Public Management

Public Management (320)

Google and the IFC estimate that the digital economy could generate $180 billion for the African economy by 2025. However, many countries could miss out on this opportunity because of their lagging digital transformation. These countries are trying to avoid such outcomes with bilateral cooperation. 

Cabo Verde’s Secretary of State for Innovation, Pédro Fernándes Lopes (photo, left), and the Ivorian Minister of Digital Economy Amadou Coulibaly (photo, right) discussed bilateral digital cooperation last September 15, in Abidjan. 

According to Amadou Coulibaly,  Côte d’Ivoire has so much to learn from Cabo Verde, which is among the African countries with the highest e-government development index. As the eighth best African country in that index (per recent UN figures),  Cabo Verde performs well in the online services, telecommunications infrastructure, and human capital segments.

Pédro Fernándes Lopes stressed that Côte d'Ivoire can bring a lot to Cabo Verde.  "We are certainly a small country, but we have great goals. We think that Côte d’Ivoire is a strong partner, which can help us achieve those goals,” he said. The State secretary also invited the Ivorian Minister of Digital Economy to visit the Cabo Verde Technology Park, an AfDB-funded digital entrepreneurship and innovation support infrastructure that is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. 

In its 12th edition of the Côte d’Ivoire economic update, the World Bank forecasts that the digital sector could contribute more than $20 billion, or 10% of the GDP to Côte d’Ivoire’s economy. The sector has already created 3,000 direct jobs and contributed $5.5 billion (3% of GDP) to the country’s economy. 

Samira Njoya

Posted On lundi, 19 septembre 2022 13:51 Written by

According to the World Bank, digital identification is an essential tool in the acquisition and efficient management of data useful for the implementation of public policies.  In many African countries, however, the implementation of that project is still hindered because there is no implementation strategy. 

In the Republic of Guinea, Prime Minister Bernard Goumou recently asked public and private actors to submit proposals for a legal and technical framework overseeing the unique id project. During the September 15, 2022, ministerial council, he explained the importance of the project to the country’s digital transformation efforts and the need to guarantee a certain number of prerequisites for its success. 

According to Bernard Goumou, many departments already have functional biometric systems. This is currently reflected in the establishment of civil status documents, passports, residence permits, and driving licenses, the register of the National Agency for Economic and Social Inclusion (ANIES), and the WURI (Unique Identification for Regional Integration and Inclusion in West Africa) base register. However, those systems are fragmented with no interconnection. In addition, some systems cover just parts of the residents. 

The Prime Minister also justified the need for the legal and technical framework with the quality of the services, the decentralized nature of the systems and the hosting infrastructures as well as the need for personal data protection. 

Given the urgency of the unique identifier project, which should help improve public governance and access to public services, the Prime Minister urged public and private actors to submit the proposals for validation within two weeks. 

He also suggested the government commission in charge of the project should validate and transmit the framework, the budget, and the draft decree to the President of the Republic as soon as possible.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On lundi, 19 septembre 2022 12:39 Written by

For years now, Burkina Faso, like most African countries, has been taking action to accelerate its digital transformation. However, the country does not have the resources required for an efficient transformation. Hence the importance of UNDP support. 

Last Thursday, September 8, Aminata Zerbo/Sabané, Burkina Faso’s Minister of Digital Transition granted an audience to  Elsie Laurence Chounoune, the UNDP resident representative.  During the audience, the two officials reviewed the digital transformation actions already carried out by Burkina Faso. 

"UNDP is much involved in digitization efforts. We believe digitalization should be at the core of our actions. This is a first contact meeting to review the actions already undertaken, the priorities, and how the UNDP can support Burkina Faso in its efforts to digitize its economy. This is our core priority because, without the digital economy, development objectives can not be achieved,” said Elsie Laurence Chounoune explaining the aim of her visit. 

As Burkina Faso’s partner since 1966, the UNDP supported several government programs including the recent project ProFeJeC to improve the soundness of businesses launched by women and young people. The project led to the creation of FasoHub, a website allowing users access to digital resources to develop entrepreneurial skills.  

According to a United Nations ranking on the digitalization of public services in African countries, Burkina Faso ranked 32nd in 2020. To get back on track, the country set up a national strategy for the development of its digital economy. 

The World Bank-funded strategy, called e-Burkina,  aims to build an efficient public and private administration thanks notably to ICTs and promote entrepreneurship, with a focus on agriculture and rural sector activities. Several other digital projects are also underway throughout the country and the government can now count on the UNDP for support in its digital transformation efforts.  

Samira Njoya

Posted On lundi, 12 septembre 2022 13:03 Written by

In Africa, the shortage of tech skills is jeopardizing the continent’s ability to make the most of the digital economy. It is therefore urgent to facilitate access to digital skills training to have a skilled workforce. 

The Republic of Guinea plans to transform its national school of posts and telecommunication into a national digital academy. The plan was disclosed by the Minister of Vocational Training Alpha Bacar Barry (photo), during a show on local radio Espace Guinée last Wednesday, September 7. 

