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Mvurwi still has low level Internet uptake

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MVURWI-Agrarian communities of Mashonaland Central have lamented the low levels of internet usage due to lack of modern day technology awareness as well as failure to successfully understand the centrality of internet in both development and democratic processes.

Growth of internet has been limited only to urban areas which have witnessed development in infrastructural facilities like network base stations, improved mobile network accessibility and high media awareness.

Mvurwi town in Mash Central is a typical example of agrarian communities that are struggling to harness the power of internet largely due to lack of knowledge and awareness, which has made the running of internet cafes a profitless business.

In an interview with RadioVop Mvurwi only internet café owner Brighton Rebbeca said the levels of internet use in the area has remarkably remained very low owing mainly to lack of interest by the majority who are into farming.

“This area is characterized by farming especially owing to the good climatic patterns which are favourable with agriculture activities. Even way back during the colonial era Mvurwi was dominated with farming and the black community also took over from white farmers.

“Thus our users are those drawn basically from the civil service sector like teachers for example who usually use the internet for emailing purposes alone. Use of internet for research purposes is very uncommon here,” explained Brighton Rebbeca.

The internet has proliferated numerous offices in the urban areas for business use especially communication channels like Email, Twitter, Instagram and Teleconferencing which however are more of an enigma to the ‘sons and daughters of the soil’ of Mvurwi.

 Besides the factor that agriculture is the most dominant business the other issue behind the general low levels of internet usage in Mvurwi is lack of awareness on behalf of the community.

The spread of digitization in urban areas has been enabled by high awareness campaigns conducted by different stakeholders which unfortunately have failed to make impact in marginalized areas which still find the internet as a riddle in their lives.

“The internet is still one of the things that people here fail to understand to such an extent that many are not even interested to learn as they associate it with the elite lifestyle. A sizeable majority of the youth here are probably the ones with a bit of knowhow on use of things like Twitter, however this does not entail the use of internet cafes since these facilities are drawn on mobile phones by users,” commented Mvurwi young entrepreneur Brian Nyangwangwa.

Some views the lack of higher institutions of education like universities and colleges as the reason behind low popularization of internet cafes utilization.

“Internet is basically a key requirement for students in universities and colleges who conduct researches on thesis and projects making use of internet search engines like Google and Bing. However, the highest level of education here is high schools meaning use of cafes is trick against such a background,” said a school head who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Thus, given such a scenario it means that government and stakeholders advocating for digitization have a burden to educate these places on how to effectively harness the power of internet in developing both academic and agrarian sectors.

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