by WELLINGTON TONI
HARARE, (ITNews Zimbabwe) –THE outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and subsequent imposition of a lockdown to curb its spread has accelerated digital progress in Zimbabwe.
In the Southern African country where the virus has claimed seven lives from 574 cases, the new normal for companies is to go digital and online in their operations.
Various companies, including some blue-chip firms, have adopted online shopping, ticketing, fuel coupons, conferencing and virtual meetings.
An example is entities listed in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) conducting their Annual General Meetings (AGM) virtually.
In line with demand, local firm, BoldAds, has started one-week Digital Online Media classes, at a minimal cost of ZWL$300, to equip companies and students.
The company offers introductory lessons, posts, scheduling, digital branding, websites, classifieds and introduction to digital marketing as well as search engine optimisation.
This comes as interest in the use of information, communication and technology (ICT) has increased in Zimbabwe.
The trend has been such mainly in schools and universities.
Econet, the telecommunications giant, is propelling the uptake.
Through its Higherlife Foundation, it has partnered the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to offer online education at a minimal
DrJenfranMuswere, the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, said this drive towards the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0 or 4IR)heralded the future economic growth.
Despite severe economic challenges in recent years, Zimbabwe has taken a lead in the adoption of ICTs.
The then-president, Robert Mugabe (now late), kickstarted the drive through the nationwide donation of computers at schools.