Public Management

Public Management (342)

The last two years have demonstrated to officials in Madagascar how important transforming the economy is. As a result, the country started digitizing several strategic sectors for more efficiency.

On 22 March 2022, the Malagasy Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MINAE) signed a partnership agreement with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to digitize the country’s agri-food systems. 

As part of this agreement, digital platforms will be developed to make agricultural services more accessible, interactive, and efficient for the whole agricultural value chain. The platforms will take advantage of available opportunities and tackle challenges the sector may face in the future. 

According to the MINAE, the partnership also includes support for "digital innovation” and it will focus on improving efficiency of coaching, training, intermediation, and partnerships. It will also entail “the publication of crucial information” related to trade, health, and regulations. 

Ultimately, the ministry believes, the agreement will "accelerate the positive transformation of food systems and make them more sustainable, resilient and inclusive.”

The said agreement is one of the numerous actions carried out by the Malagasy government to improve the efficiency of its agriculture sector. Last year, the MINAE, the Ministry of Digital Development, and technical/financial partners announced the implementation of a geo-referencing system to collect and manage data on farmers, their operating segments, and the various supports received from the government. As part of this initiative, digital farmer identification cards were distributed in November 2021.

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On vendredi, 25 mars 2022 16:52 Written by

The government of Benin has in recent years made e-education a priority. The need for such a system has been highlighted with the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting the government to accelerate the process.

Benin wants to build a solid e-education system inspired by the model used in Côte d'Ivoire through the “Digital School” project. Last March 18, the Higher Education Minister, Eleonore Yayi (pictured) led a visit to the Lycée classique d'Abidjan, one of the sites where the project is rolled out.

With the Minister of Digitalization Aurélie Adam Soule, Eleonore Yayi visited two multimedia rooms and a data center. The first one is equipped with more than thirty computers, two giant touch screens, and last generation cameras and is intended for courses by videoconference. It is interconnected by optical fibers to 149 other sites across the country. The second room, equipped with computers and a high-speed Internet connection, allows students to follow courses remotely. The data center contains all the educational data produced during the courses, the teaching manuals, etc.

The Minister said her department is already in talks with tech giant Huawei to reproduce the Ivorian model in Benin. This measure aligns with the ambitions of President Patrice Talon, the official said. With e-education, the Beninese government wants to give young learners access to experts, the most current research, and the most advanced knowledge. With digital technology, interacting with education professionals remotely will be facilitated. This will enable the country to gradually build a strong human resource to boost growth.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On mardi, 22 mars 2022 15:54 Written by

Gabon will soon have a data center that will manage and store cadastral data, announced the Minister of Housing Olivier Nang Ekomie.

According to Le Nouveau Gabon, the Gabonese authorities deemed this measure necessary in an international context marked by the resurgence of cybercriminal attacks or computer hacking.

For the acquisition of supplies, installation, and configuration of the Data Center, tender documents have been prepared and sent to the Directorate General of Public Procurement (DGMP) for a no-objection opinion.

Gabon also plans to interconnect the provincial land registry offices to repatriate, centralize and process land information to carry out the work on the same information system. On this issue, tender documents have also been sent to the DGMP for a no-objection opinion.

SG

Posted On lundi, 21 mars 2022 13:21 Written by

To increase the safety of boda boda (motorcycle cab) users in Kenya, the government has announced that it will issue biometric plates with a unique color code for each county to facilitate the identification of drivers. The decision was announced yesterday by Governor Ann Kananu.

The plates will integrate information such as the name, identification number, and telephone number of each owner and/or driver, their area of operation, etc. These biometric plates will also be equipped with anti-counterfeiting features such as holograms, watermarks, and laser markers to allow police to easily locate them.

The governor said that this measure will help reorganize the boda boda sector. “This will help us identify the real boda boda riders and the rogues who have infiltrated the industry. Some people pose as boda boda riders yet they are criminals. However, they have assured us that they will identify such elements and have them arrested,” she added. The digital identification of boda boda follows the meeting held on Thursday between the governor and the Association of boda boda on the series of new regulations applicable to motorcycle cabs. The meeting came after President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) called for a nationwide security crackdown on rogue boda boda drivers on March 8 after a motorist was assaulted along Wangari Maathai Road in Nairobi County.

“I have given an executive order for petty offenders with documents to have their motorcycles released. However, no boda bodas will get into the city center until we have streamlined the sector,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said, stressing that “your boda boda license is not for you to harass or to strip our women of dignity.”

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On vendredi, 18 mars 2022 16:20 Written by

In 2008, The Kenyan government started deploying a development vision that runs until 2030. Digital technology, a part of this vision, hadn’t attracted much interest in the past but the narrative has changed now.

Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Youth and Innovation has announced the elaboration of a national digital master plan. The 10-year plan, which was the focus of a validation workshop held last Friday, aims to advance Kenya’s socio-economic development by leveraging technology.

