Public Management

Public Management (321)

During the COVID-19 lockdown period, 79% of Ghana’s retail business was carried out online. The growth of this innovative means has attracted scammers. The program announced is aimed at weeding them out of the segment.  

Ghana’s Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission (PCSRC) announced Tuesday (April 26) the upcoming registration of e-commerce and logistics operators.

The program aims to create a secure online profile for the said operators to “root out” frauds and scams in that booming segment.  

According to an official release signed by PCSRC executive secretary Hamdaratu Zakaria (photo), “a free-to-use electronic portal has already been developed to enable (...) the public to obtain directory information on all registered e-commerce traders and logistics companies (including courier services) in good standing with the PCSRC before doing business with them.” 

The announcement comes days after the publication of an investigation by a local media, The Fourth Estate. According to the non-profit media launched by the  Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), crooks are forging the documents of duly registered companies to scam unsuspecting buyers. They also swindle goods worth millions due to clients’ inability to verify the authenticity of the documents they are presented. 

For the PCSRC, the registration program will rid the segment of those shady practices at a time when domestic regulation is “complicated” by the “ongoing trade liberalization regime under the AfCFTA and ECOWAS.” The local platform is also integrated with the AfCFTA’s African Trade Gateway, a  digital platform that provides market and due diligence information about counterparties. That way,  Ghanaians can get information on whether foreign operators are legit or not while foreigners will avoid being scammed by selected legit Ghanaian operators.  

The PCSRC release explains that in the future, the agency will work with other Ghanaian institutions to root out digital fraudsters wherever they operate. 

According to conservative estimates by the Ghana E-Commerce Association, the country’s e-commerce market will grow from US$481 million in 2021 to US$674 million in 2025. Its size will also grow to 11 million users by that time. 

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On mercredi, 04 mai 2022 15:50 Written by

Since 2020, most African governments are set on digitizing strategic sectors, including the public service. Within two years, Ghana, which has become one of the digitally-advanced countries, raised US$315 million for that purpose. 

The World Bank approved, Thursday (April 28), a US$200 million loan to accelerate digital transformation in Ghana with a new project dubbed Ghana Digital Acceleration Project. The funding was announced in the same release published on the institution’s website. 

According to the release, it will help “increase broadband access, enhance the efficiency and quality of selected digital public services, and strengthen the digital innovation ecosystem in Ghana to help create better jobs and economic opportunities.”

For Pierre Laporte (photo), World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, “expanding digital access and adoption, enhancing digital public service delivery, and promoting digitally-enabled innovation is essential for Ghana’s digital transformation, which will help drive a robust post-COVID-19 recovery.” 

Likewise, for Maria Claudia Pachon -Senior Digital Development Specialist of the World Bank and Task Leader of the new Project- the digitization of public services will “result in significant cost savings due to decreased travel and processing time to obtain services, as well as transaction costs such as manual entry errors, fraud, and corruption.”

The Ghana Digital Acceleration Project builds on the ongoing e-Transform Ghana project, which allows Ghana to become one of the most digitally advanced countries in Africa. In its latest report on the e-government development index, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) ranked Ghana the fifth in Africa, in 2020. At the same time, the country jumped from being the 143rd out of 193 countries worldwide in 2004, to the 101st place in 2020.  

The new digital acceleration project supports regulatory change to create an environment that facilitates access to mobile and broadband internet for six million people, in underserved rural areas notably. It will also favor the digital inclusion of women and people with disabilities, enhance the local digital entrepreneurship ecosystem, improve startups’ growth and survival rate, facilitate smallholders’ involvement in data-driven agriculture and promote advanced digital innovation skills.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On mercredi, 04 mai 2022 15:46 Written by

In the past ten years, Morocco invested heavily in the implementation of its digital transformation strategy. With the experience and expertise of its new DCO partners, the country expects to bridge the gaps still remaining in its strategy. 

The Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) announced, Tuesday (April 26), Morocco’s membership in the organization. The constitutive act was signed by Mustapha Mansouri (photo), Moroccan ambassador to Saudi Arabia -DCO base country- raising the number of members of that organization to nine.  

