ENHANCED usage of information communication technologies (ICTs) can help bridge the rural-urban divide and promote development, President Rupiah Banda said yesterday as he commissioned the first-ever Government-funded community telecentre in Mongu.
Speaking at the launch of the Limulunga Multi-purpose Telecentre, which is located at the Lozi plateau capital of Limulunga, President Banda said ICTs played an important role in national development.
He noted that there was a positive relationship between investment in ICTs and the overall gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
The telecentre comprises various equipment, among them computers, a state-of-the-art photocopier, a scanner, fax machine and a digital camera.
It will provide Internet services, computer training and other services.
Mr Banda said the facility would be necessary for improving literacy levels in the area, and challenged Mongu residents to enrol for various online courses.
“Instead of being in a physical classroom, users may enrol for online courses and thereby increase their knowledge base. E-health (electronic health) services may also be undertaken here.
“I am sure that many of us are not computer literate, so this will provide the local people with an opportunity to acquire computer skills and become employable in companies that require knowledge in computer usage,” Mr Banda said.
Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) chairperson, Getrude Akapelwa-Ehueni said more community-based facilities would be established in rural areas throughout the country.
ZICTA is the sponsor of the telecentre.
“This is one of the initiatives the authority has embarked on to bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural communities.
“The multi-purpose telecentres are to provide ICTs in rural areas for the benefit of the public, especially those that do not have the facilities of their own,” Ms Akapelwa-Ehueni said.
[Times of Zambia]