The City of Harare (CoH) is set to complement Government’s efforts in improving access to information and information communication technologies in the capital city.
Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume said this last Friday at the Book Day celebrations held at Mt Pleasant Library.
Scores of dignitaries and schools’ representatives who attended the event emphasised the need for citizens to read to have a broad and wide range of information.
Councillor Mafume, who was the guest of honour at the event, assured Harare communities that the city was in the process of digitalising the city libraries in an effort to increase access to information.
“We are in the process of migrating from the traditional library to the modern and digital library which will offer a wide range of things which will improve the creativity, imagination and above everything else access to information.
‘‘This will help the communities and students as it will offer information at their fingertips.
‘‘In this light we are going to dedicate a chunk of the budget to improving our libraries which have been neglected for some time now,” said Cllr Mafume.
Under the digitisation of the libraries, the municipality says the libraries will offer wifi connectivity and help young people to stay away from drug and substance abuse.
The city’s move will complement Government efforts in empowering communities with information which they can use for social and economic benefit.
The Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services has been on a programme to launch community information centres (CICs) in Harare, other urban centres and rural areas.
The CICs have been launched in a number of wards in Harare and are located at post offices.
The centres provide the community with free internet and research where residents can either come in with their devices or use the computers in the CICs.
Among the first wards to have the CICs were Ward 9 (Greendale) at the Amby Post Office, Ward 6 (central business district) at Causeway Post Office, Ward 17 in Mt Pleasant, Ward 41 in Emerald Hill, Ward 16 in Mabelreign, Ward 5 in Belvedere, Ward 14 in Kambuzuma, Ward 25 in Highfield, Ward 27 in Glen Norah and Ward 32 in Glen View.
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.
Furthermore, the CICs will be a source of economic emancipation as community members including women and youths get to use the internet to market their products and services, which enhances their capacity to do business.