Bridging the Digital Divide in Zimbabwe: Gikko at the Forefront

Bridging the Digital Divide in Zimbabwe

Gikko was invited to be part of the inaugural Zimbabwe Telecommunications Conference held in Harare. Held under the theme “Connecting the Unconnected: Bridging the Digital Divide”, the conference drew leaders from the telecommunications sector in Africa.

The conference served as an important milestone for Zimbabwe, and provided businesses operating in this space with a platform to discuss common challenges and explore possibilities together. What became clear as the conference went on is that African businesses have the skills to not just solve local problems, but to set new standards for the world to follow.

But, in a country where access to technology is still limited, SMS has become an essential component in any organisation’s communications strategy, serving marketing, customer service and support goals.

Building a Stronger Bulk SMS Ecosystem in Zimbabwe

We networked with key stakeholders, mostly from the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), and discussed how we have collaborated well in the Bulk SMS space. We discussed how we can improve service provision both ways. The conference addressed key challenges, with a particular focus on embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI). Discussions highlighted AI’s ability to significantly transform the way people live and conduct business worldwide. Most importantly, AI is seen as a cost-cutting measure.

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe chipped in, adding that it is key to converge regulators to improve ease of doing business. Furthermore, the area around the cost of communication was heavily discussed.

Industry Collaboration & Gikko’s Solutions

MNOs highlighted the need to converge with multiple sectors to address the Digital Divide. Within that statement lies a whole world of possibility, especially if one imagines MNOs working together with education providers, short-term insurance companies, banks and the like. With their deep penetration into the market, MNOs, in partnership with other organisations, have a great opportunity to solve some of Zimbabwe’s most difficult challenges.

This aligns with Gikko’s business objectives. For instance, we provide a portal that enables businesses to communicate with their customers through mobile devices (their preferred channel) more efficiently and cost-effectively. Talking of AI, Gikko’s Bot Building Platform – ANSWERS, lines up in the ecosystem. It makes it easy for businesses to design, build and test chatbots for mobile chat applications like WhatsApp.

We look forward to engaging more with our colleagues in Zimbabwe, and we are hopeful that together we can do great things.

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