Public Management

Public Management (336)

The entrepreneurial landscape in Africa is thriving, offering startups opportunities for funding and increased visibility. Africa's Business Heroes plays a pivotal role in achieving this objective by identifying entrepreneurs and actively supporting their growth journey.

 Kigali recently hosted two days of intense competition among 20 African innovators at the Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) Semi-Finals. Three female-led startups stood out among the contest’s top 10 finalists, a significant achievement for gender diversity.

The three women are Bola Bardet (pictured) from Benin, Christina Gyisun from Ghana, and Nthabiseng Mosia from South Africa. They respectively operate in the healthcare, agriculture, and energy sectors.

Bola Bardet is the CEO and Co-Founder of Susu, a startup that revolutionizes healthcare by offering healthcare packages and insurance that diaspora Africans can finance for their relatives in three African countries - Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, and Gabon.

Christina Gyisun is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sommalife Limited. Her company empowers smallholder farmers in Ghana through advanced software technology, connecting them to global food and cosmetic manufacturers.

Meanwhile, Nthabiseng Mosia is the CMO and Co-Founder of Easy Solar, a startup that provides financing for high-quality solar systems and appliances to those without grid access, with flexible payment options. Mosia operates Easy Solar in Sierra Leone.

These women join other finalists from Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa, spanning diverse industries.

The top 10 finalists will compete for a share of $1.5 million at the ABH Grand Finale in Kigali in November. The winner gets $300,000, the first runner-up $250,000, and the second runner-up $150,000. The remaining seven finalists will each receive $100,000, with $100,000 for additional training programs.

Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) is the Jack Ma Foundation's program that aims to nurture African entrepreneurs. Launched in 2019, it identifies, trains, and provides grants to outstanding African entrepreneurs. Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation, created the initiative after witnessing Africa's entrepreneurial potential during his 2017 visit.

“At ABH, we have long recognized the potential of entrepreneurs as engines of economic and social growth. Now in the fifth year of the competition, we are encouraged to see that ABH has grown into a truly pan-African initiative that is positively impacting the continent’s entrepreneurship landscape,” said Zahra Baitie-Boateng, ABH head of partnerships and programs.

As the ABH Grand Finale approaches, the world eagerly awaits the impactful solutions and innovative visions these finalists will present, shaping a brighter, more inclusive African business landscape.

Hikmatu Bilali

 

 

 

Posted On mardi, 05 septembre 2023 15:54 Written by

Public service digitization is one of the goals that Nigeria has set its sights on in line with its digital economy development strategy. All Nigerian States have been working towards achieving that goal, to provide the people access to digital public services.

Edo State has fully digitized its administration, thus becoming the first State to do so in Nigeria. Godwin Obaseki (photo), Governor of Edo, recently broke the news to the State’s Assembly, urging them to follow the movement. 

“Around six million documents have been digitally archived and the aim is for state operations, including interfacing with the public, to be launched and completed online,” said Obaseki.

In the area of digitization, one of the conversations we'll have with you in a few weeks will be to ask what the legislative arm of this administration is doing in terms of digitizing the legislature. The executive branch is already wrapping up the digitization process,” he added.

The Federal government started the digitization of the Nigerian administration some years ago, and in January 2022, the former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, declared that the government had taken steps through the National Policy for a Digital Nigeria to ensure migration to paperless government by 2030.

Edo State, by taking the lead ahead of the country’s other states, hopes to become Nigeria’s digital hub. To this end, the State’s administration has been equipped with over 5,000 computers and fiber-optic connections have been installed in all government offices. It also plans to train its executives in digital skills.

Transitioning to the digital will make Edo’s administration faster, both relative to procedures and decision-making.

Samira Njoya

Posted On lundi, 04 septembre 2023 12:51 Written by

Biometrics has made great strides in Africa in recent decades, likely spurred by governments and international organizations, driven themselves by concern for efficiency.

The National Identification Agency of Togo (ANID) will launch next month a nationwide biometric identification census. The Agency disclosed the news on August 30, during a press conference.

The project will last seven months, a month in each region, except in the Greater Lomé region, the country’s most populated region, where it will take two months.

Silete Devo, ANID’s Director General, commented on the census: "Faced with this digital transformation, identification, or the allocation of a unique identification number (NIU) to every natural person becomes the necessary condition."

With a budget of $72 million, the project is partly financed by the World Bank, under the West Africa Unique Identification for Regional Integration and Inclusion program (WURI). The latter covers Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Niger, and Ivory Coast.

In Togo, the project aims to proceed to the digital identification of 95% of the population. Each resident will be registered with biometric markers. These will include first and last names, photos, fingerprints, and irises.

