Yesterday EAZ was privileged to be hosted by Dr Martine G Mtonga - Deputy Secretary to the cabinet(E-Gov) and also National coordinator for Smart Zambia. Dr Mtonga was accompanied by Mrs Annie M Dana Director -service management at Smart Zambia and Mr George Mbasela, Director -ICT Infrastructure MGT.
Its President Dr Lubinda Haabazoka represented EAZ, Vice President Dr Austin Mwange, Deputy National Secretary Mrs Rita Mkandawire, Executive Director Ms Mirriam Nachilima and Communications Director Ms Tendai Posiana
We were privileged to learn that Smart Zambia has managed to turn most of the government businesses paperless. Before Smart Zambia, GRZ was spending k72m a year on printing and delivering payslips. Today GRZ spends k0 a year on the same as payslips have been introduced. We also learnt that even cabinet meetings have gone paperless, saving millions of kwacha is the preparation of cabinet meetings. One of the innovations of Smart Zambia was the e-visa that has significantly reduced visa time processing and also enhanced revenue collection. During the first week of E-visa, over $800,000 was collected.
It also came to light that e-governance solutions have significantly reduced credit risk for commercial banks and made it easy for civil servants to access loans by linking the payroll system to commercial bank systems.
EAZ also toured the state of the art Data Center which is a purely owned Zambian cloud where government and other commercial entities stole their data. At the centre, we were joined by Mr Zeko Mbumwae- General Manager :Zambia National Data Centre, Mr Kampamba Nkole - I. T & operations Manager and Mr Michael Likando - Business development manager.
It was inspiring to see that the average age at the data centre was 20 meaning the running of e-governance systems is entrusted in the youths.
At the Data Center, EAZ was shown state of the art equipment with a capacity of hosting all data generated in Zambia. With new laws, EAZ advised ensuring that systems such as Visa stored Zambian transactions in Zambia as the case is with health data.
Smart Zambia will be one of the participants at the forthcoming National Economic Summit to be held on July 25-26 at Avani in Livingstone.
The event will be graced by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Edgar Changwa Lungu.