World Bank Funds Centralised Uganda Government Cloud
15-05-2018 11:02:00 | by: Esther Nakkazi | hits: 1816 | Tags:

Uganda is building a Government cloud for the centralized hosting of all data centers for the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Local Government, officials say.

The Government Cloud is being built through the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U), a body which coordinates and regulates Information Technology services in Uganda. 

This cloud is built with state of the art security controls to ensure that data storage is kept and accessed securely and it will deliver on its objective to eliminate duplication of systems across Government, NITA-U officials say. 

“The cloud infrastructure will enable all Government entities to host their applications in aforementioned cloud thus saving it money. You will agree with me that the capital expenditure for each MDAs and Local Government would be significantly high if it was not centralized,” says Steven Kirenga, a marketing and communications specialist at NITA-U told Africa Business Communities. 

Kirenga says this will enhance the storage of Government data as well as create efficiency in the sharing and accessing Government applications through the Cloud infrastructure.

From the creation of easily accessible and relevant local content to the optimization of government data usage to provide timely insights, there are only positives in the creation of centralized cloud infrastructure, says James Makumbi the CEO Billable Limited. 

“It's a good thing,” says Cavin Mugarura, a Technical Lead, and Founder of Digital Development Solutions

“With regard to implementation, it should be fault tolerant, including redundancies and international standard robust security practices. It is a massive and delicate undertaking but NITA-U has a track record of pulling off difficult projects,” says Makumbi.

"This is a great Idea if implemented well it will save us the pain of data duplication. A typical Ugandan will appear in various databases, with most likely different details, with a central cloud all these will be harmonized," says George Mukalazi.
 
NITA-U officials say the sourcing of funds to ensure delivery of such a critical initiative is continuous although, through the Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (RCIP), which is a World Bank initiative, they have been able to access some funds to start building the Government Cloud.
 
It is not yet clear how much money has been assessed through this World Bank initiative but NITA-U officials say it will save a lot of costs. They also note that they will not permit entities to host Government data in the public cloud they say  

“Obviously the cost savings might not materialize. I think the major driver for the data center is about control not really about cost savings. I don't think NITA is planning to save anyone money - the mindset of saving money is in the private sector, not the public sector. “ says Mugarura.

“You also have to bear in mind that several government agencies are fighting digitizing several things because the digital age will eliminate most of the existing loopholes,” he contends.

“Public clouds with all their security and well-designed infrastructures can sometimes be breached. Therefore, the Government Cloud, once complete, will host government applications securely,” says Kirenga.

"Security and data retention within the country with the cloud will lead to improvement of local content. In general, I think it is a good thing that will foster local developers to come up with a lot of solutions and value-added services to enhance service delivery," Mukalazi told Africa Business Communities.

Once complete, the Government Cloud will be hosted in the National Data Centre and will have the following features; a Tier III data centre facility, it will be ISO 27001 Certified, and an infrastructure As A Service (IaaS), Platform As A Service (PaaS), Backend As A Service (BaaS) and other related services will now be available for MDAs/LGs to take up.

It will also be flexible with ease to scale as per the needs of each MDA and Local Government entity, NITA-U officials say.