MANA. Mangochi, May 28, 2017: Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Nicholas Dausi, has encouraged district councils in the country to embrace modern information and communications technologies, to advance socio-economic development at the local authority level.
Dausi made the remarks during a dissemination meeting for the Access to Information Act (ATI) and Electronic Transaction and Cyber Security Act, held with Mangochi District and Town Executive Committees.
“Whether you are at the Ministry of Health or Agriculture, or anywhere else, take the country as your own territory, and accept that technology has come to help accelerate the country’s socio economic development,” Dausi said.
He said the ATI Act will help both government officials and the public to have access to crucial information, in line with devolution while the Electronic Transaction and Cyber Security Act, will make the cyber world safer.
“The ATI Act will empower communities to take stock of all activities that take place within their localities.
“It will help people and government to be on the same page without interference with state security. In the same manner, the Electronic Transaction and Cyber Security Act will protect people, especially children from being used in terrorist groups, without necessarily stepping on people’s privacy. It will also protect society from degenerating into a moral decadence,” Dausi added.
The Minister said government has rolled out a K17 billion project where a High Speed Optical Fiber Network, will enhance internet connectivity in district headquarters and major trading centres, using ESCOM customer supported lines. He said once completed, the network will help government automate the provision of other essential services.
“As a ministry, we are ready to work with government institutions to manage the transition for the benefit of people in the country,” said Dausi.
Principal Secretary for Information, Justin Saidi added that he concurs with Dausi, and that the electronic transaction law, would consolidate information systems such as the Internal Financial Management Information System and the Health Information Management System by connecting such networks to the central server, thereby reducing communication challenges.
District Commissioner for Mangochi, Reverend Moses Chimphepo, commended government for passing the two laws, and said the laws have paved a clear route for channeling sensitive issues related to communications technology.
Chimphepo particularly said the national fiber backbone, is an important intervention that will enhance the Government Wide Area Network, the Malawi Traffic Information System and National Identity Registration System.