Featured - Technology - Top Stories - April 26, 2021

ZITCO to boost digital transformation in the public sector

The Zimbabwe Information Technology Company (ZITCO) an assembly plant for ICT equipment is set to enhance the public sector’s digital transformation as the sector will be shifting from manual to automated systems.

ZITCO which was commissioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare is the first assembly plant for ICT equipment in Zimbabwe. It is assembling desktop computers, laptops, tablets, prepaid electricity meters, smart water meters and other ICT-orientated equipment.

It is a joint venture between TelOne, Chinese company Inspur and a Government-owned entity Flushcord Enterprises.

President Mnangagwa said ministries and departments now had to set the timelines for migration to automated systems, including putting in place the needed ICT staff, since the public sector could no longer be the follower of technological change and playing catch-up all the time.

“Government ministries, departments and agencies are directed to set timelines for the migration from manual to automated systems. Equally important is the need for all public entities to ensure that their staff establishments provide for ICT and tech-savvy persons. The situation where Government entities are playing catch-up with the ever-changing technologies cannot continue,” said President Mnangagwa.

Ministries and departments were implored to develop online digital services through the exploitation of existing linkages between the National Data Centre, the High Performance Computer Centre and other connectivity networks in which Government has invested.

The launch of the assembly plant, President Mnangagwa said, was in sync with Government’s thrust of innovation, science and technology development and was proof that ICT devices could be manufactured locally.

“The facility will further help to promote technology transfer, foster human capital development, enhance import substitution and provide robust platforms upon which innovation and design can be commercialised.”

He said the manufacture of ICT hardware locally should also prompt the development of software packages riding on the abundant intellectual capacity in the country.

Products manufactured at the plant will enable the modernisation and automation of Government systems to propel the national development priorities outlined in the National Development Strategy 1.

Speaking at the same occasion, Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Jenfan Muswere said the opening of the assembly plant was part of efforts to revive the TelOne manufacturing factory which had been lying idle owing to changes in technology.

“This assembly plant has advanced our resuscitation efforts through which we are pursuing other ventures like smartphone assembly, renewable energy manufacturing and electronic waste management among others,” he said.

TelOne managing director Mrs Chipo Mutasa said the assembly plant had already started operating with the first run of 2 500 desktop computers and laptops having already been made.

“It is expected that after the commissioning, Zitco will now be moving towards full production where a production capacity of at least 50 000 and up to 150 000 ICT units can be achieved annually. This production level will be supported by a staff complement of about 100 in-house with at least 300 jobs expected to be created in both upstream and downstream industries.”

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