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Friday, May 24, 2024

Government enhances access to information in rural communities

Story by Tamuka Charakupa

AN outdoor public viewing screen has been set up at Dzapasi in Buhera District as part of government efforts to improve access to information in rural communities.

The development has been met with excitement and optimism by the local community which is alive to the benefits of improving access to information.

“Dzapasi is a place with a rich history, and we are happy that the government continues to recognise its role during and after the war of liberation. We used to rely only on radio, but now, our children can visit and get current information which broadens the aspect of inclusion,” said one of the community people.

Another added, “Our community can now get information that is important, for example, what government is doing across the country, developmental projects, and above all it’s a platform for us to showcase our talents among ourselves.”

Ministry of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services’ Chief Director, Mr Jonathan Gandari disclosed that the initiative is part of the government’s digitisation programme.

“We intend that communities will be able to create content and run the same content on these platforms. In the process, young and amateur producers will be exposed to the world, opening new opportunities. Therefore, this is part of the digitisation process which includes modernisation of ZBC, installation of transmitters, and all the infrastructure that adds value to the communication sector,” he said.

Implementing partner, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe’s chief executive officer, Mr Tendai Kapumha revealed that two out of 11 outdoor public viewing screens have been set up in the country.

“We have so far set up two outdoor public screens, one in Mbire and this one at Dzapasi. These 11 sites have been strategically selected to serve the purpose of disseminating information and educating and entertaining our people. We will assist technically to ensure this infrastructure is well kept,” he said.

In the spirit of leaving no one and no place behind, the government licensed community radio stations across the country to ensure the promotion of localised access to information.

The coming on board of the outdoor public viewing screens means enhanced access while also providing a platform to identify and nurture grassroots talents.

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