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Digital Malawi Project to Promote Access to Information

Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Information and Digitalization, Hetherwick Njati has emphasized the importance of Digital Malawi Project, saying its completion will greatly improve government’s capacity in providing effective digital public services and ensure easy access to information for all citizens.

Speaking during site visits to selected government institutions in the central and southern region, the PS said the project is enhancing the data capacity of government institutions thereby laying foundations for facilitating government’s seamless transition into a paperless institution.

He highlighted that through the project, all systems will be interconnected through the Enterprise Service Bus through and grant personnel instant access to relevant data at their fingertips.

“Everything will be online and everyone will be able to access any government service without having to physically travel to the responsible department. There has been great progress but there is still need to fast track implementation to ensure we meet our targets and finalise all project components by December 2023,” said Njati.

Head teacher of Umbwi Secondary School in Dedza, Bernard Buwa, said there has been an improvement in the teaching quality as all teachers (about 30) can now connect to the free Wi-Fi installed at the school, enabling them to download additional teaching materials and books with ease.

"Things are different now. The free internet has made life easier because teachers can easily download books and resources that are not available in the library. This will surely lead into improved students' performance as well," he said.

The Government of Malawi is implementing the Digital Malawi Program in partnership with World Bank to propel Malawi’s digital transformation by harnessing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) that will drive economic growth, innovation, job creation, and improve access to services, information and markets, while enhancing government efficiency and transparency.

The first phase of the Project includes the following components: Digital Ecosystems, Digital Connectivity and Digital Platforms and Services, while the second phase, the Malawi Digital Acceleration Project, will leverage improved connectivity and public digital service capacity to expand digital services across sectors.

In the first phase, 500 public places including Schools, National Libraries, Courts, Hospitals, Prisons, Post Offices, National Registration Bureau, markets and airports are being connected to free internet.

On his part, Charles Phillip, Team Leader for one of the project contractors Datacom/Luna Technologies, explained that the digital infrastructure setup is at an advanced stage in Dedza and Ntcheu districts, where they have planted poles, deployed cables in selected government institutions and will finalize access points this month.