The Malawi Government says inclusion of Information, Communication Technology (ICT) as one of the priorities in the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) would scale up the country’s economic growth and create more jobs.

Information and Civic Education Minister Moses Kunkuyu said this when he addressed the public during the ERP national dialogue in Blantyre on Friday.

Kunkuyu said ICT is one of the key drivers of economic growth which would put the country on the right economic footing through introduction of several system upgrades and setting up of high grade interconnectivity which would enable digitalisation of the broadcasting sector and creation of platforms such as e-government, e-learning and e-commerce.

“Digitalisation of the broadcasting sector would initiate a booming broadcasting industry as the process would enable registration of more Television and Radio stations.

“This will have multiplier effects like a booming broadcasting production industry which has a very high potential to create jobs since the numerous radios and TVs will definitely outsource their programming functions to achieve quality,” said Kunkuyu.

He said projected jobs for the broadcasting sector would include producers, script writers, technicians and directors.

“We know that the numerous stations will require programmes, movies which will require technicians, producers, directors and other trained personnel thereby achieving government’s objective to increase employment and we are highly optimistic that these will be achieved once digital migration occurs,” said Kunkuyu.

He said under the ERP, government is aiming at improving usage and adoption of electronic and online services while on the other hand improving courses at the National College of Information Technology.

“We will ensure availability of e-services, usage of modern broadcasting technology and reducing communication costs by improving the regulatory framework for the sector, liberalising the mobile

telecommunications sector to encourage new international entrants, and ensuring liberal regulatory environment regarding international ICT gateway licenses,” Kunkuyu said.

He said government is aware of the potential of ICT to an economy like Malawi hence it being one of the priority areas in the ERP.

“Platforms like e-government means all government departments will be interconnected and all our files will be accessed using computers using government officers. We will also cut on travel as there will be enough capacity for video conferencing,” Kunkuyu said.

He said the business sector also stands to benefit from e-commerce which will enable fast acquisition of goods and services that would increase economic activities within and outside Malawi while on the other hand push up literacy levels through e-learning.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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