The strategy focuses on the following areas: digital infrastructure, digital services, and data management, digital skills, digital innovation, and digital business. It should help the country create wealth and jobs, in line with its 2030 Vision adopted on June 10, 2008. 

Lucy Mulili (picture), Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of ICT, representing the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Joe Mucheru, explained that “the document draws heavily on the 2019 National ICT Policy, which explains how ICT as a foundation creates a robust economy and thus improves the lives of Kenyans.”

The Kenyan government's strategic actions under the National Digital Master Plan reflect a commitment to advancing digitalization which the World Bank sees as an asset for development–and clearly demonstrated by Covid-19.

Under the new plan, Nairobi is set to, among others, lay 100,000 km of fiber optic cable–52,000 km for the government and 48,000 km for private companies– to provide reliable and affordable connectivity for all. It also plans to provide 1.2 million laptops to schools, train 350,000 teachers in the use of technology, and connect 40,000 schools to a sustainable Internet network. The plan should cost Sh5 billion ($43.7 million) to implement. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On mardi, 15 mars 2022 17:01 Written by

In the past decade, Mauritius has invested heavily in ICT to create a digital economy as announced in 2010. This has helped the country better cope with the economic crisis induced by Covid-19.

The Mauritian government has decided to leverage its digital assets to boost tourism, whose contribution to the country’s GDP plunged by 62.1% in 2020 due to Covid-19. From 19.5% of the GDP and $2.4 billion of revenues in 2019, the sector tumbled to 8.7% and $945.5 million in 2020.  

Now, the Island no longer focuses on using the Internet and the web for tourism promotion; rather, it wants to build a robust digital environment to attract location-independent workers. 

Last month, Nilen Vencadasmy (photo), chairman of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, started touring some African countries to sell this new vision. On 26th February, he was in South Africa which is considered an important market; 130,000 South Africans visited Mauritius in 2019. 

The Premium Travel Visa is the first digital asset that Mauritius will use to achieve its new ambitions. Launched on November 16, 2020, this one-year renewable residence permit granted to non-Mauritian nationals is accessible online. The Mauritius Economic Development Committee specifies that applicants for this permit must meet several criteria, including not being involved in the Mauritian labor market, proving that the main place of business and the source of income and profits are outside Mauritius. 

Mauritius' other digital assets are grouped into a digital ecosystem conducive to remote work. The country ranked 8th in Africa for average mobile Internet speed in January 2022 with 20.59 megabits per second (Mbps), as well as 7th in Africa for average fixed Internet speed with 19.88 Mbps, according to Speedtest Global Index.

As for the cost of the Internet, Cable.co.uk, in its report "Worldwide mobile data pricing 2021. The cost of 1GB of mobile data in 230 countries," ranks Mauritius 5th in sub-Saharan Africa for the average cost of accessing 1 Gigabit (GB): $0.75. The Portulans Institute and STL's Network Readiness Index 2021 rank the country among the best in Africa in terms of Internet coverage. In the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Global Cybersecurity Index 2020, Mauritius ranks first in the level of security of its information systems since 2014. 

By targeting digital nomads, Mauritius, which plans to "relax the entry protocol in the coming weeks," according to Nilen Vencadasmy, hopes to once more make tourism a strong contributor to GDP, not only by ensuring that the industry regains its previous dynamism but also by attracting quality visitors.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On vendredi, 11 mars 2022 17:51 Written by

The Congolese government has since 2019 stepped up initiatives to develop the digital economy in the country. Beyond connectivity infrastructure, it has also made the innovation industry – a major job generator- a priority.

The government of the Republic of Congo is working on a specific legal framework for startups. The related bill was approved by the Council of Ministers last March 2. The document was then submitted to Parliament for review by Léon Juste Ibombo (pictured), the Minister of Posts, Telecommunications, and the Digital Economy.

If it is validated, it will foster the implementation of various administrative, financial, fiscal, and measures that will promote the development of tech entrepreneurship in the country. Leon Juste Ibombo explained that the government decided to develop this tool due to "the absence of a specific legal framework for the digital industry, the lack of adequate funding, and the difficulties of access to public procurement as well as the absence of a strategy to promote innovation.” The law provides for a “startup” quality label that will only be issued to young companies that have met certain conditions.

Startups are increasingly gaining ground in Africa. Between 2015 and 2021, the amount they managed to raise increased from $277 million to $5.2 billion. Fintech, e-logistics, e-commerce, e-health, have gained value with Covid-19. As digital transformation has accelerated on the continent, the Congolese government wants to enable local innovators to also benefit from the growing business opportunities.

In its report "2021 Africa Tech Venture Capital", Partech reveals that Congolese startups captured $1 million from investment funds and other VCs in 2021. Senegal, which has been enjoying a startup law since December 28, 2019, saw the volume of funds raised by its startups reach $353 million in 2021. It was $6.50 million in 2016 according to Partech.