According to the government official, the national school of ôsts and telecommunication is an old academy that dates back to the 1940s. Despite its existence, it is still difficult for the private sector to find skilled software developers in the country. Therefore, the national digital academy will teach in-demand skills. 

We don’t want it to be like the Higher Institute for Distance Education (ISFAD), a reference academy. We don’t have the resources for that but, we will draw inspiration from what it does,” he explained. 

In its 2018 report, "The Future of Jobs," the World Economic Forum estimated that about 65 percent of children entering elementary school today will end up in a job that does not yet exist. With the digital transformation accelerating everywhere, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) concurs in its "Digital Skills in Sub-Saharan Africa Spotlight on Ghana" report, noting that more than 230 million jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills by 2030.

By offering the youth a digital skills training academy,  Guinea, which is also embarked on the digital transformation bandwagon,  wants to create a skilled workforce that will enable it to capitalize on the booming digital economy.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On vendredi, 09 septembre 2022 12:56 Written by

In its latest e-government development index, the United Nations ranks Morocco among the best in Africa. As they are aware that there is still room for progress, the country’s authorities are making more investments to improve their public services. 

Morocco, through the Agency for Digital Development (ADD), recently launched its e-government interoperability platform. This platform aims to facilitate secure and transparent data and document exchange between public administrations, agencies, and institutions.  

With the interoperable platform, the country wants to streamline its processes and make its services more suited to meet residents’ expectations. Thanks to the platform, public administrations, institutions, and agencies can exchange information even if they use different information systems. 

"Interoperability between the various IT systems reduces processing cycles and makes previously issued documents available to every connected administration. It also reduces human errors and costs,” explained Minsait -which developed the interoperability platform-  in a release dated Monday, September 5.

The platform is one of the Moroccan government’s investments for its digital transformation ambition. In its digital strategy, the country wants to increase the percentage of citizens and businesses satisfied by public services to 85% by 2025. To do so, it plans to transform how they interact with the government by digitizing end-to-end citizen/business priority services.

Currently, the Single Social Register (RSU), the MASSAR school management system, and some social programs are operational on the Interoperability Platform, which is an open "Internet of Things" (IoT) system with Big Data capabilities.

It enables simple integration and the exchange of information from different systems, applications, and devices. It also facilitates encryption to protect data confidentiality and integrity.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On mercredi, 07 septembre 2022 16:47 Written by

Although not yet popular, online shopping is gradually getting into people’s habits in Africa, thanks notably to the Covid-19 pandemic. The sector is attracting a growing volume of state investments since it is perceived as an opportunity to reach foreign markets.  

Nigeria wants to improve national e-commerce revenues to US$75 billion by 2025, up from US$13 billion currently. During a stakeholder dialogue on e-commerce and digital trade policy last weekend,  Suleman Audu, Nigerian Ministry of Industry’s Director of Commodities, indicated that the government was already making the required investments to achieve the goal. 

The Federal Government is [...] committed to developing an e-commerce strategy in line with the Federal Government’s Post COVID-19 recovery plan, to encourage investment in the e-commerce value chain,” he said.

He also admitted that “Nigeria is yet to fully harness the inherent opportunities in the e-commerce value chain, largely due to inadequate investment, coupled with inadequate information on the opportunities in the sector and the inability of Government to provide the required enabling environment.”

By increasing e-commerce revenues, the country wants to reduce oil dependence in line with economic diversification calls from the UNECA and the World Bank. According to the UNCTAD 2020 B2C e-commerce index, Nigeria was the eighth best e-commerce market in Africa and the 94th globally. 

Muriel Edjo

Posted On vendredi, 02 septembre 2022 11:09 Written by

The future bill will propel the DRC and its administration into a digital era that will greatly benefit every sector of the national economy. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will elaborate a digital law to oversee its digital transformation efforts. On August 26, 2022, during a ministerial council, President Felix Tshisekedi (photo) ordered his government to adopt a bill for the digitization of the public administration. 

 "While praising the significant efforts already made by some ministries in that matter, notably with the project to secure land deeds and digitize the cadastre, the President of the Republic stressed the need to digitize the whole public administration,” reads the release published after the ministerial council. 

In the coming days then, Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde will accelerate the elaboration of a legal framework to ensure the appropriate supervision of the digitization efforts. He will also ensure the related bill is submitted to the National Assembly during its September session for review and adoption.

The new instruction is further proof of DRC’s commitment to upgrading its administration. In early August this year, Minister of Land Affairs Aimé Molendo Sakombi signed an agreement with Luxembourg company "eProseed" for the implementation of the "e-Foncier" project that aims to secure the cadastre and modernize land management. The digital bill instructed will allow an in-depth reorganization of state actions to make DRC a digital government, amid the ongoing digital and social revolution. It is in line with Horizon 2025, the country’s national digital strategy that aims to make the digital sector a tool for integration, good governance, economic growth, and social progress. 

