Zambia will benefit from advancements in France’s information technology and communications (ICT) knowhow following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate cooperation and knowledge transfer.
The MoU signed in Paris on April 22, 2016 between Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) College and Sofrecom, the technical and training wing of French telecoms giant Orange. This is part of the follow up of the five earlier cooperation agreements signed during His Excellency President Edgar Lungu’s recent official visit to France in February.
The agreement will facilitate knowledge sharing and transfer, capacity building and efforts towards modernization of Zambia’s ICT centre of excellence, the ZICTA College, formerly the Zambia Telecommunications College in Ndola.
The cooperation will help in laying the foundation for further partnership towards facilitating E-governance in implementing the Smart Zambia initiative of which ZICTA will play a key role.
During the signing, ZICTA Director for Communications, Mr. Yese Bwalya, hailed the development as key in building capacity in ICT through the ZICTA College which will help in providing the vital human resource in the implementation of the Smart Zambia initiative.
“ICT is the engine of transformation and in achieving the Smart Zambia initiative, we need skills. So capacity building is indeed a key pillar in this [MoU],” Mr. Bwalya said
And Sofrecom group chief executive officer, Mr. Jacques Moulin, praised the government’s commitment and President Lungu’s personal passion towards transforming the country’s ICT landscape.
“When we met President Lungu during his last visit, we saw the passion, the zeal and commitment he expressed in making this a reality. We are encouraged to further this cooperation by signing this MoU,” said Mr. Moulin.
ZICTA College acting director, Ms. Betty Shitima Bweupe, signed the MoU while Mr. Moulin signed on behalf of Sofrecom.
The signing was witnessed by Zambia’s deputy head of Mission in France, Mr. Joe Kaunda, ZICTA Board chairperson, Mr. Emmanuel Musonda, ZICTA Director General, Mrs. Margaret Chalwe Mudenda, board member, Mr. Vestus Chungu and some members of management.
Others from Sofrecom were Director for Africa, Mr. Cyrille Dupont and Director for Capacity Building, Ms. Regina Sneifer.
The MoU on ICT is in addition to other agreements signed covering different sectors during President Lungu’s visit to France.
Others were the declaration of intent between the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and the France Development Agency (AFD), Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and France 24, University of Zambia School of Mines and Ecole Supereiere des Mines de Nantes and Telecom Bretagne.
Also signed was the MoU between Paris 1 Panthon Sorbonne University and Zambia’s Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (HTTI), French National Museum of Natural History where Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba signed an MoU with Ms. Segolene Royal, the French Minister of Ecology for co-operation in the conservation of nature, capacity building in museum management and mitigation of effects of climate change.
Percy Ngwira – First Secretary (Tourism)
ZAMBIAN EMBASSY – PARIS