LUSAKA, Nov 25 - Only 1 percent of Zambia's over 10 million population are Internet users, Zambia News Agency reported. The country only has 15,000 Internet subscribers and 45,000 people use shared Internet facilities such as cafes.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Mutale Nalumango was quoted as saying here Tuesday at the launch of the 2003 Microsoft Platform, out of this statistic, over 50 percent of the information and communication infrastructure are found in Lusaka.
Nalumango observed that the extent to which people could take advantage of the technology depended on what they already have in their country,saying the penetration of computers in Zambia could be extrapolated through such statistics.
She added that the level of Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills and the degree of the digital divide between Zambia and the rest of the world and within Zambia itself could also be extrapolated by the available statistics.
The minister noted that ICT played an important role in wealth generation and improving the livelihood of citizens hence government was applying some initiatives meant to improve transparency, effectiveness, efficiency and accountability.
She cited the implementation of computerized vehicle registration systems and the Ministry of Education's local area networks connecting various departments around Lusaka, as some of the sectors where the ICT are working well.
Nalumango has also invited Microsoft to extend its academy programs to Zambia, and disclosed that government was in the process of developing an ICT policy, which would provide a roadmap for the development of the sector.
Microsoft launched three products namely 2003 Server, Exchange 2003 and Office 2003, which the minister welcomed, saying ICT was an engine for development and wealth creation.
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