According to DCO secretary-general, Dima Al-Yahya, the new member has made significant progress in the implementation of its digital strategy and now makes public services more accessible to its citizens. 

Having a country that has so clearly prioritized digital transformation coupled with a thriving start-up and innovation ecosystem as a member state of the DCO will undoubtedly strengthen our collective strength and impact in creating a more inclusive global digital economy,” she added. 

Joining the DCO is part of Morocco’s commitment to addressing socio-economic challenges, improving the business environment, and scaling up women, youth, and entrepreneurs' empowerment initiatives. 

By adopting digital technologies, MENA countries can increase GDP per capita by at least 40%, manufacturing revenues per unit of factors of production by 37%, manufacturing employment by 7%, and the number of foreign tourists by 70%, a World Bank report estimates.

Long-term unemployment rates could fall to negligible levels, and female labor force participation could double to more than 40 percent,” the report adds. 

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On vendredi, 29 avril 2022 16:25 Written by

Over the past few days, several Central African countries have expressed their intent to elaborate a national cryptocurrency framework. They see those innovative payment mechanisms as a means to create new opportunities and added value.

 In the Central African Republic (CAR), the national assembly, last Friday (April 22), passed bill N°22 governing cryptocurrency transactions in the country. The bill officially approves cryptocurrencies as payment solutions in the country and chooses Bitcoin as the reference currency. On April 26, President Faustin-Archange Touadera (photo) praised the bill describing it as a decisive step toward new opportunities.  

According to the cryptocurrency bill, economic agents are now required to accept cryptocurrencies as payments for their goods and services. The innovative payment mechanism can also be used to pay for public services and taxes. However, the official currency for accounting purposes remains the CFA Francs (XAF). 

In the country, cryptocurrency transactions will be tax-free and official exchange rates will be floating (rates determined by market forces). Likewise, crypto miners are considered independent actors but they are required to report their incomes from such activities. 

Crypto transactions will be regulated by ANTE, the newly created agency that will also manage all the ATMs installed by the government across the country. 

For some analysts, CAR -which is looking for ways to revive its economy- shouldn’t have passed the cryptocurrency bill without even doing the base works required and addressing crucial issues. In 2020, the  International Telecommunications Union (ITU) pointed at the country’s weak legal and technical cybersecurity framework. The government is yet to address that issue because article 18 of the crypto bill informs that legal frameworks and agencies will be created to oversee cybersecurity and personal data protection. 

Notwithstanding critics, State Minister Obed Namsio indicates that the cryptocurrency bill marks the beginning of a new phase in the country’s economic revival and peace consolidation plan in line with the government’s agenda, “ which aims for strong and inclusive growth that favors economic development.” 

The central bank BEAC is yet to officially comment on the bill. However, the Central African government promises to ensure cryptocurrencies are automatically convertible into the legal tender by creating a trust. 

Muriel Edjo

Posted On jeudi, 28 avril 2022 17:26 Written by

The barcoding project is one of the 52 projects included in the country’s strategy to boost digital transformation by 2023. Launched in 2021, the project will help boost public revenues and improve the competitiveness of made-in DRC products. 

DRC will soon start using bar codes to ensure the traceability of its commercial exchanges.  During a workshop organized from April 18 to 20, by the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the national strategy for seamless implementation of that project was validated.  

According to Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, the strategy is the government's commitment to "build a strong, prosperous and united country” by controlling the local production, monitoring commercial exchange data, and efficiently curbing counterfeits. 

During the December 24, 2021, ministerial council, Minister of Digital Transformation, Désiré-Cashmir Kolongele Eberande, announced that the DRC obtained its personal barcode prefix (605) that identifies where a product comes from.

"With 605 as the barcode prefix for every product made in DRC, we independently chose to join the global network of countries that implement the bar coding system. We highlighted our country in global supply chains to create a favorable environment for the digital economy,” indicated Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde. 

According to the government official, a successful implementation of the national barcoding strategy will make made in DRC products compliant with international standards on security and traceability and boost their competitiveness in local, regional, and global markets. 

