Govt, NMB sign deal to promote digital economy

DAR ES SALAAM: MINISTER for Information, Communication and Information Technology Nape Nnauye has called on the corporate sector to join forces with the government in advancing the steadily growing digital economy in the country.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam during the signing of the partnership deal between NMB Bank and the ministry to promote the new economy in an event held in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, Mr Nape said digital technologies are an indispensable growth catalyst.

He noted that the digitally connected economy is already taking shape in Tanzania with the sixth phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan striving to put in place conducive policy and regulatory conditions, as well as the supportive infrastructure to spur its growth and development.

Minister Nape added that for the ongoing digital transformation to succeed in improving service delivery and enhancing productive activities, partnerships with the private sector and other development partners are of utmost importance.

He said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NMB Bank was a good example of such collaborations.

“This partnership agreement between NMB and the ministry is one of the steps in the implementation of the Ten-Year (2024-2034) Digital Economy Strategy,” Mr Nape noted, lauding the bank for its e-readiness.

NMB Bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ruth Zaipuna said the MoU accords the bank with an opportunity to increase its active role in the networked economy and constructively contribute to national efforts in building a prosperous digital future.

She added that the deal was also a continuation of good relations between the government and the bank, which is internationally recognised for its digital adoption and innovation prowess.

“I strongly believe that this agreement will be the beginning of a historic journey in the growth and development of the digital economy in our country,” Ms Zaipuna stated.

She said NMB has the requisite experience of working with the government and digital experts to craft and manage ICT systems to be the ministry’s partner of choice in promoting the digital economy.

Under the agreement, the two partners will collaborate to design digital systems including Jamii Namba for citizens’ identification and the electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) protocol for customer verification to simplify the provision of online services.

They will also work on Jamii Data Exchange, which is simply the National Enterprise Service Bus that will mainly network public and private sector institutions and help to create a one stop centre for government online services.

NMB Bank and the ministry will also cooperate in supporting innovators and entrepreneurs especially in the financial sector, through innovation hubs that will be established by the ministry.

“The strengthening of the digital economy and its growth and development are a boon for NMB Bank and the entire financial sector in bettering delivery of financial services in the country,” Ms Zaipuna noted.

She said NMB has sustainably invested heavily in advancing the new economy and continues to work very closely with the authorities in promoting ICT development in the country.

The bank has also made huge investments to nurture digital talent and increasing staff ICT expertise and professionalism particularly in the areas of software development, solutions and enterprise architecture, cyber security, systems administration as well as data science and analytics.

In his remarks before the signing of the MoU, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology, Mohammed Khamis Abdullah said already NMB and the ministry have collaborated in many digital development initiatives.

Among them are the preparations of the 10-Year Digital Economy Strategy, drafting of the new National ICT Policy and designing the electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) system.

“Preparations to draft the ICT Bill have started in earnest following completion of crafting the National ICT Policy 2024 whose approval is in the final stages,” the ministry’s top technocrat noted.

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