Invest in ICT, ZDA urges Zambians


By Nation Reporter

ZAMBIANS should consider investing in information, communication and technology (ICT) sector if the country is to improve efficiency and innovation in the production of goods and services across all sectors, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) director general Patrick Chisanga has advised.

Speaking at a Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME) forum in Ndola, Mr Chisanga said the agency had observed that there had been slow growth in the ICT sector.

He said ZDA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZCTA) to stimulate interest of the Zambian entrepreneurs into the sector which had been fast growing worldwide.

“We hoped that the next internet provider on the market would be owned by a Zambian, what we saw was Vodafone, which is foreign-owned. The challenge is still open to Zambians to invest in the sector,” he said.

And speaking at the same event, ZICTA director of markets, competition and licensing Mulenga Chisenga said the ICT sector still remained untapped.

Mr.Chisenga said this interpreted that jobs were being created in countries where there was manufacturing of ICT equipment.

He said access to internet facilities in Zambia remained a sad story with statistics standing at 39 percent of the entire population.

“At ZICTA, we are looking at bridging access ratio by equipping all schools with computer laboratories and the initiative will start with high schools before moving to lower schools,’’ Mr Chisenga said.

He said once construction of the computer assembly plant in Lusaka was completed, computers and tablets would be assembled and be provided to schools at a subsidised rate.

Mr Chisenga said for the first time ZICTA would set up an ICT centre of excellence at the ICT College in Ndola next month.

He said the facility would be a world-class infrastructure to be equipped with state of the art technologies and offer ICT training skills.