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On lundi, 25 avril 2022 17:25 Written by

In Morocco, public notaries are not always consulted because a significant portion of the population is not aware of their competencies. For that purpose, the supervisory authority launched a digitization project to vulgarize their services.

Last week, the Moroccan Agency of Land Registry, Cadastre, and Cartography (ANCFCC) launched the digitization of services offered by notaries popularly known as adouls. 

On Wednesday, April 13, the digital platform allowing access to those services was presented. It is still in its pilot phase but 25 adouls are already enrolled to document and assist in the obtention of ownership certificates, land property plans, and the payment of land registration duties. 

In an interview granted, last week, to Moroccan media, Mohamed Sassioui (photo), president of the National Order of Adouls, indicated that all of the adouls active in the country will be enrolled on the digital platform, but it will be a gradual process. 

The dematerialization of the services offered by adouls is part of the development program being implemented by Karim Tajmouati, since 2016, when he was appointed head of the ANCFCC. It is in line with the digital transformation efforts being carried out by Morocco for some ten years now.

For Mohamed Sassioui, digitization will ease access to public notary services but also showcase all of the areas adouls are competent. 

For Moroccans, “adouls are only limited to drawing marriage and divorce contracts, and managing inheritance cases… The land registry agency launched the [digitization] initiative after it noticed the sheer number of land-related acts issued by adouls,” he indicated.   

Muriel Edjo

Posted On mardi, 19 avril 2022 14:30 Written by

In 2020, the Chadian government launched its 10-year digital development strategy. To ensure the successful implementation of that strategy, the country is signing strategic partnerships for high-impact contributions.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) recently approved financing for the digitization of Chad’s public services and the deployment of the country’s information system.  The approval was disclosed by Chadian ICT Minister Idriss Saleh Bachar, last April 11, during an audience he granted to Deloitte and TACTIS experts. The experts were commissioned by the EIB to carry out the feasibility studies of Chad Digital Transformation Project, which includes the two components mentioned above.

According to Minister Idriss Saleh Bachar, the EIB plans to invest €150 million in the project, which also includes the extension of telecom access in rural areas, an essential component for digital inclusion. 

The financial support falls within the framework of a cooperation agreement signed by Chad and the EIB, in December 2020, to accelerate digitization and rural connectivity. During the signing ceremony, Idriss Saleh Bachar explained that “high impact digitization investment” was “essential to boost (...) economic growth and social progress in landlocked Chad.” 

The December 2020 agreement was signed five months after the  Chadian government validated its 2020-2030 strategic digital development plan, during a workshop held from July 15 to 16, 2020. 

With the deployment of its information system, Chad wants to improve the efficiency of collaboration between its institutions. Meanwhile, the digitization of public services is expected to enhance the quality of services it offers citizens.

Ruben Tchounyabe

 

 

 

 

 

we are tech Africa

Posted On vendredi, 15 avril 2022 16:15 Written by

For a long time, many public actors have launched health platforms that did not help efficiently take care of patients across Morocco. Now, the government wants to change things, as it is more concerned about inclusive healthcare.

During a public communication on Saturday, April 9, Khalid Ait Taleb (photo), the Moroccan Minister of Health and Social Protection, announced the upcoming launch of a national e-health system. It will provide citizens equal access to health records and other online services.

Through the new platform, the government wants to put an end to the existing fragmented e-health system, set up by university hospitals, regional health authorities, and various national health programs, said Khalid Ait Taleb. Indeed, nationwide, two programs have established electronic platforms: the National Maternal and Child Health Program and the Tuberculosis Program.  

The idea of an integrated national e-health system is a recommendation of the Mohammed V University of Rabat. In a summary report on e-health in Morocco prepared by its e-health innovation center, the academic institution assessed the national health system and identified opportunities and challenges for e-health solutions that match the digital transformation strategy undertaken by the government over the past 20 years.

According to the Minister of Health and Social Protection, during the Covid-19 crisis, innovative e-health solutions boosted the resilience and responsiveness of the country's health system. The official added that telemedicine and online access to health services are in line with the country's legal framework for the protection of personal data and the practice of medicine.

