CICs bridging the digital divide

Marsha Sengwe


COMMUNITY Information Centres (CICs) have trained more than 100 000 people in
basic computer, as a first step in bridging the digital divide between rural and urban
The trainings were conducted to different groups in communities since 2018 in order
to ensure that a large number of people appreciate basic computer skills. CICs
enable communities to access the Internet and participate in the digital economy.
CICs also promote human capital development and innovation through free
computer skills training, as well as research that is conducted at these centres.
CICs were launched in 2018 and are considered a panacea to national development,
if coupled with proper use of information. They will strengthen and empower rural
The trainings were conducted for different groups in communities in order to ensure
that a significantly large number of people have an appreciation of basic computer
During an interview, ZimPost acting Chief Executive Officer, Maxwell Chitendeni,
said: “We are now grouping people in communities and training them on different
occasions. The groups include students, small and medium enterprises, women,
girls, farmers and churches.
“A massive programme is being undertaken to ensure that the training is done on a
large scale though this requires a huge budget. As Zimpost, we want to bridge the
digital divide between rural and urban communities and also improve on utilisation of
the ICT tools through these trainings.
“We are also engaging other partners in training so that we assist communities to
learn ICTSs for free as we journey towards Vision 2030.”
Zimpost operates more than 129 postal outlets nationwide, giving it an unparalleled
reach. It says that it remains the centre of activities in every locality in urban and
rural Zimbabwe, offering universal access to a wide range of products and a
With the growing e-commerce market, Zimpost has positioned itself to offer online
The SMEs sector in Zimbabwe is a major player in the economy, employing about
5.7 million people, working in the sector directly and indirectly. SMEs play an
important role in national socio-economic development, through employment
creation, empowerment of women and youths, creation of community stability,
wealth creation and act as a vital engine for economic growth.
As Zimbabwe aims to build a digitalised economy, participation of SMEs is key as
they contribute 60 percent to the GDP. Many MSMEs in the country have failed to

operate successfully due to lack of sufficient knowledge, information and intelligence
on market opportunities and trends.
Many MSMEs are also located outside large cities and this situation adds extra costs
and difficulties for small businesses to access global markets.
It is against this background that Zimpost developed a multi-vendor online store to
enable women and youth entrepreneurs to access global markets through the online
Zimpost utilises its Community Information Centres to train SMEs in business
management, export guidelines, procurement compliance digital marketing and
related logistics services.
There are 149 CICs within the postal network and 23 Containerised Village
Information Centers, providing the necessary infrastructure that can be used to
support trade facilitation activities for SMEs.

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