The Ministry of Technology and Science has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Polish ICT Company called ASSECO to invest 10 million Euros in digitalising Zampost and make it viable in the provision of digital services.
Minister of Technology and Science, Felix Mutati, said government , through Zampost and ASSECO, will create a joint venture company to oversee the digitisation transformation process.
“We are here to witness the beginning of the transformation of Zampost. Zampost will now be exposed to tested global technology, tested technology,” said Mr. Mutati.
The minister said the MoU will change the face of Zampost as it impacts the lives of Zambians in rural areas through solutions such as e-commerce and e-banking that will provide efficient and effective transactions.
He stated that government and ASSECO will sign a transactional contract to actualise the implementation of the project and achieve delivery.
Mr. Mutati further said the MoU will outline the road map to achieve the completion of the transaction.
He explained that the MoU is as a result of President Hakainde Hichilema’s directive that EU-Zambia partnerships should result in transactions that will help transform the lives of Zambians.
“We are responding to the directive by his Excellency yesterday that our colleagues who travelled all the way from Europe to Lusaka and Zambia should begin to leave some Euros in this country, because only money transforms lives. And therefore the Euros are beginning to drop and we are grateful to ASSECO,” he said.
Mr. Mutati said government is aware of the challenges that Zampost is facing.
He noted that the development will help address the problems and benefit not only Zampost but the entire country.
The minister said government is determined to advance digital transformation in the country that will change government operations and the provision of service delivery.
Mr. Mutati said the government is committed to connecting people in urban and rural areas and promote affordable and accessible services in a digital era.
And ASSECO Senior Director for International Business, Pawel Hansdorfer, said his company is committed to supporting the government in its efforts to digitalise its institutions.
Mr. Hansdorfer revealed that ASSECO is the sixth largest software company, with a workforce of 28,000 people and operations in more than 60 countries, of which 10 are in Africa.
He said ASSECO will develop new solutions to assist government institutions such as Zampost to develop new services that will bring new streams of revenue in a digital era.
“The main focus of our agreement is to develop new solutions and new services for Zambian Post, that Zambian Post should have the ability to open in a digital era new revenues for them,” said Mr. Hansdorfer.
He said the new digital solutions for Zampost will benefit Zambians in peri-urban areas as well as the government to promote connectivity among people.
Mr. Hansdorfer said ASSECO will commence the project before the end of the year to help resurrect and reposition Zampost in the digital era.
And EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, said he is delighted that partnerships are already being engaged between Zambia and EU businesses following the EU-Zambia Economic Forum.
He said he was looking forward to the actualisation of the contract and partnerships.
Mr. Wojciechowski said Zampost plays a critical role in providing connectivity in rural areas and the partnership with ASSECO will enhance service delivery.
Meanwhile, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Elias Mubanga, said his ministry will strive to ensure that SMEs benefit from the MoU and drive the partnerships to actualise the projects.
Mr. Mubanga said the MoU with ASSECO is one avenue that will help in creating jobs in the SME sector for Zambians.
And Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Chipoka Mulenga, congratulated the parties for signing a milestone MoU as a result of the EU-Zambia Economic Forum.
Mr. Mulenga said the development of striking deals and transactions is what President Hichilema wants.
He stated that such partnerships are central to helping the government achieve its objective of repairing the economy in order to improve the lives of Zambians.
The minister said Zambia needs strategic partners such as the EU to attain its economic transformation agenda, adding that the MoU between the government and ASSECO will provide benefits to Zambians.