Government pumps K6 billion into access
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
Vice President Khumbo Kachali has disclosed that Malawi’s government is set to invest K6 billion in the ICT sector expected to reduce the cost of internet connectivity and improve quality.
Through expanded fibre optic infrastructure from the Indian Ocean that will increase available broadband Kachali says the majority of Malawians who live in rural areas will be able to access to accurate information.
The Vice President said this would be possible through the establishment of telecentres across the country expected to provide ICT services that would include internet, telephone, photocopying, faxing, documents binding and lamination, library, computer and secretarial lessons, conferencing as well as television and video provisions.
Last week, Kachali opened what Information and Civic Education Minister Moses Kunkuyu described as the 43rd telecentre in Karonga district, 590 kilometres north of Lilongwe.
The newly opened Lupaso Telecentre is situated 22 kilometres northwest of Karonga Town is expected to serve eleven schools and close to ten villages.
“Informed citizens can contribute to national development,” observed Kachali during the ceremony.
In functional democracies such as Malawi, Kachali believes provision access to information is integral to the sustenance and growth of multiparty democracy.
“The majority of our people live in rural areas such that access to accurate information, when they need it, has become part of the basic needs that we in leadership positions must endeavour to provide,” he said.
“Information and Communication Technology plays a vital role in the development of any country,” the Information and Civic Education agreed with the Veep.
Kunkuyu said through the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) the government arm that is establishing these telecentres, government will ensure that ICT is available even in rural areas.