Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
Acting President Kembo Mohadi says the new Government of President Mnangagwa is determined to see a highly-modernised Zimbabwe, where ICTs play an instrumental role in curbing corruption and plugging resource leakages in the public sector. In this regard, Government partnered a leading Chinese ICT company, Inspur Group, to implement multi-million dollar e-Government programmes in Zimbabwe that are already yielding positive results.
Some of the multi-million dollar projects include the High Performance Computing system, National Information Data Centre, e-taxation and e-agriculture (smart silo system), among others. Yesterday Inspur Group senior vice president Mr Huang Gang visited Cde Mohadi at his Munhumutapa Offices to brief him on the implementation of the projects.
During the meeting, the Acting President told Mr Huang that Zimbabwe was keen to bolster Sino-Zim relations in several areas. His remarks come in the wake of an imminent visit to China by President Mnangagwa, where he is expected to hammer several deals that would unlock investment for Zimbabwe.
Government has already paid US$3 million for the implementation of the projects by the Chinese firm. Cde Mohadi yesterday said Zimbabwe was committed to pay the outstanding US$3,1 million to complete the projects. Said Cde Mohadi: “Let me underscore that the new Government, as part of its vision, is more than (ready) to have a modernised, highly productive and citizen-serving public sector.
“An ICT driven public sector brings with it many advantages such as efficacy in service delivery, elimination of corruption and resources’ leakages, improving the ease of doing business, climate and high accessibility to the citizens whom we are all there as Government to serve.
“Government is making frantic efforts to ensure that outstanding payments for the projects are honoured, especially the national information data centre, whose equipment has already been manufactured and ready for shipment. I am informed that once we pay US$2 million for the national data information centre, Inspur will also donate equipment for the computer production line to be located in Msasa.”
Cde Mohadi said he was hopeful that President Mnangagwa’s imminent visit to China would open new frontiers for economic cooperation between the two countries. “I am informed that Inspur would like to extend an invitation to His Excellency the President to visit Inspur headquarters in Beijing for him to have a deeper appreciation of the company,” he said.
The High Performance Computing housed at the University of Zimbabwe is one of the flagship projects under this arrangement. It is used for advanced research and high-speed calculations in medicine, engineering, climate and weather forecast, among others. Zimbabwe is the fourth country in Africa to have such an advanced ICT centre after South Africa, Egypt and Tunisia.
The National Information Data Centre to be established under this programme is expected to guarantee security of Government information in a well-secured environment.
The general feeling in Government was that the establishment of the National Information Data Centre should be expedited to reinvigorate the momentum in the implementation of public sector reforms, especially the modernisation aspect that resonated well with President Mnangagwa’s vision of a modernised public sector that offers quality services to citizens.