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On mercredi, 13 avril 2022 17:35 Written by

Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Digital Economy launched, Thursday (April 7), in Daloa, a digital platform for agricultural services. Dubbed AgriStore, the platform will help improve farmers’ productivity and facilitate commercial relationships in the agriculture value chain.  

"Our agriculture sector must capitalize on digitization to improve operations in its value chains,” said Minister of Economy Roger Félix Adom (photo, left), at the launch ceremony attended by his peers of the Ministries of Agriculture and Promotion of Good Governance.  

In collaboration with the National Agency for Support to Rural Development (ANADER), AgriStore will provide agro-meteorological information and agricultural advice to its users. To facilitate the AgriStore’s operations, the operational capacities of the Ivorian marketing assistance board (OCPV) have been strengthened to cover all the areas served by the digital platform, informs OCPV coordinator Adjoumani Boffoué. That way, he explains, the assistance board will collect information on the available stocks, their location, and prices for listing on AgriStore.  

AgriStore was developed in the framework of the Digital Solutions Project for Opening Up Rural Areas and E-Agriculture (PSDEA). Funded to the tune of XOF37 billion (US$61.3 million) by the International Development Association (IDA), the development of that platform started in November 2018. It aims to make the Ivorian agriculture sector efficient and competitive by reducing production costs and improving quality.  

According to the PSDEA coordinator in charge of digital services, Abdoul Karim Koné, farmers registered on the platform will periodically receive market alerts (SMS and voice messages) in the languages most spoken in the project areas. The market alerts will provide information on rice, corn, cassava, yam, plantain, shea, chicken, guinea fowl, and vegetables.           The platform’s services are entirely free, he stresses. 

AgriStore will cover ten administrative regions with high agricultural production, namely Haut Sassandra, Marahoué, Bounkani, Poro, Tchologo, Bagoué, Kabadougou, Folon, Gôh and Loh-Djiboua. To ensure the success of the process, required investments will be made in rural connectivity, digital services, and rural road rehabilitation, the Minister of the Digital Economy informs.  

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On mardi, 12 avril 2022 17:52 Written by

In Kenya, transactions at the Mombasa tea auction house are now exclusively performed online through the electronic portal iTTS (Integrated Tea Trading System). With the US$2.12 million portal, the Mombasa Tea Auction House officially ends its physical interactions with tea traders. 

For Arthur Sawe, chairperson of the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), the portal funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), will boost tea traders' and farmers’ benefits by reducing operating costs. 

The digitization seeks to fill gaps in the current procedures, which are done manually including membership and cataloging,” he added

According to Morgens Strunge Lursen, Councilor at the Danish embassy in Kenya, "the launch of the iTTS is particularly exciting because it helps position such a critical sector for future growth and success by driving efficiency and supporting both increased traceability and information exchange."

The Mombasa Tea Auction House serves Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi, Ethiopia, DRC, Rwanda, Madagascar, and Uganda. Its digitization, which led to the creation of the iTTS portal, began in May 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It helped the industry respect social distancing requirements by allowing buyers to place their tea bids online.  After a two-year pilot phase, the iTTS portal was launched on March 31, 2022. 

According to a release announcing the launch, “in time, iTTS is expected to shorten the pre-auction, auction and post-auction stages; create the potential for increased frequency in trading volumes; reduce the tea trading cycle by about 65 percent from the current 45 to 60 days to less than a month; and, fast track payments to farmers and reduce the need to take loans to finance farming operation.” 

Users will only need connected devices (phones for instance) to track the tea they bought through auctions from factories to shipping companies. The portal also includes features allowing resellers to analyze global market trends.  According to Kenya's Permanent Secretary for the East African Community, Kevit Desai, “the manual procedure involves middlemen, producers, warehouses, brokers, buyers. (...) The trickle-down effect was that farmers had little say in the prices of their tea but the new system is inclusive, and farmers will benefit immensely.” 

The iTTS “will ensure that stakeholders of the tea auction, including farmers, buyers, and sellers receive real-time information on what is happening on the auction bourse, which will boost confidence in the Process,” concludes EATTA Managing Director, Edward Mudibo. 

Ruben Tchounyabe 

Posted On mardi, 12 avril 2022 17:24 Written by
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