Friday, December 09, 2011

First lady urges development of ICT infrastructure

First lady urges development of ICT infrastructure
By correspondent
Fri 09 Dec. 2011, 13:30 CAT

FIRST lady Dr Christine Kaseba says there is urgent need for the country to develop Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in order to spar holistic economic development in all parts of the country.

Opening the Zambia International Conference on Telecommunication whose theme was ‘Telecommunication and beyond' at Zambezi Sun in Livingstone yesterday, Dr Kaseba said Zambia cannot afford to lag behind in technological advances whose benefits were immense.

"As a country we can longer afford to lag behind in ICT and telecommunication development because these are indispensable instruments that can spar development in all sectors of the economy," Dr Kaseba said.

She said development and expansion of existing ICT infrastructure could help the country achieve the much desired social, cultural and economic development in a bid to end poverty and make sustainable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

Dr Kaseba observed that the conference was timely as it was taking place at a time when the country was making some steady progress in harnessing ICT and telecommunication through development of the mobile phone industry.

"We need to explore ways on how facilities such as telemedicine can be tapped in order for us to help treat many people in the remotest parts of the country like what other countries like Kenya have done. As we try to look at ways of developing the ICT sector, we should also come up with ways on how the sector can help persons with disabilities and women," said Dr Kaseba.

"The PF government is committed towards achieving universal access to ICTs to all in Zambia including rural areas to enable everyone move in tandem with the modern way of doing things."

And an ICT consultant Professor Victor Mbarika said African countries should shift away from being consumers of ICT information to become producers.

He said most of the ICT information consumed in Africa was irrelevant and not applicable to solving myriad of problems besetting African countries.

"We need to move with the rest of the world by developing ICT solution to address our own problems," said Prof. Mbarika.



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