Lack of skilled manpower to train in using Information Communication Technologies from the earliest stages in schools is one the major challenges facing Zimbabwe. Addressing participants at a workshop to validate the draft National Information Communication Technology policy framework, permanent secretary Engineer Sam Kundishora access to ICTs should be spread across the country to raise levels of competence to use the scientific devices.
"As Government we need to look at the skills levels in this country with regards to ICTs. We talk of having the highest literacy levels on the continent. It is true and we can read and write, but we have to admit that our ICT literacy levels still leave a lot to be desired."
Eng Kundishora said the Government was pursuing various programmes in partnership with the private sector to remedy the situation.
"As Government we set up an ICT Government school for civil servants and we are also partnering with the private sector whose focus is on training," he said.
He said his ministry was also equipping training centres run by the Ministry of the Public Service in an effort to raise ICT literacy levels.
Eng Kundishora, however, said in its efforts to increase the ICT penetration rate, the Government was facing numerous challenges ranging from limited funding and inadequate communications infrastructure.
"In order to overcome these challenges in the ICT sector there is the need, on both the public and private sectors, to come up with a well focused approach in addressing these at a broader level," he said.
Meanwhile, the draft National ICT policy is now at validation stage which entails corroborating information gathered during the outreach meetings with the information contained in the draft.
The new policy document, which will replace the one crafted in 2005, seeks to promote local development of ICT products and services and to create a conducive environment for investment in the sector through Public Private Partnerships among other issues.
Analysts contend that ICTs have enormous potential especially for developing countries in furthering sustainable development.
The spread of ICTs brings new opportunities for economic growth and development while new markets, new products, and new services are being created which bring with them new sources of revenue.