Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
BULAWAYO students are the biggest beneficiaries of the community information centres (CIC) opened in the city last Friday as part of a nationwide drive to connect people via the internet.
The students immediately embraced the initiative as they took advantage of the facility to do their research and other academic assignments.
This was highlighted last Friday at the launch of seven Community Information Centers in Bulawayo.
The Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services in conjunction with the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) opened the seven community information centres in Bulawayo during the World Post Day celebrations held at Luveve Post Office.
The CICs were launched in different wards of Bulawayo and are located at post offices in Queens Park East, Northend, Hillside, Belmont, Pumula, Magwegwe and Luveve. They will provide the community with free internet and research areas. Residents can use the computers at the centres or bring in their own gadgets and connect to the internet.
Community members including women and the youths can also use CICs as a source of economic empowerment to market their products and services.
Launching the centres, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Jenfan Muswere said he was happy that the education sector is benefiting from the CICs initiative.
He also urged industry and commerce to also take advantage of the information hubs and turn around the economy of the nation in the process.
“We are happy to see students already making use of these CICs information hubs, and we encourage many to visit our post offices. We are now digitalising everything we understand that we are slowly moving away from letters and using emails and we want to help the people during this transition. We are moving with our NDS1 theme where we are leaving no one and behind.
“We have made sure that we have put these CICs in all areas, where students, industry and commerce can have access and we can grow our national GDP through access to information,” said Minister Muswere.
The CICs enable communities to access the internet and participate in the digital economy. They also promote human capital development and innovation through free computer skills training as well as research.
Ms Lorraine Siziba, the community information centre agent at Magwegwe Post Office, said she had noted that a big number of students were benefiting a lot especially those who are working on academic projects.
“We have received an overwhelming response from learners as many teachers are coming with their students here for their research. Students are working on different projects and these CICs are really helping them a lot,” said Ms Siziba.
The CICs are being rolled out countrywide but are more visible in rural areas where there were first established to beat the existing rural-urban divide.
However, the Government says it is cognisant of the need for internet access in cities and towns too hence the setting up of CICs in Harare and other urban areas of the country to promote inclusivity and equality.
The project was launched under the Smart Zimbabwe Masterplan where the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services aims to make meaningful impact to society as demanded by NDS1 and also contribute meaningfully towards the attainment of Vision 2030.