Both nationals and residing foreigners (who have been in Togo for more than six months) will get a single 12-digit ID number. Ultimately, the project should streamline government services, improve the identification process, and give citizens a robust digital identity, propelling Togo further into the digital age.

Posted On lundi, 04 septembre 2023 10:36 Written by

Like Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, who did it this year, Burkina Faso has digitized its visa.

Burkina Faso recently adopted the e-visa. The dedicated platform was launched on August 17, in Ouagadougou, the capital, by the Deputy Minister for Security, Mahamadou Sana.

Sana believes that the e-visa is a response to transnational crime and that it will help boost internal security by controlling migratory flows, and optimize the collection and management of government revenues.

The new e-visa platform, according to Aminata Zerbo-Sabané, Minister of Digital Transition, Post and Electronic Communications is a huge step in the ongoing digitization of the country’s public services. The platform is backed by the Burkina Faso Visa Security Project (PSV-BF).

"This platform is part of the government's drive to put digital technology at the heart of the overhaul of our administration," Zerbo-Sabané declared.

Travelers looking to secure a visa can simply do so by accessing the website www.visaburkina.bf using their email. Once connected, they will have to fill out a form, upload the necessary information and pay online, via a bank card.

The e-visa’s price varies depending on the number of days a visitor plans to stay in the country. It ranges from €51 for a 3-month single-entry tourist visa to €160 for a single-entry express visa.

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 31 août 2023 17:28 Written by

The most populous country in Africa does not want to be left behind when it comes to new tech tools. The federal government is striving to leverage assets such as its youth to become a leader in AI.

Early this week, the Minister of Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani (pictured), made a post on X calling on all top researchers from the continent and abroad to help make this ambition a reality. The goal is to build an AI-powered development strategy. “We are curating a list of the top researchers of Nigerian descent from all over the world to join us in co-creating a National AI Strategy. The strategy will help shape our approach to building innovative tech solutions to our most pressing national problems,” the authority said.

AI has become, according to the FG, a multipurpose technology that transforms production and service delivery and has the potential to significantly stimulate economic growth and social development. Nigeria believes that by 2030, this technology could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy with $3 trillion coming from increased productivity and $9.1 trillion from new products and services.

With its national AI strategy, the country hopes to position itself as a leader on the continent in the next few years and tap into the benefits of this segment. Better still, Nigeria wants to give its tech environment a new face and unleash more effective and impactful tech innovations.

Samira Njoya

          

Posted On jeudi, 31 août 2023 14:14 Written by

Service digitization is one the priorities of the Kenyan government. Several projects are underway in the country to provide the necessary framework for the delivery of digital services.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Kenyan government recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to roll out a digital identity system in the country.

Signed in Nairobi,  the deal provides for UNDP technical assistance and collaboration with the government to mobilize resources to support the development and implementation of a new Unique Personal Identifier (UPI), the  Maisha Namba. The country will anchor digital identification to this UPI.

"Together, we will build on our current registration and identity management practices in a way that doesn't reinvent, but rather identifies and corrects gaps in our current systems and leverages digital solutions, including mobile and web applications, to move to better systems," said Julius Bitok (pictured, left), Principal Secretary of Immigration and Citizen Services.

The two sides inked the agreement as part of a nationwide digital identification program that the Kenyan government kickstarted. Under this larger program, each Kenyan citizen will get a UPI at birth. The Maisha Namba will replace the Huduma Namba, a system launched in 2019 by the Kenyatta government but highly criticized by the population. 

Maisha Namba and Digital ID will officially come online on October 2, 2023. Other products like the Maisha Card, which will replace the current ID card, will follow, and a National Master Population Register will be established. 

According to Julius Bitok, the digital ID system will safely, and reliably, enable Kenyans to check their identity for various purposes, ranging from opening bank acccriticizedo accessing government services or traveling. This will also reduce fraud and corruption.

Samira Njoya

Posted On vendredi, 25 août 2023 18:38 Written by

The 21-year-old entrepreneur seeks to make a positive impact on her community by solving problems she relates to, through tech. She has great ambitions for the future.

Hawanatu Sesay (picture) is an aspiring entrepreneur and programmer from Sierra Leone. She is the founder of the Sierra Learning Complaint website. The tool enables students to anonymously voice their educational concerns. Through this website, she ensures students’ complaints reach the relevant authorities.

Passionate about positive change, Hawanatu created Sierra Learning Complaint after a computer programming training at Orange Fablab (in 2022). “Orange has provided knowledge and career development programs. They have helped me to identify my hidden potential,” Hawanatu says. This experience has given her the ability to act more effectively by using the current tools that young people like her love.

Apart from her work with the complaint site, Hawanatu who has also developed an interest in other technologies is actively working on an Internet of Things (IoT) project. The project aims to revolutionize agriculture by monitoring soil conditions, providing valuable insights to farmers, and helping troubleshoot any growth issues affecting their crops. Through the project, she aims to contribute to food security and sustainable farming in her community.