The new framework in Congo will facilitate the emergence of more tech innovators and entrepreneurs who will promote a dynamic local industry.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On lundi, 07 mars 2022 15:58 Written by

Over the past five years, the Ghanaian government has developed various means of securing tax revenues from the exploitation of its subsoil resources. The measures have been reinforced with digital tools.

Ghana has digitized its national laboratory for the analysis of all precious minerals intended for export. The transformation of the facility managed by the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC), was unveiled last March 2 in Accra by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia.

Nana Akwasi Awuah, MD of PMMC, explained that the digitization of assays will now make it possible “to generate assay certificates which have unique security features. These unique features will make it difficult for gold scammers to follow to facilitate their dubious activities.”

“Digitization has also now made it possible to monitor in real-time, gold exports passing through the National Assay Laboratory. At the click of a button, persons given access to the dashboard can see, in real-time, the amount of gold exported in both kilograms and ounces, where it was exported to, the value in Ghana cedis and dollars, the withholding tax, the exporter, and many other relevant data to aid national economic planning,” he added.

The transformation of the precious minerals analysis laboratory is part of the government’s strategy to secure tax revenue from this sector. Five years ago, the President of the Republic ordered the government to identify a means of independently verifying gold exports. The PMMC officially started operations in February 2018 following several engagements with the Ghana Chamber of Mines, the Association of Gold Exporters, and the Ghana Chamber of Bullion Dealers.

"President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recognizes that our progress as a nation in the modern world is inextricably linked to digitalization and will, therefore, continue its adoption for enhanced service delivery. It is a critical path for our nation to remain competitive in the world of today and tomorrow," Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On vendredi, 04 mars 2022 18:38 Written by

Over the past five years, Gabon has performed well in the UN e-government development index. Despite this progress on paper, not much has changed on the ground.

Société d'incubation numérique du Gabon (SING), a private company providing digital innovation services, announced the launch of the SmartGov program last February 25. The initiative is part of the government’s ambition to digitize public services and make the administration more collaborative and efficient.

"Services need to communicate with each other so that they are faster and more efficient," said Yannick Ebibie (pictured), MD of SING. "Even though the country is the highest-ranked in terms of e-government in the Central African region and among the best on the continent, people still have to queue for hours at ministries to access services. And sometimes not everything on the website is updated," he said.  

Gabonese authorities have made digital transformation a priority since 2009. The ambition is to make Gabon a model of digitalization in Africa by 2025. To support the migration of Gabon from e-Government to Smart Government, the SING also launched a three-day hackathon. During this event, SING will select and fund the best ideas, capable of facilitating the entry of public administrations into a more collaborative vision. CFA1 million (nearly $1,700) will be granted to the winners with a three-month technical assistance period.

Brice Gotoa

Posted On jeudi, 03 mars 2022 02:43 Written by

Building on the general-purpose e-learning platform -Atingi- that it launched in November 2020, Smart Africa has announced the launch of a new platform dedicated to technology and digital literacy.

On the sidelines of its 5th ICT Ministers’ Council held last February 25 in Kintélé, in the Republic of Congo, the Smart Africa Alliance announced the launch of its academy designed to improve the digital skills of Africans. The Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) offers free online courses accessible on https://sada.atingi.org/.

SADA's courses are focused on seven areas: digital skills and transformation, management and leadership, agriculture, career guidance, entrepreneurship, health, and governance and decentralization. Currently, three courses are already available on the platform. These are "Economic Foundations of Regulation" developed by Laurent Gille, economist, professor emeritus of Télécom Paris; "ICT Infrastructure" developed by UNESCO, Cetic.br/NIC.br and the SDG Academy; and "Dimensions and Causes of the Digital Divide" developed by GIZ and Atingi.

Smart Africa has also scheduled a webinar for September 22 to discuss the "Agile Regulation for Digital Transformation" in Africa. The workshop will feature Patrick Njoroge, the head of the Central Bank of Kenya, Anna Pietikainen, senior policy advisor at the OECD, Edmund Fianko, the deputy head of the National Communications Authority of Ghana, and Roslyn Docktor, director of government and regulatory affairs at IBM Corporation. 

"The Smart Africa Digital Academy – SADA for short – provides the courses, webinars, and opportunities for exchange to policymakers and regulators to promote digital transformation in Africa.  With its various learning programs and formats, SADA wants to improve participants’ skills for drafting inclusive, gender-sensitive, and climate-smart ICT regulations,” according to the information available on the Atingi platform.

“SADA also reaches a wider audience from entrepreneurs to engaged citizens to improve their digital literacy, so that they can fully benefit from the new potentials offered by digital technologies.”

SADA’s access platform is fully responsive and adapts to a variety of screen sizes, including desktop, tablet, and mobile. Training courses are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Portuguese. Courses are downloadable.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On lundi, 28 février 2022 16:23 Written by
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