Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi has reaffirmed government’s commitment to connect the country’s rural areas to the Internet through constituency tele-centres.
The minister said this on Friday when he opened a K53 million Mpemba tele-centre in Blantyre, which is one of the 31 constituency tele-centres to be commissioned this year.
Dausi said unlike in the past, Internet is increasingly becoming the driving force for socio-economic development and that Malawi was making strides to connect its masses to Internet.
“Malawi is the sixth fastest growing country in terms of Internet connectivity in the Sadc [Southern African Development Community] region. This could be testified through our various programmes government is implementing such as the fibre optical cable currently under way.
“The tele-centres, one of which we are commissioning, are part of programmes aimed at increasing access to the Internet by the rural masses,” he said.
Dausi said the Mpemba tele-centre is an opportunity for people in the area, adding that they would have the chance to look for the right information content, advance their professional careers through e-learning and e-commerce.
Blantyre district commissioner Bennet Nkasala commended the ministry for giving rural people an opportunity to be connected to the entire world.
“People will now do online businesses and that is an economic boost to the country,” he said.
The ministry, through Malawi Communications and Regulatory Authority (Macra), has established and connected 48 tele-centres with Internet.
Macra project manager Ndaona Muyaya said apart from the constituency tele-centres, they have also connected post offices.