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Digital services crucial in development—Chakwera

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Gospel Kazako

By Isaac Salima

President Lazarus Chakwera has said digitalisation is key to achieving the country’s development agenda.

Chakwera said this in Blantyre Thursday after launching the first ever National Data Centre.

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The centre, which has been constructed along Mandala Road in the commercial city, will centralise storage and access of data for government institutions to improve service delivery.

The place will also be open to the private sector and non-governmental organisations to have their data stored.

“The commissioning of the National Data Centre is a perfect example of progress that my government is making against all odds.

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“The opening of the centre gives an opportunity to cut on data management cost. The centre will ensure harmonised and streamlined delivery of digital services in a secure way,” Chakwera said.

The President further said he expects that all government institutions will go digital and that his office will lead by example on the same.

“The centre is critical in a digital future we are building so that we can better implement programmes such as Ifmis [Integrated Financial Management and Information System], AIP [Affordable Inputs Programme] and NRB [National Registration Bureau],” Chakwera said.

Minister of Information and Digitalisation Gospel Kazako expressed hope that the data centre will improve digital services in the country.

“We are now moving towards paperless management of our economy. Data is a very critical asset in any country; hence the need to be secured. As a country, we have potential of moving forward and catch up with those that are in front of us.

“The centre will not only improve service delivery but also push us further to higher heights in terms of harnessing technology and creating employment opportunities,” Kazako said.

He said the country aims at scaling up internet connectivity from the current 18 percent to around 60 percent by 2025 so that digital programmes can be ably implemented.

President of Huawei Technologies Southern Africa Region, Leo Chen, whose company constructed and installed the facility, said he was excited to be part of the country’s industrial revolution.

“It beckons many great things to come including a world-class digital economy envisioned in the Malawi 2063. The digital economy comes with globally competitive ICT infrastructure and sound digital services,” Chen said.

The data centre is part of the National Fibre Backbone Phase II Project being implemented by the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi.

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