The new National Data Centre commissioned yesterday by President Mnangagwa will anchor all e-government programmes and will allow co-ordinated planning and monitoring of results.
The President said Government would continue upscaling implementation of information and communication to accelerate the modernisation, industrialisation and growth of the economy.
Guided by the public sector reform agenda, focus would remain on making Government more relevant, responsive and closer to the people.
“The need to continuously adopt systems that eliminate bureaucratic red-tape and reduce the cost of doing business cannot be overemphasised, hence the National Data Centre is a vital cog to achieve these objectives,” said President Mnangagwa.
The centre was of strategic importance because its reach and impact would go a long way towards attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030 and help achieve the goals of the National Development Strategy 1.
“In the present development epoch, technology plays a significant role where connectivity is viewed as the lifeblood of all business transactions and human interactions. Strategic facilities such as the National Data Centre ensure that Zimbabwe is not left behind,” he said.
President Mnangagwa thanked the Chinese government for its strategic support and partnership that saw the successful and timely completion of the project.
“Their technical expertise and knowledge around e-governance and the deployment of new technologies to improve the overall quality of service delivery across the economy, has been invaluable.”
The collaboration of partners such as Inspur Group of China and the Sino-Zimbabwe Technical Cooperation’s innovative communication technologies was set to have an impact across the economic spectrum.
President Mnangagwa said infrastructure such as the National Data Centre and the Zimbabwe High Performance Computing Centre established at the University of Zimbabwe, would go a long way towards capacitating institutions on adaptation of all sectors of
the economy in line with the fourth industrial revolution.
“The National Data Centre will anchor our e-Government system as the centre-pivot for the Whole of Government Approach to ensure coordinated planning and implementation of National Development Plans.
“The Whole-of-Government approach will further enhance planning within the integrated results-based management framework to achieve development results which are guided by agreed national priorities,” he said.
He was already using the executive electronic dashboard in his office, linked to the National Data Centre, and this helped him compare what he heard from his ministers with the data in the centre.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development needed to help ensure ICT migration from different Government departments to the National Data Centre by availing the requisite devices and connectivity infrastructure to enable civil servants to access the NDC.
Speaking at the same occasion Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said the establishment and operationalisation of the NDC would ensure that all Government data would be housed in a single repository.
“This is a very important occasion in the history of our nation as we demonstrate to the world that despite the challenges that we have been facing over the past years, we are still capable of achieving great things,” said VP Chiwenga.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said Treasury would continue providing funding for the development of ICT.
“The current Covid-19 pandemic has shown the need for proactive approaches in investment in ICTs across the whole spectrum of the economy.”
Investment of $8 billion would be invested this year in ICT with $600 million earmarked for the digitalisation of five television transmissions sites, two television studios, digitalisation of FM studios and expunging the legacy debt.
Information Communication and Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said his ministry would continue creating an enabling environment for ICT growth in line with global dictates.
Other dignitaries who attended the event included Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Public Service Commission chair Dr Vincent Hungwe, Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and senior Government officials.
China’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Guo Shaochum and other dignitaries followed the event virtually.