Public Management

Public Management (320)

Like almost every country, DRC is digitalizing every sector, including its justice system. The identification system to be built will greatly facilitate law enforcement agencies’ works in the countries.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently awarded a US$70 million contract to Israeli company Pangea to develop and operate an automated, centralized biometric criminal identification system (ABIS) that will identify individuals based on their biometric traits and build criminal records.  

The database, which will include the biometric data of identified law offenders, will be accessible by 150 police stations nationwide.  It will also have fingerprint and handprint-based crime investigation capabilities.

Digital government services are essential to the countries’ long-term growth, especially those with tremendous economic potential like Congo.[…] Today, we’re able to advance with such a strategic project in a remarkably short period and achieve major transformation with solutions that have proven themselves around the world,” explains Uzy Rozenthal, Pangea’s executive vice president.

The project will be carried out under a public-private partnership model. It is the result of a decision by the government of Congo to promote the digitization of government services in the country. It adds to the other projects underway in the country in the framework of the National Digital Plan - Horizon 2025.

The partner selected for the project -Pangea-has been providing digital transformation solutions to businesses since its inception in 2018. It is also experienced in the implementation of biometric and IT systems for government agencies in several countries around the world.

"Pangea continues to develop capabilities and innovations in our areas of expertise, including new products for eKYC and Smart Border Control. These capabilities will become unique products in the next few months and generate significant revenue in the next few years," said Rafi Kaminer (photo), CEO of Pangea.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 22 novembre 2022 13:52 Written by

Africa wants to leverage digital technologies to accelerate its economic growth. For that purpose, countries are acting together for more efficiency.

The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) will adopt a Regional Program for the Development of the Digital Economy (PRDEN). This is one of the decisions approved by the member countries’ Ministers of Digital Economy when they met in Cotonou, Benin, last Friday.

The XOF121 billion (US$190 million) program -deemed ambitious and innovative- aims to boost the digitalization of socioeconomic activities in the community.

"We started with pilot projects, extending resources to member countries under the program for the installation of digital boxes and the digitization of public services,” indicated Abosse Akue-Kpakpo, the WAEMU commission’s head of digital economy. He added that the commission has already funded the elaboration of a legislative and regulatory framework, which is being submitted to member countries for approval, to improve governance.  

According to Abosse Akue-Kpakpo, in recent years, West Africa has made remarkable efforts for the development of its digital economy.  In a video published earlier this year, the WAEMU informs that nearly 94% of the zone has a mobile cellular subscription and nearly 40% have access to the internet. More than 80 million mobile money accounts are active in the region, representing 63% of the population. The mobile money accounts carry out over 2.7 billion transactions for a cumulative annual value of XAF29 trillion+ (more than US$47 billion).

The PRDEN, through its four main axes, intends to strengthen digital governance, improve access to digital services, promote innovation and research and boost the digital services offering.

The program will run from 2023 to 2027, with the expectation that it would help digitize 120 public services in the WAEMU member countries.  To raise the funds required for its implementation from financial partners, a roundtable will be organized in the second quarter of 2023.

At the end of the meeting held on November 11, 2022, the participating parties also approved the draft decision on the establishment of the Commission of Digital Regulators and the draft directive for the improvement of mass adoption of digital technologies.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mercredi, 16 novembre 2022 01:53 Written by

The Ivorian government is multiplying digital initiatives to boost young people and women’s employability, promote innovation and reduce unemployment.   

In Côte d’Ivoire, Communication Minister Amadou Coulibaly (photo, right), and Minister of Trade Souleymane Diarrassouba (photo, left) launched the Employment4Youth program last Thursday.

The program’s full name is "Employment4Youth / Industry 4.0 to promote youth employment in Tunisia and Côte d'Ivoire. It was launched in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It aims to support and strengthen stakeholders’ capacity in the ICT and agribusiness sectors to ease access to the opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution as well as create jobs for women and the youth with the adoption of new technologies in targeted value chains.

"Our country wants to ensure that the digital economy is a growth sector by creating jobs for the youth and promoting investments,” said Amadou Coulibaly, before stressing that the government's goal is to make Côte d’Ivoire a fully digitized country by 2030.  Last September 26, the country set up a National Digitalization Committee, that will, among other things, elaborate a framework governing digitization efforts for an effective digital transformation.

In 2011, the Ivorian government initiated several digital reforms including the adoption of the National Digital Strategy. The strategy is focused on seven pillars. It suggests 32 reforms and 96 projects requiring a XOF2,000 billion (US$3.15 billion) investment to be implemented over 2021-2025.

According to Amadou Coulibaly, the Employment4Youth program is part of this strategy. It is also in line with the structural transformation promoted by the president of the republic to make digital transformation an effective solution to youth employability. The initiative will be based on Industry 4.0 or the industry of the future which uses artificial intelligence, big data, digital technologies, blockchain, e-commerce, etc. It will create 13,000 jobs (3,000 direct jobs) by 2025 in the private sector (social and ecological transformation, renewable energy, ICT, agribusiness, etc.). The estimated investment required is US$30 million.

