The Digital Maturity Programme of Côte d'Ivoire
In an ever-changing world, nations must constantly face new challenges. In the present time, digital technology poses a major challenge for humanity. The many technological innovations which the world witnesses are pushing countries that have not yet taken the right steps to speed up the pace, which threatens to deepen the technological divide with the rest of the planet, therefore reinforcing their isolation on the global chessboard.
In order not to be left behind in this technological transformation, the State of Côte d'Ivoire has been developing its activities for several years on the path of digital expansion of its administration and its country. In this context it has launched the huge eGouv programme.
What is Digital Maturity?
Maturity refers to a state when something has reached its full development. In the digital world, it calls into question the capacity of organisations to drive technological changes to be more efficient by including new solutions to their traditional way of working.
Digital maturity applied to the Government would therefore be the result of a winning combination of two elements, which happen to be its objectives at the same time:
"Digital intensity", i.e., regular investments in digital technology aimed at modifying the operating procedures of the Government, and in fact its mission.
"The intensity of transformation management", i.e., the structuring and coordination of these investments through the implementation of a comprehensive strategy targeting deeper changes in governance and relations between the Government and its users.
Côte d'Ivoire's strategy for Digital Maturity
For Côte d'Ivoire, the achievement of these objectives requires the implementation of a comprehensive and coherent strategy that defines the Digital Maturity Programme. The main components of this strategy are as follows:
Principle 1: LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK;
Principle 2: ICT INFRASTRUCTURES;
Principle 3: CAPACITY STRENGTHENING;
Principle 4: ACCESSIBILITY AND DIVERSITY;
Principle 5: ICT SERVICES AND CONTENT;
Principle 6: SECURITY OF ICT INFRASTRUCTURES AND SERVICES.
In Côte d'Ivoire the “Ministère de l’économie Numérique et de la Poste” (Ministry of the Digital Economy and Post), through the “Agence Nationale du Service Universel des Télécommuncations/TIC3” (National Agency for the Universal Service of Telecommunications/ICT) (ANSUT), is the governmental body responsible for ensuring digital coverage (ICT infrastructures, services and equipment) of the territory. In order to fulfil its assignment which includes, among others, the improvement of the level of digital maturity in Côte d'Ivoire, ANSUT has launched several programmes, including:
The National Broadband Network (RNHD): In the future, the RNHD will consist of a 7000 km fibre-optic transmission network called the National Backbone, and will also include the installation of a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) switch and equipment. Its implementation will reduce the digital divide between rural and urban areas, helping to promote access to the ICT-Telecommunications network, creating new jobs and businesses.
The eGOV programme: The “Programme de Gouvernance Electronique” (Electronic Government Programme) (eGOUV) integrates ICT in the administrative management of state structures (G to G) with a view to providing more efficient public services to citizens (G to C) and businesses (G to B) through projects like eAdministrative Actions, eFinance…
The eHealth project: The aim of the "eHealth" project is to integrate ICT into the daily life of healthcare providers by setting up telemedicine infrastructures and services, which will guarantee access to knowledge and quality care throughout the national territory.
The eAgriculture project: The "eAgriculture" project will enable the implementation of a modern technological infrastructure in order to make the Ivorian agricultural sector more efficient, competitive (in terms of cost and quality) and profitable in the long term at national, subregional and international levels. It aims to develop, modernise and enable good organisation of the agricultural sector through the use of ICT.
The eAdministrative Actions project: The project will make it possible to modernize the Ivorian administration by going paperless in administrative procedures; this will be achieved by presenting online transactions, enabling users to carry out administrative actions with State services without having to move. or at least reducing this requirement to the bare minimum.
The eFinance project: This project of modernising bodies in charge of public finances aims to offer dematerialized services to users by allowing them a simplified, rapid and complete access to these services, whatever may their location be.
Community e-Centres: The aim of this project is to create 5,000 public multi-service community cybercentres in the rural areas of Côte d'Ivoire (villages with more than 500 inhabitants). They are neighbourhood centres of multiservices and digital development hubs for the localities hosting them. Ultimately, they will be a real support for the development of several sectors such as education, health, agriculture, etc.
ICT Dissemination: This project is part of the state's administration programme and aims to enable all populations to be equipped with computers or tablets and to take advantage of an Internet connection. It responds to the requirement to make ICT accessible to all. Hence one of the successes of this project is making computer equipment in Côte d'Ivoire tax exempt, which will enable people to have quality equipment at low prices.
Impacts of digital maturity on economic and social life
When asked about the impact of digital technology in everyday life, each and everyone will probably cite some of the benefits that they receive, from the ability of exchanging pieces of information via emails or social networks, to the purchase of goods online or easy access to many administrative procedures.
Studies on the social and societal impact of digital technology are thus largely positive, highlighting a consumer surplus and benefits for society as a whole, such as a better quality of education, governance or environment. At the same time, digital technology is identified as a factor of global transformation, requiring weighty modifications. The themes of digital inclusion or profession development are part of this concern.
On the economic level, digital transformation is an industrial revolution, comparable to that of mechanisation or electrification.
As the OECD suggests, digital is a general purpose technology that infiltrates all sectors of the economy. The characteristic of general-purpose technology, such as automotive or electricity, is to redefine the structure of the economy, for example, by redefining the city or changing the times of the working day. The promise of digital evolutions rushes us into a new economy; that of the Digital Economy. This promise, by many new companies - "digital natives" – is being seized as an opportunity. You can create your own business from home, quite easily, with a computer and some lines of code, while the proposed solution will potentially address a problem shared by millions of users around the world.
Côte d’Ivoire, in its ambitious goal for advancement by 2020, is part of this revolution with a strong social and economic impact through the implementation of its Digital Maturity Programme, via the Ministry of the Digital Economy and Post.