Secretary to the Cabinet, Rowland Msiska, says government saved K1. 2 billion through the e-voucher system during the 2017/2018 farming season.
Speaking at the ongoing Central Province Investment Forum and Expo on the sidelines of the public service reforms investment promotion, Mr Msiska said one of the reasons government has decided to go digital is to deal with corruption, in the farmer support programmes.
He said a good example is the e-voucher propelled 2017/2018 farming season where government saved K1. 2 billion because the system is capable of identifying both qualified and unqualified beneficiaries for the programme.
He observed that most people do not realise how effective Information Communication Technology (ICT’s) can be in curbing corrupt practices.
“You can see that because we are using the e-voucher, the system is compelled to identify members who would want to get inputs, but are not eligible. Inevitably using that system enables us to actually reduce corruption in that particular field,” he stated.
He however said the underlining factor for the smart nation is digitalizing of various services to achieve a reduced cost of doing business.
He further said it for this reason that President Edgar Lungu has set up the Smart Zambia Institute to signify the Smart Nation concept.
Mr Msiska also disclosed that government aims at literally covering the whole country with voice and data services.
He added that with the erection of the 1, 009 towers countrywide being put up countrywide, 95 percent have been completed, in the last three years.
“Essentially when you look at the concept of smart economy, smart commerce and smart banking services among others, the underlining theme is, ‘digitalization’, which is the simplification of processes,” Dr Msiska said.
Dr Msiska also said Zambia currently has one of the best visa online in the world where anyone anywhere on the globe can access the visa.
And Mr Msiska noted that government is upgrading the management of the human resource, in the way they are managed by the private sector.
He said one of the challenges realised in the past was that if an officer commits an office elsewhere, the case will be tried by the Public Service Management Division (PSMD).
The Central Province Investment Forum and Expo is being held under the theme, ‘Accelerating Investment for Inclusive and Sustainable Development’.