Tag Archives: zimbabwe

Zimbabwe ICT4D Resources

 1.  National ICT Policy/Plan/Strategy

a. Zimbabwe Ministry of Information Communication Technology Strategic Plan (MICT Strategic Plan)

Last Updated: February 8, 2013

Published by: Ministry of ICT

Language: English

b. Zimbabwe National ICT Policy Framework

Last Updated: February 8, 2013

Published by: Ministry of ICT

Language: English

2. Government Websites/webpages:

a. Ministry of ICT, Postal, and Courier Services

3. Case Study:

a. Sharing Local Content in Local Voices

Organization: Practical Action

Time Frame: initially from October 2008 to March 2009 (now permanent)

Language: English

4. Other Non-Government Resources:
(I’ve only included resources that the last Zimbabwe project, TIM0603, didn’t)

a.   Digital Economy Rankings 2010: Beyond E-Readiness

Last Updated: June 2010

Published by: Economist Intelligence Unit

Language: English

b. Country and Lending Groups

Last Updated:

Published by: The World Bank

Language: English, Arabic, Mandarin

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ICT Production & Industry in Zimbabwe

Figure 1: Zimbabwe ICT Goods Imports

Figure 1: Zimbabwe ICT Goods Imports

What percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) does the ICT Industry take up in Zimbabwe?  The World Bank provides us with the percentage of total goods imports that ICT goods imports take up.  These include: “telecommunications, audio and video, computer and related equipment; electronic components; and other information and communication technology goods. Software is excluded”.  Zimbabwe’s ICT goods intake decreased from 4.2 percent in 2004 to about 3.6 percent in 2010 (see figure 1).

Figure 2: Zimbabwe ICT Goods Exports

Hoping this was due to an increase in exports, I was let down to find that despite a slight increase from 0.1 percent in 2004 to 0.6 percent in 2008, the country bottomed out in terms of ICT goods exports in 2010 (see figure 2).  This is about on par with the rest of its neighboring countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In Zimbabwe’s ICT Strategic Plan, there is an evident focus on production and industry.  For example, three of the country’s overarching goals are to: create new competitive business opportunities for the growth of the ICT industry, accelerate technology commercialization in support of small and medium enterprises, and establish ICT technoparks and incubation hubs.  Due to the strong neo-liberal values still in place since the country’s colonial time period under British rule as Southern Rhodesia, Zimbabwe’s economic landscape is highly tuned towards stimulating and sustaining economic growth.  Therefore, the goals for ICT production trend towards promoting ICT commercialization, technology transfer, and collaborating with international organizations and companies.  This does not mean that regional projects are not promoted, but the local ICT in Zimbabwe are named “initiatives” in national policy, as many are still only at a preliminary stage.

Figure 3: Foreign Direct Investment in Zimbabwe

Figure 3: Foreign Direct Investment in Zimbabwe

The proof of the neoliberal views of Zimbabwe’s government and foreign policy initiatives are seen in the amount of foreign economic involvement in the country.  Foreign direct investment in Zimbabwe as a percentage of GDP has gone from 1.7 percent in 2009 to 4.1 percent in 2012, according to the World Bank Development Indicators.  Besides Mozambique, which has an unhealthy upward trend in new investment flows, Zimbabwe is one of the highest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of international lasting management interest in its economy (see figure 3).


Critical Thinking About ICT4D: A Case Study

As mentioned in our lovely textbook, the Intermediate Technology Development Group, now known as Practical Action, is one of the few programs using ICTs to provide the information needs of the poor people, not the donors.  The reason most projects do not focus on the demand side is because “people cannot ask for things of which they are not aware or have not yet experienced.” (Unwin, 57).  The important point to take from this blog post is that there are similarities in the needs of the poor in different countries, but there are also significant local differences in need and ability to gain access.

Therefore, with no further ado, let me introduce you to this organization by asking you to watch this hilarious two minute video on what they do in Peru, then we will move on to a case study in Zimbabwe (my country for this class)!

If you don’t want to watch the video, here is a short description of the organization: it is an NGO that uses ICT to challenge poverty in developing nations.  Enable poor communities to build their knowledge and produce sustainable solutions for things like energy access to climate change to enabling producers to create inclusive markets.

In a rural community in Zimbabwe, residents now have electricity, unheard of in most rural areas of the country. This is due to the implementation of a micro-hydro generator constructed by Practical Action Southern Africa, funded by the European Union.  It has provided life-changing scenarios in basic education, sanitation, and healthcare, not to mention the ease of television to receive the local news.   Before, one farmer had to travel 64 kilometers (39 miles) to find out the current market prices.  What is so very neat about this case study is that it is very sustainable (as well as renewable and good for the environment), meaning that this community can fix the system themselves and enjoy significant improvements in their lifestyles and prosper from their electricity supply.

