Government says there is need for the nation to continue to leverage technology in the country in order to build more advanced features and functionality to enhance service delivery.
Transport and Communications Minister, Geoffrey Lungwangwa, says technology is ever advancing, hence the need for the country to make every effort to enhance service delivery through it.
Professor Lungwangwa said although the country has made significant strides in improving service delivery, there was need to maintain the pioneering spirit and continue providing critical service enhancements to create multi-benefits that meet the critical need of the people.
Prof Lungwangwa said this today when he officially opened the first ever two-day 2009 Mobile Banking conference hosted by Celpay in Lusaka.
He said the uptake of mobile banking has been phenomenal in Zambia and that the mobile platform is the obvious step in making banking more accessible.
Pro Lungwangwa said this illustrates the appropriateness of the channel to facilitate high volume and low transaction as well as its relevance to the rural target market which was traditionally a cash-only space.
He said through mobile banking, the country has managed to overcome the barriers of entry to banking, particularly in areas with little or no infrastructure.
The minister observed that the service of mobile banking would make life easier for the people in remote rural areas like teachers and health staff among others.
He said mobile banking has proved to be a viable alternative to traditional bank branches in rural areas, adding that this has put into practice the Government’s efforts to promote the financial inclusion of all Zambians.
Prof Lungwangwa said the increasing cellphone penetration in the country has opened up opportunities for network operators and financial institutions to form partnerships that will help reach rural and peri-urban markets.
Meanwhile, Pro Lungwangwa has reiterated Government’s commitment to reducing the cost of doing business in the country by developing an efficient, effective and affordable Information Communication Technology (ICT) system.
Pro Lungwangwa said ICT was truly transforming the way business is being done in the country.
Professor Lungwangwa said the optic fibre backbone infrastructure currently under construction would not only transform business operations but also make the country a more conducive business environment.
Prof Lungwangwa urged the participants to respond to the challenge on how they would take advantage of the transformation in the ICT sector, especially the development of high capacity, high speed, efficient and affordable internet connectivity.
He further called on the delegates to respond to the extended penetration of the mobile phone system to communities that are currently marginalized and the increasing transformation of Zambia into a knowledge driven economy as more people access information and knowledge through ICT.
The minister said everyone should realize that ICT is transforming lives of people and that the Zambian generation was in a transformation age and people should transform accordingly.
And Celpay Zambia Limited Managing Director, Miyanda Malambo, said partnerships were important in delivering quality service to the people in the country.
Mr Malambo said there is need for stronger partnership to take mobile banking services to rural areas and educate and sensitize people on the Mobile Banking services.