The Zimbabwean government is targeting an internet penetration rate of 75.4 percent by 2025, from 59.1 percent in 2020, NewsDay reported. Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said that the National Development Strategy 1 for 2021-25 prioritises innovation, implementation and grounding ICT systems in both public and private sectors. The mobile penetration rate is expected to increase to 100 percent by 2025, from the current 94.2 percent.
Nyoni said the government had embarked on a project to set up community information centres (CICs) to enable hard-to-reach communities’ access to ICTs. According to Nyoni, there are over 200 operational CICs countrywide offering training and free internet access to the communities, with over 40 expected to be commissioned this year. Zimbabwe is providing schools with power supplies, solar panels, computer devices and internet connectivity targeting 2,700 schools. To date, 1,100 schools have benefited from the project.
In November last year, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister Jenfan Muswere revealed that the internet penetration rate had increased while broadband network extension remained an issue. Broadband network extension remains an issue. While the country’s broadband coverage may be high, significant portions of the population remain unconnected. The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has been rolling out a number of ICT access and use programmes and projects. Potraz is funding the relocation of collocated towers around the country to ensure communities in remote rural areas have at least 2G connectivity and participate in the digital economy.