On the 14th of March 2018, we attended the launch of Zimbabwe’s ICT Policy at HICC. The ICT Policy was largely overshadowed by another initiative that was being launched by POTRAZ: The Innovation Drive. Since the event, the ICT Policy has proven to be a rare commodity and we are yet to see it or actually have a clue on how to get it.
The downloads section -where documents such as ICT Policy documents from years past are found- looks like a ghost town and the last update on the page is the 2017 Cybercrime and Cybersecurity bill.
What was the purpose of the launch event?
I never understand why we (Zimbabweans) love having launch events for anything and everything. Granted, the ICT Policy launch event was coupled with the launch of the ICT Innovation Drive so depending on how you look at things that might have justified a launch event. But there are questions concerning the Innovation Drive itself because there were many questions that were not answered at the event and those questions remain unanswered even now as we get into the second phase of the Innovation Drive.
At the end of the day, these launch events end up feeling empty and ceremonial because if we are still asking multiple questions a month and a half after the event, then what was the purpose of the event?
Anyway, shortly after the launch of the ICT Policy for 2018, we went to a POTRAZ stand at the venue and asked for a copy of the ICT Policy and they informed us that they did not have one, either physically or digitally. The assistant at the stand recommended that we try to download the policy on the official page of the ICT Ministry. It made sense that they would have it there but when we went to the site there was no document to be found.
So much trouble for a document that’s supposed to be public…
We reached out to the ICT Ministry to try and understand what exactly was going on but to our dismay, we could not reach them. Looking for them was a polite gesture on our part because in all honesty this is a public document and we should not be looking for people in order to get our hands on it in the first place.
Today it still isn’t on the site and we are wondering how exactly to get a hold of this elusive document. If the ICT Ministry comes across this, please UPLOAD the new National ICT Policy on your website. We are tired of waiting for the document.–techzim