ICT MInister Nelson ChamisaAddressing stakeholders from the ICT industry, Chamisa said the use of ICT in the marketing of Zimbabwe as a tourist destination as well as development purposes should be treated as a matter of urgency.
"We are very much behind in terms of ICT provision in this country and we want to be seen as an able government. Zimbabwe has to market itself rigorously using the available technologies if we are to get back on the global market," said Chamisa.
He however said the size of the challenge that they face as a ministry was so huge and in terms of the statistics Zimbabwe was probably the lowest in terms of tele-density.
Chamisa said tourists coming to Zimbabwe find it very difficult to spend their money because banking facilities do not allow them to use plastic money.
"We want all the money that the tourists bring to remain here for the benefit of the country. Globally because of the rapid development in ICTs, businesses and social interactions have been made convenient, but this has been very different in this country," added Chamisa.
He said ICT usage was very low in all government departments and he would make sure that change for the better.
"By 1999 we had the fastest growing ICT industry in Southern Africa outside South Africa and that has changed drastically. We want everyone in this country to be able to connect to the internet wherever he is by the end of this year…" he said.
The minister said the deficiencies in the country’s mobile telephones left a lot to be desired.
"We want to create a network paradise. As a minister I would want to have a situation where our herdsmen in rural areas can be able to phone each other across mountains enquiring about lost cattle. This all should be done at comparable and affordable prices," added Chamisa.
Chamisa however assured the industry players that the ministry is not going to interact with their businesses. The best government is that governs less and you are gong to see less of our hand. You are going to do your work to the best of your capabilities."
Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Walter Mzembi also said internet connectivity was affecting many business people who might have come to visit Zimbabwe.
"If you travel to other countries you get connected to the internet the minute you touch down at the airport but in Zimbabwe you get disconnected the moment you disembark the airplane. Zimbabwe now has the worst connectivity."