Business - Featured - Local - Top Stories - March 12, 2021

POTRAZ to commission the construction of base stations in rural areas for improving e-learning access

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) is set to commission the construction of 15 base stations in an effort to increase coverage in rural areas as well as improve access to e-learning for underserved communities.

These base stations are part of the four areas that POTRAZ announced during the joint portfolio meeting on ICT, Postal and Courier Services which was held on Monday. Sites that were announced are Chikwarakwara (Matabeleland South), Nyamara (Midlands), Nyatsatso (Mashonaland Central) and Mola (Matabeleland West).

Speaking at the meeting, the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Dr Jenfan Muswere said the e-learning strategy is a Smart Zimbabwe initiative under the Smart Education pillar which underlines the government’s commitment in bridging the rural urban divide in terms of inclusivity.

“The e-learning is a broad strategy which involves the Ministry of Energy and Power Development for power, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education as well as the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education for content provision, and the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services for ICT infrastructure, connectivity, gadgets, e-learning platforms in terms of training of the teacher with ICT skills,” he said.

Speaking to a local publication, POTRAZ Director General Dr Gift Machengete said POTRAZ is involved in a project to construct 15 base stations to make e-learning strategy.

“The scope of the project is to construct 15 base stations passive infrastructure that includes towers, equipment shelters, guardrooms, perimeter fence, commercial power, solar power, diesel engine generators, power back-up batteries and access roads at the selected fifteen 15 sites. The MNOs will also provide shared transmission links with a minimum capacity of 300Mbps for each site,” he said.

The cabinet this week approved the fast-track implementation of the first phase of the e-learning strategy, planned to run over the next five years, to ensure all areas, including rural Zimbabwe, can move quickly into the modern age with no one left behind.

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