Namibia and Uganda lay grounds for effective delivery of public services in the digital age
24.05.2023The AU-EU D4D Hub has launched two new technical assistance missions aimed at strengthening citizens’ digital skills in Namibia and improving the interoperability of Uganda’s educational information systems
The digital transformation offers governments many opportunities to better serve citizens, increase efficiency in public administration, and make informed decisions. With this aim, the African Union – European Union (AU-EU) Digital for Development (D4D) Hub supports public institutions across Africa to leverage the benefits of digital technologies to build more inclusive and sustainable societies.
In April 2023, the AU-EU D4D Hub kicked off two new technical assistance missions in the field of e-governance, mobilising European expertise at the demand of the governments of Namibia and Uganda. The purpose of these activities is to support the two countries’ public administrations to lay grounds for the effective delivery of public services in the digital age.
Empowering users through digital skills
In Namibia, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) has requested the AU-EU D4D Hub’s support to strengthen the country’s digital literacy efforts to ensure that all citizens can make use of online government services in a safe manner.
The Government of Namibia’s vision is to achieve a 100 per cent digital literacy rate by 2030 – a goal towards which the MICT has already taken important steps. However, challenges remain to reach rural communities and the adult and elderly population.
In this spirit, the e-Governance Academy, an implementing partner of the AU-EU D4D Hub, is providing training to 50 instructors in three rural communities, who in turn can transmit the acquired knowledge to more people (what is known as a Training of Trainers model). Through workshops to be delivered in both urban and rural areas, the experts will cover diverse topics such as online safety, information-finding skills, media literacy, and the use of digital services.
In addition to the workshops, the e-Governance Academy is also supporting the MICT with the drafting of digital skills training plans for different target groups, an analysis of the current situation of digital literacy in Namibia, and the planning of an awareness-raising campaign on the advantages of technology and the importance of cybersecurity.
This technical assistance mission follows a workshop on e-governance facilitated by the Estonian ICT Cluster, as part of the AU-EU D4D Hub project, which took place on 28 March 2023 in Windhoek.
Namibia’s Deputy Minister of ICT, Emma Theofelus, will also travel to Estonia in May 2023 to participate in the e-Governance Conference 2023, where she will speak at a session organised by the AU-EU D4D Hub.
Smooth data flows in the education sector
In Uganda, the AU-EU D4D Hub project has begun collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Sports in laying the foundation to digitalise the education sector in Uganda. The objective is to make better use of data for better-informed investment decisions, more efficient planning, improved inclusiveness, smoother delivery of education services, and informative monitoring and evaluation relevant to continuous sector development.
In this sense, experts from the e-Governance Academy and the Estonian ICT Cluster are conducting an analysis of the existing data flows between national, regional, and local institutions that handle data related to education (mapping the state of play). In the second phase, they will provide recommendations on how to improve data governance and interoperability in the field of education. In particular, they will provide strategic advice for the Government of Uganda to adopt a data exchange platform, which could help connect educational information systems and ensure secure data flows.
Uganda is already one of the frontrunners in East Africa in terms of digital government, and this technical assistance will help the government to take the next step to digitalise education management.
Apart from the Ministry of Education and Sports, the AU-EU D4D Hub is also supporting the digital transformation of other public institutions in Uganda. For example, the project is working with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance to assess the potential of post offices to deliver online public services. It is also assisting the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) to advance e-procurement.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Dr Aminah Zawedde, will also participate at the e-Governance Conference 2023, speaking alongside Ms Theofelus on African experiences fostering multi-stakeholder collaborations for innovation in the public sector.