Zambia makes progress on access mobile and internet services

By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia

The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) director general, Margaret Mudenda, says Zambia has made tremendous progress in ensuring that every citizen has access to telephone and internet services.

“Everywhere you go it is most likely that you will see use of those ICTs,” Mudenda said. 

On the other hand, however, she said the security and safety of such technologies, especially for the young is still work in progress.

She added: “It is undeniable that the ills and cyber threats that accompany an Information and Digital Society are around us now”.

ZICTA, the telecom sector regulator, has gone into partnership with UNICEF on child online protection and other cyber security matters.

Through the partnership, a joint work plan will be developed by the signatories to advance areas of collaboration that will ensure ZICTA ICT policies (or updates to existing policies) have a child-focus; are child friendly and incorporate children’s voices; and are informed by  research relating to children’s use of ICTs.

The partnership will further establish a group of partners from government, private sector, and NGOs, who will meet regularly to exchange updates on activities and identify collaboration activities in the field of ICT and children’s rights; partner on mass media outreach to children, young people, parents, and caregivers about responsible and safe use of ICTs.

Mudenda said to initiate the partnership, a joint symposium with private partners and the Ministry of Education Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, and other stakeholders was taking place this week at the New Government Complex.

The focus will be on how to improve access to, and use of digital tools among children and teachers in the school environment; explore the possibility and means of incorporating the digital citizenship and safety into to the school curriculum and jointly propose policy and strategy considerations.

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