The Herald (Harare)

22 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Businesses Urged to Go Digital

Local business people have been challenged to move into the digital age by investing in websites in order to enhance their businesses. The call was made by Information Communication Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa in an interview.

"It is Government's concern that business people continue to use Stone Age methods when we are in the digital age," he said.

"How can they expect to have better interaction with customers and enhance their visibility for prospective business deals if they don't invest in websites?"

Minister Chamisa said that businesses should emulate the Government, which has embarked on an e-government programme.

"As such, businesses should also invest in technology and put their businesses on the Internet through websites," he said.

Minister Chamisa bemoaned that many businesses remained unconnected or "under-connected" despite the fibre optic rollout along African coasts for them to be networked.

He pointed out that almost everything was go technological and being computerised including money transfer, meaning that business and technology worked hand in hand.

Minister Chamisa said that web management strategies would lead to improved customer relationships resulting from more competition.

He said since most business activities were computerised these days, there was also need for companies to upgrade technologically to fight off competition.

"Right now we have a phenomenal growth in the use of plastic money, e-commerce and mobile-business platforms that can give maximum profits to organisations," said Minister Chamisa.

"These can be effectively and better managed with investing in websites."

Minister Chamisa said that more investments and transparent transactions would also be driven by the growth of plastic and mobile money. He said the call for business people to invest in websites was an ICT literacy awareness campaign.

Minister Chamisa highlighted that by 2020 ICT would sharpen the business environment, ultimately contributing to Africa's Gross Domestic Product.

However, some business people were wary of cyber crime, pointing out that they would have to ensure adequate security was put in place.

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