Zimbabwe’s internet penetration has jumped to 60 percent in the third quarter of 2020. This is an improvement from 56 percent in the previous quarter as the country intensifies efforts to increase digital connectivity.
As the country prepares to be an upper middle-income economy by 2030, the attainment of a digital economy and a knowledge society are some of the key pillars of National Development Strategy (NDS1:2021-2025), launched last month by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The new blue-print places the digital economy as one of the 14 national priorities for the period 2021–2025. Zimbabweans are increasingly embracing digital technologies as a new normal under the Covid-19 lockdown, which demands social distancing and contactless means of transacting.
Internet connectivity is one of the national key result areas for outcomes leading to improved access and usage of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs.) and developing a digitally enabled economy.
“Internet penetration rose by 3,2 percent (in third quarter) to reach 59,9 percent from the 56,7 percent recorded in the second quarter of this year,” said Dr Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of ICTs, Postal and Courier Services yesterday while speaking to journalists.
“It’s important for the country to maintain this growth trajectory so that no one is left behind in the digital economy.”
The Government, through the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) and the Universal Service Fund (USF), has been investing in establishing mobile network base stations to remote areas across the country to enhance network connectivity.
Private sector players such as Econet, NetOne and Telecel have also spread their base station footprint in a bid to expand the number of subscribers.