Government Data Center making progress

The Government Data Centre under construction in Lilongwe

The Malawi Government through the Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) has reaffirmed its commitment to propelling Malawi 2063’s digitalization agenda through the construction of a pivotal digital infrastructure—the Government Data Centre in Lilongwe.

The Commission, in partnership with the Department of e-Government in the Ministry of Information and Digitalization, under the Digital Malawi Project (DIGMAP) is constructing the Government Data Centre with funding from the World Bank to complement the operations of the existing Data Centre that is situated in Blantyre.

In an interview on Monday, PPPC Chief Executive Officer Patrick Kabambe emphasized the crucial role the Government Data Centre will play in advancing Malawi 2063’s digitalization agenda through the provision of essential digital infrastructure and services that will facilitate data storage and management, cloud services, and infrastructure, disaster recovery and business continuity, e-government services, and digital innovation.

Kabambe: The Government Data Centre will advancing Malawi 2063’s digitalization agenda

He said: “The Government Data Centre will consolidate government-wide systems under one roof, eliminating challenges associated with managing an array of siloed systems.”

Kabambe further clarified that the integrated infrastructure will foster interoperability between government systems and third-party or private systems, ensuring seamless and timely services for citizens, organizations, and development partners, to mention a few.”

The Government Data Centre in Lilongwe will serve as the Primary Data Centre, with the Data Centre in Blantyre designated as the Secondary/Backup Data Centre.

Kabambe justified this arrangement by noting that “the country’s government machinery predominantly operates in the Capital City, Lilongwe, making it logical for most government systems to be located within the offices of the respective Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in Lilongwe.”

In a separate interview, Data Centre Technical Project Manager for DIGMAP Paul Kanthambi shed more light on the technical aspects, stating that “the Government Data Centre in Lilongwe will leverage Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI), tightly integrating computing, storage, networking, and virtualization resources into a single, unified system.”

Data Centre Technical Project Manager: Kanthambi:

He emphasized that this convergence, facilitated by software-defined technologies, enables greater flexibility, scalability, and simplicity in managing and deploying data centre resources.

Kanthambi elaborated on the benefits: “The facility will thus provide high availability, data security, modularity, improved resource utilization, performance optimization, automation, integrated backup, and disaster recovery.”

Currently, the progress of the Government Data Centre stands at 51 percent completion and is expected to be completed by May 2024.