ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has challenged telecommunication service providers to lower the cost of smart phones to help promote uptake of electronic services by people.
Minister of Transport and Communication Brian Mushimba said information communication and technologies (ICTs) are no longer a luxury in the process of economic progress, since they play an integral part of socioeconomic development.
Speaking when he officiated at the launch of ZFJ international Group operating under a brand name Smart Plus Investment Zambia Limited, yesterday, Mr Mushimba said Government has prioritised implementation of electronic commerce through provision of appropriate, workable policy, and regulatory interventions.
“As the ministry charged with the responsibility of driving the national ICT agenda, we would like to thank ZFJ international Group, whose headquarter is in Dubai, for choosing to invest in Zambia, and set the country as a manufacturing and distribution hub for your mobile communications handsets.”
“I therefore, challenge Smart Plus Investment Zambia Limited to come up with quality products and services that will make the lives of Zambians better, particularly, for small and medium enterprises, and the rural population,” Mr Mushimba said.
He, however, urged the company to ensure handsets and any other ICT equipment on the local market are duly type approved by the Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), and also meets the regulatory standards defined by this country.
And Smart Plus Investment Zambia Limited executive director Hakim Draa said is happy with the support that Government is providing to new investors.
Mr Draa said last year, the company sold about 2 million handsets across the globe.
“The efforts that Government is making in growing the ICT sector is commendable, and we applaud all your efforts as this has created an enabling environment for our company to operate in Zambia, compared to other countries,” he said.