zambia said out of the seven main languages including English, there is no local language content on the Internet to talk about.

 He said  the Internet usage in Zambia is still  low estimated at about 500,000 internet users and about 16500 internet subscribers from the 10 Internet service providers that the country have. About 50% of subscribers are still on dial up hence the usage is more for sending and receiving mail rather than contributing to the presence of local content for the benefit of Zambians. Mr. Makuni pointed out that the value added services on the internet like intranets, extranets, e-applications (e-business, e-government, etc) have not been fully utilized and the majority of websites are still static with outdated content which is not interactive. 

 Zambia National Farmer’s Union (ZANFU) Communication Manager Kunda Mwila said that there was still a wide disparate in the production of local content as most of it was generated from the western countries.Mr. Mwila noted that most Zambian content is produced from websites that were hosted outside the country adding that currently the Internet Service Providers have increased their bandwidth that could host many sites in the country for allowing of local content production.“The way forwards is for the country to be able to produce content and post it on websites hosted within the country,” He said. He disclosed that there was an improvement in the people hosting websites but there was a gap in the production of local content to be updated on those websites. The communication Manager noted that there should be a deliberate policy to have the local content translated in local languages unlike the scenario where all the information was in English.Content Manager and an ICT expert for Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMSESA) under the Regional Customs Transit Gallant (RCTG) Michael Zulu said most people setting up websites fail to update their content timely.Mr. Zulu pointed out most of the websites in the country were static  and have no impact because the owners fail to update their information and people would not want to visit a site that has the same information for many months.He says it was only the Media websites that were up date with information while most of the sites it was a sad story.

The content manager noted that that the failure to have webmasters was the major hindrance to the production of local content as most organizations fail to have people to be updating their information.

“You find a site have been in existence for a year but the information is still the same, an indication to the surfers that the organization only want presence on web but fail to use it to showcase their  services or products,” he says. 

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