We are implementing the telemedicine project to ensure the use of ICTs to facilitate the provision of clinical healthcare, says Minister Muswere



By Wallace Mawire


Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services has launched the National Data Centre that is expected to bring a new normal on how data and information is managed in the country, according to ICT Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere.

It is reported that the launch and operationalization of the National Data Centre is one of the grand strategies in successfully implementing the National ICT Policy and the e-Government Programme.

“It is also a clear demonstration of ensuring that the attainment of the country’s Vision 2030 is heavily anchored on the modernization of our economy through the use of ICTs,” Dr Muswere said.

He said that the SMART Zimbabwe 2030 initiative is the framework which provides for a Smart Government and consequently for effective e-Government.

He said that the ICT ministry would continue to provide the enabling environment that is necessary for the intensified adoption and utilisation of ICTs within government and across the economy at large to ensure that the country moves in tandem with the new dictates of global economics and governance.

National Data Centre will be used as a central repository for all government information

“This is in addition to ensuring that ICTs are diffused to penetrate to all corners of the country, hence bridging the digital divide and promoting rural development.

Deployment of ICT infrastructure and equipment also resonates very well with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), as well as the attainment of Vision 2030,” he said.

According to the ICT ministry, the National Data Centre is one of the success stories in the implementation of various projects under the e-Government Programme that our Ministry in collaboration with the Office of the President and Cabinet are deploying across the public sector to re-invigorate the performance of government institutions, systems and processes,” Muswere said.

It is reported that the National Data Centre will be used as a central repository for all
government information.

This is expected to allow for quick access, exchange and sharing of information by the various users within government.

It is reported to be critical for quick decision making and service delivery.

The operationalisation of the National Data Centre will offer an opportunity for government to save financial resources as ICT operations will be based on cloud computing.

“This also resonates well with the Whole of Government Approach,” Muswere said.

How Zimbabweans access the government information and services

The ministry’s goal under the e-Government programme is to attain 100% e-enablement in the provision of basic services by the government.

It is added that the strengthening of the government portal and the ministries’ websites will also provide the platform for the citizens and business to access the government information and services that will be housed in the National Data Centre.

It is added that remarkable achievements have also been made under the second Republic in conformity with the SMART Zimbabwe ICT Strategy and requirements of Vision 2030.

The mobile penetration rate has in the country is reported to have risen to 87.7% from the 10.4% recorded in in 2008.

The Internet penetration rate is also reported to have been consistently growing over the years and currently stands at 59.9% up from the 1.3% recorded in 2008.

Also Community Information Centres, a key infrastructure to provide access to online services to the local communities, particularly the less privileged members of these communities, have also been deployed throughout the country.

“They will enable citizens to also access government online digital services amongst other things,” Muswere said.

Other initiatives include deployment of Pre-Fabricated Modules (PFMS) kiosks across the country, e-Learning initiatives to ensure that students throughout the country have equitable access to educational content, implementation of the telemedicine project to ensure the use of ICTs to facilitate the provision of clinical healthcare using two way communications between physicians and the patients at remote, rural healthcare centres.

It is a Safe Cities initiative that uses camera technology to manage and monitor traffic in the cities and deployment of base stations across the country to ensure ubiquitous connectivity throughout the country.

Dr Muswere said that as government they have identified ICTs as one of the pillars and cornerstones for economic development.

He said that access to ICTs and effective participation in the digital economy is critical in improving the quality of life for all the citizens of Zimbabwe.

“The Community Information Centres initiative therefore, resonates very well with the government’s vision that is anchored on leveraging ICTs for sustainable development,” he said.

At a continental level, it is reported that Data centres are entering new markets including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia.

MISA Zimbabwe, one of 11 chapters of the Media Institute of Southern Africa, which promotes and defends media freedom and freedom of expression across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region said that the launch of the National Data was a critical step towards the fulfilment of some of the objectives under the National Development Strategy.


This article is published in partnership with Success Zimbabwe Magazine.



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