President Museveni yesterday officially commissioned the Tier 3 Data Center (DC) in Jinja — becoming first of its kind operated by the government through National Information Technology Authority (NITA) Uganda. The newly introduced DC is strategy for the government to provide a centralized hosting services for its data and applications.
The president in a short remarks applauded NITA Uganda spear-heading the whole initiative for completing the project. In rumors we had, the DC could have cost at least USD$15 billion (roughly UGX55.6 trillion).
Pres. Museveni in his remarks described the data center as a human with five senses — and with a brain that can be able to control the whole senses.
“I saw the data center has eyes inform of cameras, and got some feeling sensors because I saw it reacting to some provocation,” he said.
To deep down into this matter, NITA Uganda officials — Executive Director; Mr. James Saaka, and Director of Technical Services; Mr. Vivian Ddambya gave more light on the DC.
In a chat with Ms. Ddambya on Tuesday June, 9th, she told our reporter that “the new DC will house all government ICT applications. Thereby saving tax payer’s money with the centralized hosting consequently avoiding duplication and wastage of resources.”
In other words, all housed government MDAs and local governments using the facility won’t be charged.
NITA Uganda; Marketing and Communications Manager; Mr. Steven Kirenga, said; “The DC’s capacity is capable of storing five times (5x) the entire government information as it exists currently from the 300+ MDAs and local governments. Therefore, there’s no need for each MDA to have its own DC.”
Ms. Ddambya also pointed out that with the new DC in place, “the speed-to-market for eServices will be significantly faster.”
NITA for quite a time been integrating all government systems to enhance government service delivery to citizens, non-citizens, businesses and to government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The integration promises access to all government services via the e-citizen web portal, www.ecitizen.go.ug, hence promoting eServices.
Mr. Saaka during a brief interview also stated that “Uganda now has the capacity to host all government applications and data.”
He says, hosting the data locally and centrally will boost security, cost and boost efficiency. Additionally, noting that the country is in charge of its own data as opposed to the risky international hosting which comes with security risks.
Saaka also noted that the DC has been built with key features to enable up-time of 99.98% with less than 1.6 hours of downtime per year. However, Ms. Ddambya earlier on said the up-time is 100%.
“We’ve set up the right infrastructure that is delivering assurance that the site management and processes are delivering a guarantee of 100% uptime,” she said on Tuesday.
Whatever the case might be, the up-time increases efficiency and effectiveness for these government applications which improves service delivery.
Saaka has urged government MDAs and local governments to fully utilize the DC by ensuring all their services are hosted at the data center to benefit from the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of Government systems.
“With the cloud Data Center, MDAs can now concentrate on their core functions of delivering services to citizens without worrying about the availability and sustainability of the underlying infrastructure,’’ he said.
Already 57 government agency apps and data is hosted — among which include; eVisa, eTax, Teacher Management System, Ministry of labour and gender, Email Government, One Stop Centre, KCCA, among others.