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Zambia can save about $264 million per year from waste – Govt

• Key driver to digital fitness would be to have a common electronic identity.
• Currently, the systems are operated in a fragmented manner.
• Key to the Ministry’s digital strategy is optimization and integration of digital infrastructure.

Minister of Technology and Science says Zambia can save about $264 million per year from waste inherited in expenditure if the country becomes digitally fit with an integrated financial system.

Speaking when he closed the MasterCard, Global Travel Wallet and Government of Zambia digital workshop in Lusaka, Felix Mutati explained that the key driver to the digital fitness would be to have a common electronic identity for citizens to interact with various government systems.

Mr. Mutati said as a result of having this common electronic identity, there would be minimized inconveniences and incidents of fraud because of the multiple numbers that are inherent and carried by citizens.

“You can’t have digital fitness unless you have got a common identity for your citizens as the number one condition. It is a key perimeter for fitness and it also allows the various systems to operate in an integrated manner” Mr. Mutati said.

He noted that currently, the systems are operated in a fragmented manner because they cannot communicate the same person across the systems and as a result, huge data has to be moved from one system to the next thereby leading to loses.

Mr. Mutati further pointed out that key to the Ministry’s digital strategy is optimization and integration of digital infrastructure as well as having internet as an essential commodity which is a necessity to influence digital entrepreneurship.

And Mr. Mutati said the country’s needs will require having an integrated system that promotes revenue integrity using the common identity which would minimize abuse of government systems and eliminate redundancy in order to reduce compromise of the total revenue.

Meanwhile, MasterCard Government Engagement Vice President Cuthbert Tembedza said the firm is prepared to bring the necessary skills transfer to support Zambia’s digitization program.

Mr. Tembedza added that the company is also committed to use its experience and global exposure to support government.

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