Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Nicholas Dausi said internet is increasingly becoming a driving force for socio-economic development and strides to connect its masses.
He made the remarks on Monday when he opened Mpatsa Tele-centre at Tengani in Nsanje which is one of many constituency tele-centres to be commissioned this year.
Dausi pointed out that government expect a lot to be happening at the centre saying people would now do on-line businesses and that this is an economic boost to the country adding increasing access of internet to Malawians is a sign of developmental consciousness by government.
The Minister pointed out that, ”Access to Information communication technology (ICT) is crucial factor of empowering rural communities in advancing social and economic developments and technologies investing in rural areas like Tele centres could create new types of economic activities, employment opportunities and enhance social interaction and networking among people.
He noted that access to basic telecommunications services is a basic right of the country’s population and telecommunications is one of the most important tools in reduction of poverty in rural areas.
“I know through a Tele centre, people can access computers, the Internet, and other digital technologies that enable them to gather information, create, learn, and communicate with others while they develop essential digital skills,” Dausi added.
Nsanje Central Member of Parliament, Francis Kasaila said the opening of Mpatsa Tele centre clearly indicates that government is geared to ensure that information reaches out to all people including those in remote areas.
He observed that the Tele centre would be useful in job hunting, commodity market searching, and general communication required in this time when ICT is a must have, saying the opening has reaffirmed government’s commitment to connect the country’s rural areas with internet through constituency tele-centres.
Kasaila who is laso Minister of Labour, Youth, Sport and Manpower Development urged youth in the area to make use of the centre so that can get what they need through services of ICT.
He described the tele-centre as a great opportunity for people in the area noting that people would have the chance to look for the right information content, advance their professional careers through e-learning programmes and e-commerce.
Director of Information Gideon Munthali said the country is fast growing country in terms of internet connectivity in the SADC region.
He explained that this could be testified through various programmes government is implementing such as the fiber optical cable currently under way and that the opened Tele centre is aimed at increasing access to internet by the rural masses.
“Through the internet, people can buy goods, access health services, do their education and conduct various businesses without physically visiting the market place. It is the wish of government to have all the constituencies in the country connected to the internet. Let me assure Malawians that this will be achieved,” Munthali remarked.