Columnists Features

Why ICT practitioners should join ICTSZ


TODAY, I will talk about the Information and Communications Technology Society of Zambia (ICTSZ) as a professional body, and its benefits to both individuals as well as to the organisations.
But before I get into details, let me talk briefly about the just-ended ICT annual general meeting (AGM) held in Livingstone.
At least, I can now say that the ICT professionals have started appreciating the ICTSZ’s existence. I say so because the attendance was impressive. However, I hope to see the number of delegates to grow at the next gathering.
The presentations and all deliberations went on very well, and by the way I was almost forgetting about the elections. But before I reveal a little secret about the election, I wish to commend the past executive led by Mofya Chisala for making it possible for us to have such a wonderful event and also for all the work they did during their tenure of office.
To you all, I say well done. Coming to the secret, the author of this article is the new chairperson for the Midlands. Yes I am, just congratulate me. We had successful elections and formed a new executive to be led by Alick Siankumo as president.
The rest of the team includes Christopher Lalusha as vice-president and Milimo Munyati as the treasurer.
The position of chairperson for Northern region went to Nelson Sapi, chairperson for membership is Dickson Chilambo while Zeko Mbumwae is new profession chairperson, with Valentine Sendoyi scooping the technical chairmanship.
The two committee members are Fatima Abad and Molly Mwale. The position of chairman disciplinary remained vacant as it was not contested for.
Let’s now get back to the business of the day. What are the benefits of professionals and corporate entities affiliating to the ICTSZ?
This is probably the first question most of the people if they are told to join the society.
I have personally been asked this question by a lot of ICT professionals. I would say yes. It is difficult, however, for the benefits to be noticed, especially for those people who want to seem immediately they join the professional body.
Some benefits may come unnoticed for example, recognition. This usually happens in cases such as when one applies for employment, some employers want to see whether a job seeker is a member of a particular professional body or not.
It could be the reason why some of some job seekers wonder to why they are always left out and never get shortlisted for most of the jobs they apply for despite having rich and savvy qualifications and resumes.
Please make sure you join professional bodies, you never realise how many opportunities you miss by not belonging to professional bodies. Imagine if you attended a gathering such as the AGM and meet high profile ICT gurus and the connections you make which can maybe result in you getting your dream job.
On the side of corporate organisations, it is very important for you to encourage all the ICT employees of your organisations to join the society, if anything, it is a must that any employer looking for an ICT personnel, they have to involve the society in the employing process. This will prevent you from engaging unqualified personnel.
I have also noticed that most of the organisations float and bid for ICT system tenders without involving the society.
Please be advised that it would serve you a lot of money if you involved the society in coming up with your system specifications, tender evaluation and even in monitoring the projects in some cases. The society has a lot of ICT experts with different specialisation who are available to help if called upon. As organisations, sometimes you wonder why you employed that person who despite working for a long period, they never improved their performance, it could be that you picked a wrong person for that particular job.
Not all ICT trained experts can perform on all specialties, some might be very good in software development, web engineering while others in networking and security. The point I am trying to make is contacting the professional body for help in strategically employing the right person for the job. This can also apply to some ICT related projects, many organisations fail to manage projects due to bad specifications as well as bad advice they get from various consultants.
Please appreciate that consultants are there for business and would do anything to make few monies.
It is important that you consider involving the professional bodies that are not there for profit making but rather to serve the nation through provision of ICT regulations and governance.
Remember, ICT is growing very rapidly and so are the people using it becoming more and more complicated and fraudulent.
The society is there to protect such situations but please have it in mind that only those people known and engage the society but should you try to ignore the society, any problems concerning ICT such as fraud, data theft, piracy and any other problems might prove difficult to be attended to by the society.
Please get registered now!
The author is Zambia Daily Mail Limited Deputy ICT Manager.

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