Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu has said information communication technology (ICT) is a catalyst for development; hence, Malawi Government’s commitment to the provision of internet services throughout the country.
Kunkuyu said this on Friday when he presided over the official launch of Last Mile Connectivity Initiative at Gumbu Teachers Development Centre (TDC) Tele-centre in Ntcheu.
“Government has included ICT in the Economic Recovery Plan because it values the importance of improving communities’ access to information by providing them with internet services at their door steps,” said Kunkuyu, adding that a well-informed and knowledgeable citizenry plays a crucial role to socioeconomic development.
He said people need to know what is happening within and outside Malawi and government included ICT in ERP as a means through which it can communicate with people.
“If people have access to information, it is easy for them to follow the country’s economic status, what happened for the economy to be in the current state and what government is doing to make things better.
“It is through such communication that people can effectively contribute the implementation of the plan,” said Kunkuyu.
To encourage people to contribute towards the country’s development plans, he said government will do everything possible to ensure that such internet facilities are available in both rural and urban areas.
Kunkuyu said government has already built and provided equipment to over 40 tele-centres across the country and it plans to cover all the 193 constituencies across the country.
“We will in some cases be equipping the already existing structures such as post offices with ICT gadgets, but in some areas, it is a requirement that we build new tele-centre structures,” he said.
The minister advised youth who will be using the facility against visiting pornographic sites, but to use the facilities to advance their knowledge.
Director of secondary education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Chikondano Mussa said the ministry is grateful to government for establishing tele-centres in education facilities such as teacher training colleges, secondary schools and teacher development centres, saying such initiatives will go a long way towards improving the quality of education in the country.
Last Mile Connectivity is a government’s initiative being implemented by the Public Private Partnership Commission with funding from the World Bank.—Mana