The Mozambican government, aware of the role of telecommunications in the development of the country, will continue to regard digitalisation as a priority, in order to make the economy more productive, resilient and competitive, pledged the Minister of Transport and Communications, Mateus Magala, in Maputo last week.
He was speaking at the launch of the Project for Digital Acceleration in Mozambique (PADIM), which seeks to support reforms in telecommunications through expanding access to broadband to more than two million Mozambicans by 2028, and ensuring greater internet velocity at low prices.
The project, budgeted at 200 million US dollars, is financed by the World Bank, and will last for six years.
Magala told the launch ceremony that the project intends to increase digital inclusion and create the bases for accelerated digital transformation of the economy in selected strategic sectors.
“We are convinced that digital transformation will greatly influence compliance with our targets for information and communication technologies, and support implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals”, he said.
For Magala, Mozambique should capitalize on this project, in order to embark on “the fourth industrial revolution, which will only be possible for those nations which digitalise in the first place, because without digitalisation – which is the third industrial revolution – there will be no fourth industrial revolution, characterized mainly by a fusion between the digital, physical and biological elements”
“Our vision is to accept, ever more proactively, our dynamizing role in the economy through this project, by providing good quality, secure and resilient telecommunications infrastructures, to support the process leading to effective and sustainable digitalization of the country”.
Magala recognized that, in addition to Internet access, the public must possess digital literacy, as well as owning some electronic equipment.
He admitted that, with continued expansion of access to the Internet, and greater digitalization of the economy, would come increased risks and points of vulnerability.
“So, in coordination with other government institutions, we shall promote programmes and reforms that simulate greater access to the Internet and electronic equipment at accessible prices, particularly for vulnerable communities, schools, professional training institutions, and for groups such as women and girls, and disabled people”.
World Bank representative Zayra Romo said that PADIM will allow many more Mozambicans to go online and to acquire the skills to use, confidently and safely, digital technologies to communicate, to access information and services, and to increase their income potential.
“This investment in digital technologies is a step on the path to a more modern public sector, accessible to everybody”, said Romo. “This project will also forge a more vibrant digital economy in Mozambique, which will help attain rapid and inclusive economic growth”.