Minister of Technology and Science, Felix Mutati has concluded a successful visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Minister while in the UAE attended the Gulf Information and Technology Exhibition (GITEX) which was showcasing next generation technologies and innovations in Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, Cloud, BigData, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Quantum Computing, Immersive Marketing, and Fintechs.
The Minister during the GITEX engaged with among other exhibitors, Huawei Technologies on the Digital Government, e-Tax, e-Classroom and e-traffic control systems. The Minister also visited the Huawei Offices where discussions were held around Huawei’s pioneering role in the roll out of 5G technology.
As part of the programme for the Minister and his delegation, a visit to the Sharjah Research, Innovation, and Technology Park was undertaken as part of a scoping mission to aid the establishment of Innovation and Technology parks in Zambia. The CEO for the Innovation and Technology Park, Mr. Hussain Mohamed Al Mahmoudi indicated the UAEs willingness to partner with Zambia in its digital transformation journey through the establishment of framework that would guide such collaboration.
The Minister and his delegation also met with a consortium of investors specializing in Blockchain technologies and discussed possibilities of partnering with the country to provide solutions that would address service efficiencies and also seal revenue leaks in the provision of Government Services. Some of the possible areas of focus were identified to be in Health (drug procurement and management), Agriculture (input support procurement and distribution chains), Mining (logistics and tracking), and Taxation. This was viewed as an important intervention as it lies at the centre of the New Dawn administration’s determination to provide open Government services in a transparent and cost-effective manner.
On the sidelines of his engagements in the UAE, the Minister met with his counterparts from Malawi and Botswana, who were also attending the GITEX and Dubai Expo 2020 and discussed matters of mutual interest in Technology, Innovation and Science. The three Ministers also discussed possible areas of collaboration among the three countries in furthering digital penetration for the people.
The tour of the UAE by the Minister and his delegation was concluded on Thursday, 21st October, 2021 with key milestones achieved. Among them were the commitment of support from Huawei Technologies and SITA of South Africa to support Zambia in re-engineering its Digital Transformation Agenda particularly with regard to fast tracking the e-government system. The Minister also secured a commitment for support and partnership with the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park in the establishment of the Innovation Park in Zambia.
The Consulate of the Republic of Zambia in Dubai and Northern Emirates also hosted the Minister at the Chancery in Dubai on Wednesday 20th October, 2021. The Minister was accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Ms. Kayula Siame, Director Planning Mr. Succeed Mubanga, Director Communications Mr. Yese Bwalya, Acting Director-General ZICTA Mr. Mutale Mwenya and Chief Ececutive Officer National Business Technology Centre Mr. Kasese Chitundu.
During the meeting, Consul General, His Excellency Mr. Duncan Mulima informed the Minister that the Consulate was opened in May, 2019 and that it managed to facilitate a State Visit to the United Arab Emirates. Resulting from the State Visit, three Memoranda of Understanding were signed between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Zambia namely Avoidance of Double Taxation, Visa Waiver for Diplomatic Passport Holders and Protection of Investments.
Mr. Mulima also informed the Minister and his delegation of the ongoing Dubai EXPO 2020 and that the Republic of Zambia has a pavilion at the EXPO exhibiting numerous products and investment opportunities in Zambia.
The Minister thanked the Consul General for the hospitality rendered to him and the delegation since they arrived in Dubai.
The Minister also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the London American City College, United Arab Emirates and Ministry of Education, Zambia.
The Memorandum of Understanding will ensure that the London American City College sets up a small satellite Branch in the Republic of Zambia, Recruitment of the students from the Republic of Zambia and other African countries for pursuing their Bachelors’ and Master’s Degree programs / Diplomas at the London American City College in the UAE and that the students from the Republic of Zambia will be given a Special Scholarship to pursue their higher education with the London American City College in the UAE.
LACC will explore the possibility of encouraging students from UAE to visit the Republic of Zambia for tourism and collaborative study purposes. LACC will make the Republic of Zambia a Tourist Destination for educational tourism. The educational tourism involves the development of the education system as a whole to create a global tourist destination. Students from the LACC UAE will be encouraged to visit Zambia and its universities and colleges for training and research purposes. Similarly, students from Zambia may also be encouraged to visit UAE for training and research.