Zambia Smartens up with new National Data Centre

Huawei Technology Zambia has finally unveiled Zambia’s first national data centre constructed as part of the Smart Zambia project.

The data centre, under the Smart Zambia phase 1 project, is being implemented via the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) and funded by the Chinese government through a concessional loan.

Following the completion of the data centre, the government says plans are already underway to implement phase 2 and 3 of the Smart Zambia project that will see the establishment of two additional national data centres and a computer assembly plant in Lusaka.

Under the US$75 million phase 1 project, Huawei Technologies will also develop Zambia’s national broadband system to bolster public service delivery.

Speaking during the unveiling of the data centre at the ZICTA head office this week, Minister of Communications and Transport Brian Mushimba said Smart Zambia phase 1 was a key project for the country as it will catalyse the implementation of other programmes and phases of the project.

“The Smart Zambia phase 1 is a very key project to start talking about Smart Zambia phase 2 because you need to do the basics first. The basics we are talking about now is the training institution that we have in Ndola (the ICT Centre of Excellence) that will offer programmes that will accelerate the understating and uptake of ICT and the internet that we are going to build the e-governance and e-services upon,” Mushimba said.

Yang Youming, China’s ambassador to Zambia, said the project will serve as a powerhouse for the development of the country’s telecommunications industry.

“I’m happy that in less than two years, this project is completed and ready to provide services. I’m happy with the quality of this project and I think that Huawei has provided the latest technology to the country,” said Youming.

The data centre facility will be used to provide hosting services by the Zambian government and it will also charge private companies and institutions for storing their data.

According to local authorities, phase 2 and 3 of the project will also be financed by China, although the cost and commencement dates of the next phases have yet to be confirmed.

Source: IT Web Africa

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