Government To Prioritise ICTs To Help Cut Expenditure

www.fbc.co.zw

Finance and Economic Development Minister Hon Patrick Chinamasa presented the 2018 national budget with some serious expenditure cuts to see government transitioning from being labour intensive to being more ICT intensive.

Security services, ZIMRA, the Immigration department are among some of the government departments and agencies that will benefit from the boost in ICT. In his presentation, Hon Chinamasa acknowledged the growing importance of ICT in Zimbabwe.

By Pearson Mbendera

“Information communication technologies are now a critical component of everyday life, changing the way we work, socialise and enjoy leisure time.”

Because of the proliferation of ICT, the government will be able to intensify some sectors by making them more ICT intensive, like the security sector that will see massive boost from ICT after the plans of the government to employ ICT intensive security systems.

“Government is, therefore, migrating away from labour-intensive to ICT based security systems that entail, among other interventions, installation of biometric access systems, use of cameras and sensors
in securing premises and facilities and solar security lighting.”

Some of the government departments and agencies that will receive a massive ICT boost are:

  • Upgrading of ZIMRA facilities and ICT systems at border posts, US$3.3 million
  • Funding to the tune of US$5.2 million was channelled towards the ICT sector, with ZIMRA automation accounting for US$2.3 million, whilst US$2.6 million was spent on e-Government flagship projects.

Furthermore, the government will embark on other e-government projects as follows:

  •  Computerisation of the Immigration Department; US$4.2 million;
  • Upgrade of ZIMRA systems, including computer replacements; US$5.6 million;
  • Cascading of e-Government flagship projects to Provinces, including online provision of 131 selected public services, US$3.4 million, and
  • Completion of works at the National Data Centre; US$0.4 million.

The ICT ministry received $10 million from the budget with a lot of money allocated to specific institutions in the sector such as the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), TelOne and NetOne.

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