Empowering poor individuals and marginalized communities is what one main goal of ICT4D should be, and this organization is a good example of an “appropriate balance between supply and demand, between the aspirations of those seeking to implement the initiative and the needs of those who will be using and implementing them.” (Unwin, 70).


Zimbabwe National ICT Resources

Title: Zimbabwe National Information and Communication Technology Policy Framework
<http://www.techzim.co.zw/wp-content/uploads/Zimbabwe_National_ICT_Policy_Framework_Dec2005.pdf
Author: Ministry of Science and Technology Development
Last Updated: December, 2005
Language: English

Title: WSIS National e-Strategies for Development 2010 report

http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/cyb/app/docs/National_estrategies_for_development_2010.pdf
Authors: ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau and the ITU General Secretariat
Last Updated: 2010
Language: English

Title:Measuring the Information Society
http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/backgrounders/general/pdf/5.pdf
Author: International Telecommunications Union (non-governmental source)
Last Updated: 2011
Language: English

Title: The Global Information Technology Report 2012
http://www.weforum.org/reports/global-information-technology-report-2012
Author: World Economic Forum (non-governmental source)
Last updated: 2012
Language: English

Title:The Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011
http://reports.weforum.org/global-information-technology-2011/

Author: World Economic Forum (non-governmental source)
Last updated: April, 2011
Language: English

Additional Resources:
TECHZIM
http://www.techzim.co.zw/
ALLAFRICA
http://allafrica.com/


The Cloud in Africa

Cloud computing technology is becoming increasingly important in ICT. This technology provides hardware and software services over a network. “The Cloud and Africa: Indicators for Growth of Cloud Computing” discusses predictors of cloud computing success in Africa.

The paper first discusses the potential benefits of the cloud in Africa– economic growth, greater data storage, increased communication and collaboration, and lower overhead costs. In addition, cloud computing can specifically be used in different ICT4D projects like e-education, e-health, and e-commerce.

The article describes the idea of “cloud readiness,” focusing on five indicators of cloud readiness: ICT, infrastructure, business, investment, and socioeconomic factors. These indicators help to determine which nations are most ready to employ cloud technology. In order to conduct this study, the author chose the 10 largest internet using nations in Africa: Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Zambia. Finally, Rwanda was added to the study because of its government’s focus on ICT4D.

The author then created a Cloud Readiness Index (which is described in much greater detail in the paper). The top five countries for cloud readiness were, in order: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Sudan, and Kenya. A visual representation of the Index can be seen below:

Image

In his conclusion, the author reemphasize the importance of the cloud as one tool in the ICT4D toolkit, but also reminds us that each country will need its own individualized path to cloud readiness and this should be a focus in coming years.


Online Livestock Marketing in Zimbabwe

I just saw something on the news several days ago saying that the first online marketing system for livestock in Zimbabwe just came out last month. Now Zimbabweans can now buy and sell cattle online, which has brought farmer with more efficiency to trade animals at an industrial level.

The portal founder, Allister Banks said, “I have over 20 years’ experience in the livestock marketing industry and I know that I am up against a hundred years of tradition. The industry has relied on live cattle auctions but we are saying that does not have to be the case anymore, thanks to improvements in technology.”

Before that, the buyers had to physically go to farms or auctions to purchase livestock, and then transport the livestock on their own. Now they can just put up their cattle for sale on the website through a cellphone. From this case we see similar applications in Kenya about the mobile technology use in banking and business. Likewise, payments are also transferred through mobile payment systems.


ICT4E in Zimbabwe

About OLPC that we discussed today: When I check the wiki on OLPC, I find that the penetration of information technology channel in Zimbabwe is still lacking because of the current financial difficulties in the country, so the project of OLPC remains to be communicated with the new minister of telecoms and science and technology

Image

Even though economic, social and political turmoil in Zimbabwe has a debilitating effect on its already declining education system, Zimbabwe national ICT policy does make significant references to the promotion of ICTs in education including pedagogical use in educational institutions.

Zimbabwe has a vibrant civil society sector that promotes ICT for development and education as well. For example, organisations such as World Links Zimbabwe has played a pioneering role since the late 1990s. Its mission is ‘to improve educational and employment opportunities for youths and teachers through the use of information and communication technology.’

One of the projects that draws my attention is Teacher Professional Development (TPD). It empowers teachers to use ICTs as a tool for better teaching and learning. They train a national team of master trainers who will be able to provide training to theory counterparts around the broad theme of using ICTs to enhance teaching and learning at all levels. Continual training will assist to achieve their capacity-building goal, one of the policy recommendations for ICT implementation. The program includes the Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI) and Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL), comprehensively addresses teacher learning, from preservice through teacher leadership in grades 2-14.

Unlike OLPC, this project focus more on the human factor to education. Its continual training enables the sustainability.

Check out this link, and this link for further information.