Italy Supports E-Government programme in Mozambique

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The Italian government has pledged to grant five million Euros (about 6.7 million US dollars) to finance the third phase of the Mozambican government's Electronic Network programme, that began in 2004.

This extension phase will start this year, and should be completed by 2012.

The funding was announced by Italian Ambassador Carlo do Cascio, speaking to reporters shortly after the opening session of a Maputo workshop held to draw up a balance sheet of the implementation of the second phase, which ended last month.

"The Italian government has been financing this programme since 2004", said do Cascio. "We are very happy with the programme, because it has created a stronger link between the citizens and the public administration".

Italy contributed 1.4 million Euros to the implementation of the e-government programme for three years between 2006 and March 2009 and, because of the good progress, the Italian government decided to continue its support.

After a pilot phase in 2004-05, the second phase extended the electronic network to 130 government institutions, including ministries and provincial directorates.

A report from the Technical Unit for the Implementation of Computer Policy (UTICT), the institution managing the "Electronic Government" programme, says that, despite some difficulties, the second phase of the initiative has surpassed expectations.

Addressing the opening session, Science and Technology Minister Venancio Massingue commended the role played by the Electronic Network, saying that it is a fulcrum for improving the effectiveness of the services offered by the state.

"I think it becomes ever clearer that the target of this initiative are the citizens, who will spend less time looking for a certain service, will spend less money, and will go to a single place to obtain, for instance, an ID, a driver's license, an academic qualification certificate, a criminal record certificate, a land tenure title, among other services offered by the state", he said.

Massingue said that the government intends to take advantage of the Electronic Network to reduce the barriers faced by small and medium enterprises and improve services rendered to the private sector.

UTICT signed on Thursday a contract with the publicly owned telecommunications company, TDM, under which TDM will service the Electronic Network between 2009 and 2012.

AIM