President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has described the National Data Centre as a critical building block in the digital future.
He made the statement at the official opening of a National Data Center in Blantyre on Thursday.
Chakwera said that since now the center has been completed, government can begin cutting costs by enhancing coordination between different digitalization projects and most importantly guarantee information security to investors.
“Now that this National Data Centre has been completed, we can guarantee information security to those we invite to invest in our manufacturing, financial, retail, and service sectors, thus making Malawi a location of choice for investors,” he said.
He added that the development will give Malawi a stake in the 4th Industrial Revolution of big data, artificial intelligence, digital financial services, and the internet of things while at the same time managing and securing data that is critical for decision-making and targeting in the implementation of programmes such as IFMIS, AIP, MaITIS, and National IDs.
However, the president said he expects implementation of policies that will ensure sustainability of the center.
“I fully expect, Minister, that you will produce a clear plan that ensures its sustainability and growth; that you will ensure that those who manage data here do so under the strictest code of ethics and data security protocols.
“You will ensure that the legal framework of Malawi adequately guides and protects the data that is collected, generated, stored, and utilized by public and private sector institutions; and that a human capacity development plan is in place to give our civil service the necessary skills and knowhow for navigating the digitalized economy and governance we are creating,” added Chakwera.
The president has further emphasized that he does not want the center to be used as a weapon for misinformation, disinformation, defamation, and cyber-attacks designed to undermine government institutions, pervert freedoms, and destroy unity.
The Data Center is the first of its kind within the Tier 3 Data Center in Malawi and it has key features like High Reliability, Global Excellent Construction Standards, and Strong Resilient Modular structure, Smart Innovation on Cloud Solution, Rapid Deployment, and Flexible Expansion.
HUAWEI President for the Southern Region Leo Chen said they are humbled to have been chosen as one trusted implementing partners for Malawi’s digital transformation which he said only shows the strong public-private sector partnership.
“ICT has become a key enabling technology for the transformation process of vertical industry sectors. As Huawei, innovation is part of our DNA. We attach great importance to R&D and invest over 10% of our annual revenue in it. We are now the World’s 2nd highest investor in R&D,” said Chen.
The National Data Center is a component of National Fibre Backbone Project which has been commissioned by Huawei Technologies, the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Information & Digitalization and Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi ESCOM as the Implementing Agency.
The completion of the data Centre is part of the Government of Malawi’s efforts to embrace technology as a tool to accelerate development and make it accessible to all at every level.