ICT Zimbabwe's True Economic Driver

By Engineer Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi | 10 Jul 2019 at 23:31hrs
In the 80s and the 90s life was so great in Zimbabwe, just by attending a university and graduating with a good degree was all you needed to secure a good job. Zimbabwe of today, things have changed,  jobs are scarce and a university degree no longer guarantees one a  job. Yet universities continue to channel out graduate year in year  out and yet these universities are still not keeping up with the current changes.  The graduating class of 2018 are entering an  employment market already bloated with unemployed graduates of yesteryear.

The environment in Zimbabwe is clear that there is a need to create  more jobs and more business opportunities yet our academic  institutions still focus on raising employable graduates rather than  entrepreneur ones.  Students typically get into and out of University  with only one sole aim of becoming an employee for only to have their  dreams shattered.  Unlike many other sectors of the Zimbabwean economy  facing all sorts of operating challenges, the ICT industry has  remained remarkably resilient in the face of the macro-economic  instability.  At this time when our economy growth is slow and  continuous volatility in Zimbabwe our government should be looking for  policies that will stimulate growth and create new jobs.

Statistically agriculture and mining are no longer the backbone of  Zimbabwe's economy. The TRUE driver of Zimbabwe's economy is the  Information Communications technology (ICT) sector and the number one  contributor to the fiscus, which is mostly driven by the private  sector. It is not only one of the fastest growing industry directly  creating thousands of jobs, but it is also an important enabler of  innovation and economic development. Almost all firms and consumers  use mobile devices, computers and Internet connection for their day to  day tasks and this contributes to the Zimbabwe's economic environment,  such as providing consumers with a more diversified and customized  products, improving product quality, and selling goods and services.  ICT touches nearly every industry sector with innovative, personalized  and efficient solutions. Along with the growing impact of individuals,  the ecosystem includes fixed and mobile network operators, mobile  money, Internet service providers, chipset design firms, device  manufacturers, application developers, content owners and  infrastructure providers.

Evidently, the extension of ICT and its influences on economic growth  in both developed and developing countries has increased very fast  during the last two decades. Information and Communication Technology  (ICT) advances has given ICT students opportunities to start and grow  their own business. As a dominant group that follow ICT advances,  youth, especially university students, have been taking the  opportunity to start business by utilizing ICT. The entrepreneurship  trend also pushes them to become entrepreneur.

With the energy, water and transport crisis, Zimbabwe economic growth  and development will not be achieved without the appropriate economic  and social infrastructure. The second republic has to focus on the  improvement and the quality of infrastructure services, this has to be  cornerstone of the country's strategy, policy and programs to promote  economic growth. By adopting the right policies, Strategies and  programs the government should encouraging the incorporation of ICT  investments in all physical infrastructures (water supplies, smart  buildings, smart roads, electricity grids, alternative transportation,  schools and natural disaster-prevention programs) in a way that  encourage fair and open markets with great incentives for investment,  open and transparent procedures, collaboration and innovation.

While all the other sectors of Zimbabwe's economy experiences a period  of extreme difficulty, the ICT sector presents a tremendous  opportunity for economic growth. Without a doubt, ICT is a critical  foundation upon which the Zimbabwean economic recovery will occur. But  to ensure this potential, all parties including the government must  uphold their responsibilities to ensure healthy market-based  relationships, where parties both compete and cooperate. Make no  mistake, the ICT industry sector is strong and economically healthy.  The ICT sector has the potential to creation 40,000 new jobs if the  ICT sector participates in all current and future infrastructure  development.

Engineer Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi

For more details go to  http://engineeringnews.co.zw/2019/07/10/ict-zimbabwes-economic-driver/?preview=true&_thumbnail_id=193



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