Lungu launches e-Governance

President Edgar Lungu yesterday launched the e-Governance in Government offices and said he was optimistic the new system will contribute to reducing transaction costs and improve productivity as citizens will be able to access services in the comfort of their homes.

President Lungu also said the project would reduce corrupt activities associated with human contact.

“The objective of this project is to promote efficient transaction of business through e-Governance and to raise awareness on the changes in technology and how they are affecting Zambia as a whole,” he said.

President Lungu has since moved the functions of the e-Governmence Division and information and communication technology (ICT) to his office from the Ministry of Finance to improve coordination and implementation of the ICT projects.

He said he wanted to ensure that services required by citizens and other stakeholder’s from Government were automated.

President was speaking during the official launch of the Centre of excellence for E-Governance and ICT in Lusaka.

Mr Lungu said the launch was in line with Government’s desire to attain a ‘‘smart Zambia’’ by embracing technology as one way of transforming Zambia.

The President also said there was need for appropriate institutional reforms to address challenges that could hinder effective implementation of ICT.

And President Lungu directed ministers and Secretary to the Cabinet to prioritise the project for Zambia to accelerate sustainable development.

He also directed the ministries of General and Higher Education to design a strategy that would focus on the use of ICTs across all academic disciplines.

Earlier, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said Zambia must leverage on e-Governance to increase productivity and reduce the cost of doing business through having a centralized and standardized Government ICT infrastructure.

Mr Chikwanda said he was confident that if all measures were put in place, Government would improve service delivery to citizens and have enough resources to channel to the needy sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile, Zambia Information Communication and Telecommunications Authority (ZICTA) director general Margaret Mudenda said there was need to implement a robust and policy framework for e-Governance.

Ms Mudenda said there was also need to create enabling regulatory environment that promoted investment in the smart Zambia initiative.

“Smart Zambia initiative will improve operations by offering efficient service delivery. It can also help empower communities through improved access to ICTs,” she said.

And Microsoft Middle East and Africa general manager Sayed Hashish said the company remained committed to ensuring that Government departments enjoyed new products it offered.

Mr Hashish said Microsoft would remain committed to providing Government departments with improved data security.