Before her entrepreneurial pursuits, Hawanatu engaged in volunteer work with a patriotic advocacy organization (2018-2021) during her school years. More recently (2021), she joined "Digital Islam," an organization providing charity to the less fortunate, and she is still an active volunteer.

Hawanatu Sesay exemplifies a young visionary determined to make a positive impact in her community. With her innovative mindset and commitment to using technology for social good, she is poised to become a significant figure in the tech and social entrepreneurship spheres. As she awaits college admission, she continues to pursue her passions and create positive change through her work.

Hikmatu Bilali

Posted On vendredi, 25 août 2023 09:20 Written by

In a context of cross-border criminality encompassing terrorism and more, the Nigerian authorities wish to better control entry and exit from the country. ICT emerges as a potential solution to this concern.

Minister of Interior Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo (picture), on August 22, introduced a plan to deploy advanced technology for securing Nigeria's borders.

The plan, revealed during a news conference, aims to leverage technology to fortify land, air, and sea borders, helping address escalating threats. "We must protect all borders - land, air, sea," said Hon. Tunji-Ojo, stressing technology's role as a complement to current security efforts.

The initiative aligns with President Bola Tinubu's reform call, aiming to instill hope via the Interior Ministry's efforts.

To complement this move, the ministry would also focus on optimizing the visa and passport system, minimizing delays, and enhancing transparency. The minister also pledged respectful treatment at passport offices, with foreign entry based on merit.

The move underscores the government's commitment to a safer, more secure Nigeria through technology and strategic reforms.

Hikmatu Bilali

Posted On jeudi, 24 août 2023 18:22 Written by

In Africa, thousands of ghost civil servants still benefit from governments’ outdated management systems. To tackle the issue, some countries on the continent have turned to new technologies.

Guinea launched last week, August 16, a biometric enrolment campaign targeting officials and contract civil servants.

The campaign was launched by the Minister of Labor and Public Works, Julien Yombouno. Set to last 44 days, it started from the Ministry of Labor and will extend to other ministries over the period. Over 87,000 civil servants are expected to be enrolled.

“The main goal is to determine the real headcount of the civil service. With the accurate figures, we will be able to calculate exactly how much the State pays its civil servants every month. The end goal, however, is to establish a single administrative and accounting registry,” Yombouno explained. 

According to the Minister, the single biometric registry will regroup the data of all Guinean civil servants and contract employees, thus guaranteeing "a single agent, a single registration number, and a single salary".

The government picked Digitalis, a local startup, to carry out the project. The company develops biometric applications and software.

Enrolled civil servants will get a receipt after registering. They will later exchange the receipt for their professional card.

Like Guinea, several African countries have recently turned to technology to flush out ghost workers and put an end to the payment of undue wages. The aim is to clean up the civil service and remove the ghost workers who cost African countries tens of billions of CFA francs every year.

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 24 août 2023 13:41 Written by

Digital technologies are quite useful, and many of their advantages emerged during the Covid-19 crisis. Seduced by them, many African governments decided to make the digital sector a pillar of their development strategy.

The Ugandan Ministry of ICT and National Orientation launched a new plan for digital transformation on August 17. The plan revolves around seven (7) key axes: digital infrastructure and connectivity; digital services; cybersecurity, data protection and privacy; digital skills; innovation and entrepreneurship; systematic experimentation and preservation of the national environment.

"The Digital Transformation Plan represents a bold vision of our nation's future, one that is not driven by technology alone, but in which technology serves as a catalyst for sustainable development, economic growth and improved living conditions for all Ugandans," said the ICT Minister, Chris Baryomunsi.

The five-year strategy (2023-2027) was drawn with the help of several partners, including the UN Development Program (UNDP). It is set to foster an administrative, economic, and social environment that will benefit both Ugandans and foreign investors.

According to a government survey on ICT conducted nationwide, only 5% of government ministries, departments, and agencies had internal IT interoperability frameworks in 2022. Furthermore, only 61% of local governments had access to the Internet, while only 5.6% of their staff regularly used a computer for business purposes.

Around one in two businesses (55%) had Internet access in the year reviewed, and only one in three had a professional website; 94% of the population still had no Internet access at home. 74% of the population had a cell phone, 49% of the population had a Mobile Money account, versus 10% with a personal bank account. The broadband Internet penetration rate was 55%. Currently, the contribution of ICT to gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated at 9%.

Uganda’s new Digital Transformation Plan falls under its 2040 Digital Uganda Vision launched in 2013. 

Muriel Edjo

Posted On mercredi, 23 août 2023 17:16 Written by
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