Samira Njoya

Posted On lundi, 14 novembre 2022 12:43 Written by

The platform aims to develop the Egyptian industrial sector, which grew by 6.5% and contributed 17% to GDP in 2021. 

Egypt will soon launch a digital industrial platform. For that purpose, last November 2, the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and financial service provider E-finance -a subsidiary of eFinance Investment Group- signed a memorandum of cooperation for the development and management of the said platform. 

The platform aims to offer investors and manufacturers improved services, accelerate the exploitation process and streamline the required procedures. Using the platform, firms can test the new services before presenting them to their clients. 

According to Business Today Egypt, the “platform also offers other services such as cloud platforms, secure infrastructure, internet of things, cybersecurity applications, artificial intelligence, big data, and more.”

Like several African countries, Egypt is betting on digital transformation to accelerate its development. In 2017, the country became an attractive hub for large tech firms, thanks notably to strategic actions taken by the government. 

The new platform is therefore one of the government’s actions to accelerate existing digital transformation efforts.

According to the statement announcing the signing, the platform will be launched at the Cairo ICT conference, which will be held on November 27-30, 2022, in collaboration with global digital transformation pioneers such as Pure Storage, Dell, IBM, Cisco, Redhat, Huawei, and many others.

The memorandum of cooperation is part of Egypt's Vision 2030 and its digital transformation strategy, which aims to enhance economic and social development across all sectors and make the country a digital hub of excellence in Africa.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mercredi, 09 novembre 2022 12:48 Written by

The move aims to introduce students to digital tools and at the same time save them from moving around with heavy books and bags.

Last Saturday, the Algerian Minister of National Education Abdelhakim Belabed met, remotely, with government officials and education directors. During the meeting, the government officials announced the upcoming inauguration of a program aimed at digitalizing textbooks.

 "More than 3 million third, fourth and fifth grade pupils will be ridden of the textbooks, that add weight to their school bags, thanks to measures approved by the President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune,” said Minister Abdelhakim Belabed while urging officials to make it easy for parents to acquire the digital textbooks.

In Algeria, the issue of the weight of school bags comes up every back-to-school time.  Unions that deem the weight too heavy for students (because notably of the textbooks) have repeatedly called for a review of the educational program.

Last September, the Minister of National Education said that several "unprecedented measures" had been taken by the government to find definitive solutions to the problem. The most important of those solutions is the provision of electronic tablets to more than 1600 schools across the country.

Thanks to the tablets, students will access the digital version of their textbooks free of charge. They will access also additional resources such as videos, audio, animations, and interactive features.

The measures were included in the government program approved by the parliament. They are part of the project initiated to generalize the use of tablet computers in schools, starting from the 2022/2023 school year that kicked off in September 2022.  

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 08 novembre 2022 12:48 Written by

In Africa, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the development of the e-commerce sector. The development calls for better structuring to streamline the sector and make it more efficient.

Lome will host a national e-commerce seminar from November 10 to 11, 2022. The seminar initiated by the Togolese Ministry of Trade is being organized in partnership with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

It aims to teach young Togolese entrepreneurs how to use new online marketing platforms amid the current acceleration of digital transformations and the rise of the e-commerce sector, which is presented as a major opportunity for economic actors.

New businesses are invited to register their interest in the seminar before November 7. According to the Ministry of Trade, women-led businesses are strongly encouraged to register.

Let’s note that a similar seminar is organized for actors in the textile sector, on the sidelines of the International Exhibition of African Textiles (SITA2022), being held in Lome (November 4 to 6, 2022).

Ayi Renaud Dossavi

Posted On vendredi, 04 novembre 2022 14:20 Written by

In August 2021, Seychelles decided to accelerate its digital transformation for an efficient digital economy. The platform is one of the results of the strategy implemented in that regard.

Seychelles inaugurated, last Monday, "SeyID," its national digital identity platform. According to Vice President Ahmed Afif (photo), the new platform is one of the initiatives carried out by the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) to accelerate the country's digital transformation.

"Having a digital ID through the SeyID platform will not only be a means of proving your identity digitally or accessing digital public or private services. It will also allow you to digitally sign documents, another growing requirement when transacting digitally. Through this platform, digital signing will be far much easier to do compared to what is the case presently,” he said.  

According to the World Bank, in 2020, Seychelles’s GDP dropped to a negative 13.5%, due to the coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted economic activities. In February 2021, to diversify and expand its economy, the country announced plans to accelerate its digital transformation. SeyID is one of the results of that plan.

The platform is developed by WISeKey International Holding, a Swiss cybersecurity firm. It will give Seychellois the tools they need to prove their identity online, but it will also facilitate access to many public and private services that choose to integrate with the SeyID platform thanks to interconnecting application programming interfaces (APIs).

The SeyID app is already available on the Play Store. According to Finance Minister Naadir Hassan, “the SeyID platform is based on WISeKey’s WISeID platform which guarantees a high level of Digital Identity and online security.”

It “will be accessible through both web-based and mobile-based applications and both are supported with strong authentication techniques. This is to ensure the security of the SeyID platform users,” he added.

