IN the heart of Northwestern Zambia, Mushindamo District, a digital chorus erupted from the Lamba land of Chief Mulonga due to an upgrade in mobile network on Friday.
Women ululated, songs of praise filled the air, and young hearts danced – not just for joy, but for the arrival of 4G.
Technology Minister Felix Mutati, beaming like a proud maestro, conducted the orchestra of progress alongside MTN Zambia CEO Abbad Reda as he made a video call to kick start the digital transformation.
Gone are the days of whispered conversations at specific “signal spots” for loved ones.
Mutati noted that the villagers of Mulonga and countless others across the nation, stand on the same digital platform as New Yorkers with fingers flying across screens, downloading dreams and accessing a world of opportunity.
But this symphony of connectivity holds more than just entertainment. Mutati, echoing a resident Manyanga Sumbula’s concerns, stressed the power of 4G to bridge educational divides.
Imagine, pupils in remote villages learning alongside their urban counterparts, fueled by the boundless knowledge of the internet.
This is the education revolution Mutati envisions, where technology levels the playing field, erasing the stress of geographical barriers.
“We had breakdowns in trying to communicate…breakdowns in trying to download…and trying to pay, especially paying for school fees,” Sumbula said as he foresaw a bright future of digital transformation for the local community.
Sumbula however noted the need for security to protect the network tower infrastructure from vandals.
Meanwhile, Mutati said Government programmes like social cash transfers, food support programmes and even job applications, will now be done through smart phones, bringing empowerment and opportunity to the local fingertips.
Mutati, conducting the event with a smile, acknowledged MTN’s commitment to rural inclusion, saying, “They are not just an urban network, but a network found everywhere you go.”
And Reda said MTN’s 2024 strategic plan includes rolling out 50 new 3G and 4G rural sites upgrades across the country in order provide technological platforms that will contribute to the acceleration of the government’s objective of
digital transformation in Zambia.
Mutati revealed that this year, Government will focus on bringing digital development in rural areas.
After the event the Minister paid a courtesy call on Chief Mulonga who expressed gladness that his subjects were not left behind in Government’s agenda of digital advancement.
By Moses Makwaya
Kalemba February 3, 2024