Since 1969, the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) has been observed on May 17 to commemorate the creation of the International Telecommunication Union and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865.
The purpose of this date is to publicize the possibilities offered by new technologies and promote accessibility to the Internet.
Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day in Murombedzi village.
This year’s theme for World Telecommunications and Information Society Day was ‘’Digital Technologies for Older Persons and Healthy Ageing”. This year’s theme was in alignment with the Government’s agenda of leaving no one and no place behind, hence even the older people are not left behind.
“This year’s theme for World Telecommunications and Information Society Day is ‘’Digital Technologies for Older Persons and Healthy Ageing”. This year’s theme is in alignment with the Government’s agenda of leaving no one and no place behind, hence even the older people are not left behind.” revealed by Dr. Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services on the commemoration of World Telecommunications and Information Society Day held today at Murombedzi Growth Point in Mashonaland West Province.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this year’s theme raises awareness of the important role of the ICTs in supporting people to stay healthy, connected and independent – physically, emotionally and financially,” Dr. Muswere said.
Dr. Gift K. Machengete, the Director-General of the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) said this year’s theme was apt in that it seeks to correct an imbalance whereby older persons were being left out in the digital revolution as most focus and attention is being placed on the young.
“When we speak of inclusive ICT access and use, focus has been on inclusion of People with Disabilities, people in remote rural areas as well as girls and women. Seldom has focus been on the elderly who are in fact also an excluded constituency in terms of ICT access and use,” Dr. Machengete said.
He said unlike young people born in the digital era who have even been christened Digital Natives, older persons are not good with ICTs, they are not familiar with ICTs and hence they are quite vulnerable to things like Internet fraud.
POTRAZ has been cognisant of the need to train the elderly in ICTs and involve them in ICT programs. The Authority in this regard has been training digital literacy skills in older persons at the various Community Information Centres (CICs) countrywide.
In 2021, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day was celebrated under the theme ‘Accelerating Digital Transformation In Challenging Times.’ In 2020, it was ‘Connect 2030: ICTs For The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).’ All in all, every theme points toward the fact that one can’t overlook the efforts of modernisation through the use of the internet, telephone, radio, and computers, in bringing people closer. And therefore, the WTISD is dedicated to the evolution of communication.