JINJA – President Yoweri Museveni has on July 11 commissioned a National Tier 3 Data Centre in Jinja set up by The National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) which is to host all information and applications from the different government agencies.
According to NITA-U, the facility is capable of storing five times the entire Government information as it exists currently from the over 300 agencies, which now need not have their own data centres.
President Museveni in his speech referred to the facility as a centralized brain.
“I want to congratulate you on getting this new data centre and I am glad it operates like a brain which has 5 senses with the eyes for seeing as the cameras, sensors to feel like the human skin plus hearing where machines detect one’s voice… I have seen something inside there. And it seems it can feel, hear, it has eyes that see and all the other five senses I guess,” he said.
He further urged all government agencies to use these facilities for security and manage costs.
The facility is the second National Data Centre operated by the government through the NITA-U after the one in Kampala.
The NITA-U Executive Director James Saaka said cabinet directed them to put up the National Data Centre to reduce on the expenses the government spends on the infrastructures of the different government ministries or agencies.
“To do that, the cabinet in 2012 directed us to ensure that we provide central hosting services for government systems. We embarked on the journey basically to try to reduce on duplication of ICT infrastructure in government because every agency or ministry was building their own infrastructure and much money was spent on building the infrastructure and also much money was spent on maintaining that infrastructure,” Mr. Saaka revealed.
He added saying, “Maintaining them requires a lot of cooling, power, licenses and so on and that expenditure made the cabinet to direct us to save it through building the data centre. We have built the first Tier 3 data centre for government… Tier 3 provides 99.98 up time availability across the year which only 1.6 hours of downtime in a year.”
Mr. Saaka further noted that the data centre is basically the facility that houses the main ICT infrastructures, servers, network equipment and so on that provides online services for services.
In the recently concluded the E-Government Excellence Awards, NITA-U recognized sixteen government entities and one personality for efforts on promoting electronic delivery of services to Ugandans.
The Authority is also set to unveil an electronics payment gateway to facilitate payment of government services.
“Government is set to unveil the electronic payment gateway through NITA-U. The Payment gateway is to enable citizens pay for government services like taxes, permit fees, passports among others electronically. According to NITA, the gateway is to be piloted with a few government agencies,” reads a tweet from UBC
In the FY2012/13, Cabinet of Uganda approved the Strategy for Rationalization of Information Technology Service across Government entities.
The NITA-U is the agency that is responsible for operating ICT infrastructure for government and developing e-government services.