By Tinaani Nyabereka
GWERU – Technology advocacy movement Techwomen Alumnae last week engaged the Gweru community on data and privacy issues with emphasis on the digital economy.
The organisation is on a mission to improve inclusive access to technology and digital security through a campaign dubbed Digital Aspirations.
Digital Aspirations programs coordinator, Aritha Mare said skills on digital commerce were important as citizens were increasingly already making use of online platforms to do business.
“We came today to engage with stakeholders because we are participating in some of the components of the digital economy hence we need to be fully-equipped. In the digital economy, there is need for inclusivity so we engaged students who a critical stakeholder in this discourse. We need to appreciate them on what they know,” said Mare.
She said digital skills were essential for the advancement of abilities to make full use of contemporary technologies.
“When we talk about the digital economy, our mind-sets start to look at the experts but we should rather include everyone; those in the informal sectors and in the rural areas.
“Looking at what is required to take part in the digital economy, we want to see if we have the requisite skills. We understand lack of skills is still a challenge to many people in our society. There are also those who don’t have access to the gadgetry and there are those that have the gadgetry but do not know how to use them,” said Mare.
Technology expert and entrepreneur, Innocent Mupasi said in the digital economy, there was need to make use of the available methods to protect data.
“To young people, the issue of data security is vital because we use data almost every day. Of particular concern is the issue of data privacy because we don’t know in whose hands the data may end up.
“One thing you must know as youths in Africa is that your data is now everywhere; in the form of pictures on social media platforms and email accounts. In Zimbabwe mobile telecommunication operators keep enormous amounts of our data so how they use it should be of concern to us. They have to be accountable to us,” said Mupasi.