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 30 août 2022 11:58 Written by

The digital transformation project underway in Congo will help the country address the numerous shortcomings of its education system and foster the development of a high-performance ecosystem.

Congo-Brazzaville disclosed Thursday (August 25), the key steps it will focus on to succeed in the digital transformation of its education system. The steps were presented by the Ministry of Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education during a ceremony to validate the conclusions of the national consultations held on August 12-13 to discuss the transformation of the national education system.

The steps include training teachers on digital pedagogy, mastery of ICT tools, and distance learning management. 

According to the United Nations, which is the government’s partner in the project, the ceremony held on August 25 helped identify the steps to take to build a stronger, more equitable, adaptable, and resilient education system. 

"The United Nations, which is aware of the challenges facing the education system, reiterates its commitment to supporting countries in their bids to reorganize their education systems to achieve the fourth sustainable development goal,” said Chris Mburu, the UN resident coordinator in Congo.  

In Congo, education is one of the sectors most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Due to its poor readiness, the country’s education sector was disrupted with thousands of students being unable to continue classes since there were not enough technical and human resources to ensure continuity with distance learning. 

The digital transformation project currently planned by Congolese authorities will safeguard the government’s ability to ensure education continuity in times of crisis that requires mobility restrictions.  It will also allow students access to more educational resources. 

Samira Njoya

Posted On vendredi, 26 août 2022 13:50 Written by

With the boom of the digital economy, new professional activities have surfaced, bringing new legal, tax, and ethical challenges. The legal framework being planned by Algeria aims to prevent possible abuses in the country’s digital economy

Yacine El Mahdi Oualid (photo), Algeria’s Minister of Knowledge Economy and Startups, recently provided more information on the entrepreneurship law being elaborated by his Ministry. On August 18, 2022, he took to his Facebook page, explaining that the law would not govern liberal professions, already regulated activities, or artisans. It will regulate new economic activities that emerged in the wake of the digital economy, he explained. 

The economic activities included in its scope are namely web influencing, e-marketing, app and web development, information design, etc.

According to the government official, the law (which will soon be submitted to parliament) will introduce numerous incentives like online registration, streamlined accounting, preferential tax regimes, and social security coverage. It will also allow the professionals covered to open business bank accounts and register their home address or co-working spaces as their domiciled address. 

The draft project of the said law was approved during a ministerial council on July 13, 2022. It aims to prevent possible abuses by web entrepreneurs. Indeed, on August 9, 2021, Algerian courts sentenced four web entrepreneurs to 6-month imprisonment for scam and criminal association in the case dubbed Future Gate, involving a fictitious agency that claimed to offer technical support to students who wish to go to school in foreign universities. 

The new law will encourage digital entrepreneurship, and help the youth employ themselves, therefore reducing the unemployed population. It will also facilitate the exportation of Moroccan digital services and contribute to the national economy, Yacine El Mahdi Oualid added. 

Muriel Edjo

Posted On mercredi, 24 août 2022 17:22 Written by

During his presidential term, which started in April 2013, the outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta, initiated a set of projects transforming Kenya into a tech powerhouse. His successor plans to build on his achievements to make the country a digital transformation reference. 

On August 15, William Ruto was declared the winner of the last presidential election in Kenya, one of Africa’s leading tech powerhouses. In his manifesto, the incoming president promised to implement projects aimed at accelerating the digital transformation initiated by outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta.

One of his plans is to add 100,000 kilometers of optic fiber cable to the existing 9,000 km network in the next five years. The aim is to achieve universal broadband availability during the period. He also wants to increase the rate of public services digitization and automated critical government processes to 80 percent. 

According to the manifesto, broadband and digital transformation will “play a critical role in enabling [Kenya] to make tremendous achievement in the other four pillars of Health, Agriculture, MSME and Financing as well in enhancing revenue collection via automation of VAT systems.” 

In recognition of the digital sector’s impact on job creation and poverty alleviation, William Ruto also announced his plan to reduce internet costs to facilitate access to internet for Kenyan youth, therefore giving them the possibility to learn, get crucial information and do business.

He also promised to establish an “Africa Regional Hub” and promote “the development of software for export.” Similarly, the incoming president plans to develop the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry into a major export and job creation sector.

The administration will strengthen Konza Technopolis to bring together industry,  academic institutions and other innovators to co-invest in emerging technologies to create high-quality jobs that leverage on artificial intelligence, robotics and other technologies and thus enhance our regional and global competitiveness,” the manifesto reads. 

The projects are aimed at making Kenya a digital transformation reference on the African continent by 2027 and guaranteeing effective human, economic and social development.  The investments required to carry out those projects are estimated at Ksh40 billion (US$334 million), to be financed by the Universal Service Fund. The fund, managed by the Communications Authority (CA), is made up of taxes levied on licensees, government appropriations, grants, and donations.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On lundi, 22 août 2022 16:41 Written by
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