Republican President Edgar Lungu has today launched the e-government division which he said will contribute to reducing transaction costs and improve productivity.
Mr Lungu has since moved the functions of e-government and information and technology to his office.
Speaking during the launch of the e-government division in Lusaka today, President Lungu said that the move was aimed at improving coordination, implementation of information and communication technologies projects as well as ensuring that services required by citizens and other stakeholders from government are automated.
He noted that once the changes are embraced and implemented, there will be minimal human contact thereby reducing corrupt activities associated with human contact.
He noted that there is enormous potential that technological developments can bring to transform the country in a manner that will bring significant gains to businesses and consumers, adding that as a country, there is need to exploit the opportunities that arise from the technological developments.
President Lungu further stated that the first task the e-government division must undertake is to implement the e-Cabinet in order to show leadership and commitment to reforming the rest of the public service towards a smart Zambia.
President Lungu said that mere deployment of information and communication technologies in the public sector will not necessarily translate into improvements in service delivery, but that there is need for appropriate institutional reforms to address the challenges that could hinder or undermine the process of effective implementation of information and communication technologies.
The Head of State has since directed ministers and the Secretary to the Cabinet to prioritize e-government if the country has to accelerate sustainable development.
And speaking earlier, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said that the country’s aim must be to leverage on e-government to increase productivity and reduce the cost of doing business by way of having a centralized and standardized government ICTs infrastructure.
And Microsoft General Manager for Middle East and Africa Sayed Hashish has pledged his company’s support to the government in the successful implementation of e-government.