Government says it has allocated K800 million in this year’s budget for the enhancement of information communication technology, ICT, in rural areas.
Director in the Department of Communication at the Ministry of Communication and Transport, Victor Mbumwe said this in Lusaka today at the Launch of the book by E-Brain Forum Zambia.
Mr Mbumwe said the allocation of the funds is a demonstration of government’s commitment to providing information communication technology (ICT) to people living in rural areas.
The book titled ‘Options and Challenges for Connectivity and Energy in Zambia,’ is aimed at promoting ICT in developing countries as a tool for poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
Mr Mbumwe said government has introduced the Rural Energy Powered ICT Services Entrepreneurship (REPRISE) to establish innovative services in areas with no connectivity.
He said there is need for ICT service providers and the private sector to supplement government efforts by extending their services to rural areas.
Mr. Mbumwe however commended the mobile phone providers in the country for taking their services to all the 73 districts in the country..
He also disclosed that the Communication Authority, CAZ, has provided funds for people and institutions to undertake research in various ICT fields.
He urged E-Brain to apply for the funds in order for them to do more research.
And author of the book Dean Mulozi bemoaned the high ICT connectivity fees in Zambia.
Mr. Mulozi said this makes it difficult for people in rural areas to access the ICTs.
He said though Zambia has made progress in mobile communications, there is need for the country to promote the use of the internet