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Mauritius e-government less about digitization; more about government transformation: ICT minister

Mauritius e-government less about digitization; more about government transformation: ICT minister

Also, Roo Reynolds, Product Manager in the UK’s Government Digital Service, and Emtel CEO Shyam Roy paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam, at the Treasury Building in Port Louis. (Image: GIS)

The digital revolution will make governments more responsive to the needs of the citizens, according to Mauritius ICT Minister Tassarajen Pillay Chedumbrum.

This statement formed part of his opening address at a workshop held on Wednesday April 30, 2014 in the Ebony Conference Hall, at Hennessy Park Hotel, in Ebène.

Organised by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in collaboration with Emtel, the workshop was centered on the theme ‘Digital Service Adoption: Framing the Right Ecosystem.’

It witnessed participation of officials from across public sector organizations, who discussed the latest technology insights with regard to customer centric applications.

Moreover, Roo Reynolds, Product Manager in the UK’s Government Digital Service shared his experience in making the UK Digital Service more user-centric.

Overall, the objective of this workshop was to analyze the current digitization ecosystem to allow both the Government and the ICT Service Provider to align on the new paradigms and make e-government services more citizen-centric.

The workshop dwelt on how people and governments are seeking a balance among four seemingly contradictory but yet important paradigms: Privacy and Security, Efficiency and Effectiveness, Regulatory Issues and User Convenience.

Also, a conducive environment of widespread broadband, ubiquitous connectivity, cloud computing, social networking, digitalization, and the “Internet of Things” is transforming how people work, play, communicate, socialise, and do business.

“Indeed, being citizen-centric and being more responsive to the needs of our citizens is our main focus,” the ICT minister pointed out.

Furthermore, according to the minister, Mauritius places importance on making things happen through its e-government strategy, launched last year. The strategy draws on using ICT to promote efficient and effective government services to allow greater public access to information and to make the government accountable to the citizens.

“ICT today is a tool to achieve better governance, not only by enabling the delivery of increasingly cost-effective personalised services to the citizens, but most importantly, by building better democratic dialogue,” he said.
The minister concluded on the note that digital service adoption, or e-government, is not a technology project, but a government transformation project.

Moreover, Roo Reynolds and Emtel CEO Shyam Roy paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam, at the Treasury Building in Port Louis.

Both sides exchanged thoughts on how the government can redesign its services for its citizens and how digital services can be optimally used in achieving this objective.

“It is very exciting to see how much overlap there is between the e-government strategy in Mauritius and UK’s own digital strategy,” Reynolds said.

“The idea of starting with the user, which means putting the user at the heart of everything, is very familiar to us. In fact we are doing that as well and so there are a lot of commonalities between both countries,” he observed.

Additionally, Reynolds noted that Mauritius is going in the right direction as regards the e-government strategy.

It may be noted that Roo Reynolds is responsible for the delivery, on-going success and continuous improvement of the GOV.UK user formats, leading the multi-disciplinary team that delivers mainstream information and services used by millions of citizens and businesses each week.

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