President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday rolled out the recently upgraded National Data Center in Jinja Town, Jinja district.
The first of its kind in the country, the Tier 3 Data Center is one of the key initiatives under the Government of Uganda’s strategy for the provision of centralized hosting Services for Government Applications & Data.
In a 2-minute speech delivered after touring the facility, Museveni applauded the National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) for completing the project and used a metaphor of human senses to explain the functionality of the Data Center.
“… I think I saw it has some eyes in the form of cameras, and it has got some sensors because I saw it reacting to some provocation… I don’t know about tasting; if it has a tongue to taste, that one I don’t know. But at least seeing and feeling… so I thank you and I congratulate you and wish you good luck,” he said.
Commissioned a national data centre in Jinja town this morning. This is one of the two national data centres operated by the government through the National Information Technology Authority (@NITAUganda1), the other being in Kampala. pic.twitter.com/9aem6MtVnK
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) July 11, 2019
Now the biggest in the country, the National Data Centre will house all Government ICT applications thereby saving tax payer’s money with the centralized hosting consequently avoiding duplication and wastage of resources.
Speaking at the event, James Saaka, the executive director of NITA-U said: “Uganda now has the capacity to host all Government applications and Data. Hosting Data locally and centrally will continue to improve security, cost and boost efficiency. Plus, the country is in charge of its own data as opposed to international hosting which comes with security risks.’’
Saaka further noted that the Data Center has been built with key features to enable uptime of 99.98% with less than 1.6 hours of downtime per year, hence increased efficiency and effectiveness for government applications which improves service delivery.
With the rising global cyber threats, it’s prudent that we take the most secure path as Government in protecting core applications and systems, definitely, this can only be achieved by hosting all vital systems in the National Data Center.
He urged Government Ministries, Departments and Authorities (MDAs) to fully utilize the Data Center 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.
“When you require a top class & highly available colocation facility, dedicated server hosting infrastructure, platform or software as a service when your data is highly sensitive and require a secure hosting environment when your operation is a high priority the National Tier 3 Data Center is your solution.’’
Uganda was recently ranked as the most secure cyberspace in Africa in the Global National Cyber Security Index. The National Cyber Security Index is a global index which measures the preparedness of countries to prevent cyber threats and manage cyber incidents.
The launch of the new data center, which is tier 3 classified, means that Uganda continues to maintain and ensure secure cyberspace that will drive trust and consequently usage of eServices across the nation.
In the FY2012/13, Cabinet approved the Strategy for Rationalization of Information Technology Service across Government entities. The purpose of the strategy is to eliminate duplication and wastage of resources. One of the key interventions under the Strategy is the provision of “centralized Data Centre with hosting and Disaster Recovery Services for Government Applications & Data”.
NITA-U embarked on a Cloud Project, launched in September 2017 and finalized in June 2019 with support and funding from the World Bank under the Regional Communication Infrastructure Program (RCIP). This project upgraded the existing data center to a cloud-based tier 3 design certification.