ICT impact on society… benefits of ICT can not be overemphasised

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INFORMATION and Communication Technology (ICT) systems have and will continue to impact society aat global, local and personal levels. 

ICT has had innumerable impacts in a wide range of fields including business, science, engineering, education and health. The benefits of increased productivity due to ICT in the modern world cannot be overemphasised. 

Latest developments in the field of ICT will always have to be matched with relevant up-to-date skills if Zimbabwe is to achieve her vision of industrialisation and mordernisation. 

The following are some trending application of ICTs in different aspects of life:

λ ICT in Business and Commerce

Blockchain or distributed ledger and cryptocurrency technology,

λ ICT Use In Medical Healthcare – remote monitoring and healthcare cybersecurity has become an emerging technology feature as ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) continues to be introduced in healthcare equipment and, as such, the rise of cyber security.

λ ICT in Agriculture

E-Agriculture is developing and applying innovative ways to use ICTs in the rural domain, with a primary focus on agriculture by offering a wide range of solutions to some agricultural challenges. 

This is an emerging field focusing on the enhancement of agricultural and rural development through improved information and communication processes. In this context, ICT is used as an umbrella term encompassing all information and communication technologies including devices, networks, mobiles, services and applications; these range from innovative internet-era technologies and sensors to other pre-existing aids such as fixed telephones, televisions, radios and satellites. 

E-agriculture continues to evolve in scope as new ICT applications continue to be harnessed in the agriculture sector. Provisions of standards, norms, methodologies and tools as well as development of individual and institutional capacities and policy support are all key components of e-agriculture. 

The comparative and competitive advantage of Zimbabwe on the global market going forward must be anchored on its rich national heritage of minerals. 

The nation needs to leverage on this comparative advantage by developing the relevant critical skills in emerging technologies to exploit these minerals. 

Table Nine shows global demand/production index for select specialty minerals of great potential for 2013 and 2035 (projected). 

Some of these minerals were insignificant before but will be required in abundance in future. 

Based on Table nine, scenarios were constructed for the raw materials demand for these technologies in the year 2035. 

For the selected emerging technologies, 16 raw materials have particular relevance. 

In order to be able to better estimate the technology-driven increases in the demand for these raw materials, an indicator of demand for the respective commodity for selected technologies in 2035 related to the total global primary production of this commodity in 2013 was used.

Solely for the analysed emerging technologies, demand in 2035 could equal or even exceed the primary production given previously for 2013 for five metals: germanium, cobalt, scandium, tantalum, and neodymium/praseodymium. 

For three further metals, demand in 2035 could even be double that of primary production in 2013: lithium, dysprosium/ terbium, and rhenium. 

For these metals in particular, the increase in demand due to technological change is significantly higher than the increase in demand due to global economic growth.

The engineering and technology cluster found out that developing human capital skills in the extraction and value addition of the above-mentioned metals using emerging technologies is imperative for Zimbabwe to advance into the new digital knowledge-based economy. 

Demand on metals which are projected to increase in the future would also require a trained human capital in attributes such as exploration, extraction, extractive mineral audits, value addition and futuristic commodity pricing. Adequate planning would also mean more investment and channelling of resources into advanced technology research of these metals and emerging technologies leading to future industries.

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