Samira Njoya

Posted On vendredi, 04 novembre 2022 13:50 Written by

The new director general was appointed to save the public postal company from its various woes.

Senegal’s public postal company “La Poste” will undergo an extensive digital transformation in the coming months, new director Mohamadou Diaïté indicates.

According to the director general, who assumed office last Monday, digital transformation is one of the priorities of the "Strategic Plan for the Expansion of the Post (PSE-P)." The said plan includes actions like the modernization of the company’s logistics, the development of electronic banking and e-commerce, and the addition of innovative financial services.

"It is not conceivable that in 2022 we will still be issuing manual receipts. We need to diversify our products and make up for our lateness to ensure improved profitability,” he said.  

In recent years, the national postal company has faced several issues affecting its operations. The issues include low-tech tools integration and poor management of customers’ new ICT needs.

To address the various issues identified, in 2021, the posts and telecommunication regulator ARPT organized a workshop for the development of a new strategy that would modernize the postal sector. The strategy focuses on four areas, including the promotion and use of ICTs to improve the overall performance of the sector.

Mohamadou Diaïté wants to ensure the continuity of the actions suggested. He plans to address the issues by "judiciously exploiting the objective and scalable opportunities presented by the" national postal company. For that purpose, an institutional transformation is needed to create a postal bank, he explained. He added that there is a need to accelerate digital transformation, diversify products and services to cover a broader range and introduce more innovation  by strengthening and modernizing logistics, electronic banking, and e-commerce

Samira Njoya

Posted On mercredi, 02 novembre 2022 13:18 Written by

Computers and smartphones are undoubtedly useful in our daily lives. However, their excessive use can have negative impacts on users’ physical and mental health. It can also negatively affect children’s psychosocial development. To prevent those consequences, Gabon is implementing awareness-raising actions.

Gabon will launch a national digital awareness campaign in the coming months. In a prelude to that campaign, last Friday, it organized a conference under the theme:  "The dangers of overexposure to screens: impacts on behavior and health." The national campaign, initiated by consulting agency Blanc Cristal and the rehabilitation center Mot à Mot, is organized thanks to the Ministry of Digital Economy’s support.

According to Virginie Mounanga, CEO of Blanc Cristal, it aims to alert parents on the dangers of overexposure to the Internet and screens. "We have met with several doctors, specialists, and school principals who complain about children and adolescents being addicted to the Internet, cutting themselves off social activities [...] and affecting school performance. So, we need to alert parents and educators of the dangers, allowing them to mitigate those impacts,” she explained.  

Gabon, like many African countries, adopted digital technologies to keep socio-economic activities going during the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic changed internet consumption habits, boosting demand for connectivity. Consequently, the average time spent in front of screens has risen sharply. This caused several health (myopia, sedentarization), behavioral (sleep and mood disorders), and social (language delays, attention disorders, and school difficulties) problems.

According to the professionals who took part in the conference, some measures need to be taken to address the problems. They include limiting internet time, turning off Wi-Fi intermittently, and developing social and family activities.

They also mentioned the Canadian method of limiting screen time for children. According to the specialists, it involves forbidding screens to children before the age of 2 and monitoring usage time for those older than 2.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 01 novembre 2022 13:20 Written by

The African digital economy is a promising sector that is expected to be worth US$712 billion by 2050, or 8.5% of continental GDP. To capitalize on its dividends, several countries are implementing digital transformation strategies. Some of them, including Côte d’Ivoire, have accelerated their plans, after the coronavirus pandemic.

Côte d’Ivoire needs more than XOF2 trillion (US$3 billion) to complete its digital infrastructure program, Digital Minister Amadou Coulibaly indicated last Friday. The official presented the estimate during a plenary session around the theme "Investing in Côte d'Ivoire", at the 10th edition of the CGECI Academy organized by the General Confederation of Enterprises of Côte d'Ivoire (CGECI) - Patronat Ivoirien.

The program includes the construction of the National Data Center and the completion of the national backbone. The two projects, slated for completion in 2025, will complement the others planned under the national digital development strategy and support economic development.

The data center will bring together, in one secure location, all the public services that the government is currently dematerializing, therefore ensuring their efficiency. As for the national backbone, it will help provide cheaper broadband -an essential requirement for enhancing access to dematerialized services and socio-economic opportunities- to every household.

According to Minister Amadou Coulibaly, a National Digitalization Committee will be set up to coordinate digital development activities. He added that the Prime Minister would launch the committee’s activities in the coming months.

The projects mentioned are part of the 2025 digital strategy developed under the Ministry of Digital Economy’s lead and adopted during the December 22, 2021, Ministerial council. The strategy suggested 32 reforms and 96 projects to be implemented over the 2021-2025 period. Its indicative budget is XOF2 trillion.  

According to the World Bank, Côte d’Ivoire could generate over US$5.5 billion and US$20 billion from the digital economy respectively by 2025 and 2050 if the strategy is effectively implemented.

Samira Njoya

Posted On lundi, 31 octobre 2022 13:29 Written by
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