SENIOR STAFF WRITER
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa hopes the new National Data Centre (NDC) will be the backbone of the country’s digital economy moving forward.
Mnangagwa, yesterday, commissioned the NDC which was built with the help of the Chinese government and will be the nerve centre for all electronic “business transactions and human interactions”.
The president added that the computer facility will be manned 24/7 by several users, equipped with hardware, software, power conditioning and backup, communication equipment and will also help Zimbabwe realise its goals under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
NDS1 is a new economic blue print — which is a successor to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) — aims to grow and maintain the economy by five percent for the next five years and single digit inflation.
“This is another great leap forward in the modernisation of our public sector and the economy in general.
“The NDC is of strategic national importance and its rich and impact will go a long way towards the attainment of an upper middle-income economy by 2030 and most immediately in the realisation of the goals we set out under the NDS1,” said Mnangagwa.
“On behalf of the government of Zimbabwe, I would like to extend my profound gratitude to the government of the People’s Republic of China for their consistent strategic support and partnership which led to the successful and timely completion of this project.
“Their technical expertise at large around e-governance and deployment of new technologies to improve the overall quality of service delivery across the economy has been invaluable.
“In the present development epoch, technology plays a significant role where connectivity is viewed as the life blood of all business transactions and human interactions. Strategic facilities such as the NDC ensure that Zimbabwe is not left behind.
“The whole of the government approach will further enhance planning within the integrated results-based management framework to achieve development results which are guided by agreed national priorities.”
Mnangagwa also challenged youths to make full use of the ICTs by being innovative in this digital revolution which has seen the rise of many technology-backed start-ups into million-dollar companies.
“I challenge the youth and technopreneurs to ride on government-availed ICT projects and infrastructure to create robust downstream ICT industries and technology pacts to produce software,” he added.
Meanwhile, speaking at the same occasion, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube revealed that the government has set aside $8 billion for the ICT sector for the year 2021. “As guided by the NDS1, the focus would be on further deployment of broadband infrastructure, investments in last line connectivity a smart government systems and establishment of ICT access centres for marginalised groups consistent with the above thrust, in order to further deepen our intervention in the ICT sector through the fiscas $8 billion will invested during the year 2021,” Ncube said.
“The NDC that you are commissioning today (yesterday) is a clear testimony of the government’s commitment and ability to finance and implement strategic interventions in the sector not withstanding some of the capacity constraints.
“The commissioning of this project follows the government’s injection of over US$12 million equivalent in procuring equipment and other enabling upgrading works undertaken over the last few years.
“The NDC will be a game changer in government data management and storage processes as it seeks to create a central facility for government data to improve modernisation of government
businesses to process data efficiently for all NDAs.”
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