Digitisation of government services: The journey continues

  • 13 Jan 2023
  • 3 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Susan Njeri

The government’s aim to transition at least 90% of government services online seems closer than ever. 5,000 services are set to be digitised within the next six months. To this end, 300 services have been digitised. 

Although it will be difficult to digitise 5,000 services by June this year, it is a crucial step in raising the efficacy and efficiency of the government. Digitising government services is essential in streamlining procedures. The CS, National Treasury & Economic Planning, recently gazetted E-Citizen as the designated official online payment system, a move that aims to increase revenue collection while lowering collection costs for the relevant authorities. The preliminary stage in digitising government services is ensuring that correct government records are digitised and then thereafter digitising the services. This will result in remarkable growth in terms of service delivery.

The whole process of digitizing 5,000 services by June this year will necessitate putting a plan into action, which calls for a well-organised process by ensuring that all stakeholders are involved and further guarantees that there are no implementation flaws. The CS for ICT stated that the actual digitalisation process will be outsourced by engaging different service providers who shall help the government in onboarding the services in an integrated architecture platform to be owned by the government.

The Ministry of ICT has emphasised the government’s commitment to construct 100,000km of national fiber optic connectivity network to ensure that the areas that are not ICT-enabled get an upgrade by having adequate ICT infrastructure. The Cabinet Secretary mentioned that this will entail the reduction of the cost of data to ensure affordability. The government has launched free Wi-Fi hotspots in Nairobi, Bondo, Ahero, Kericho, Kapsabet, Nyeri etc. and is committed to launching an average of 25,000 hotpots by 2027.

This is meant to encourage Kenyans to participate in e-commerce and give technology companies an opportunity to leverage technology and create digital jobs. There are exceptional chances to employ ICT to boost the economy, raise productivity, and improve service delivery in terms of digitising government services. International Cooperation Development 2019 released a report on Guidelines and Roadmap for full deployment of e-governance systems in Africa where it discussed the key digital elements in digitising government services. See our previously done article on the same here https://vellum.co.ke/digital-transformation/

Some of the digitised (potential)  government services include:

  1. a) Huduma Kenya services – This is where government services have been decentralised in a single location to provide a wide range of those services, therefore, making it easier for the delivery of public services. Some of these services have now been digitised and can be accessed through the E-citizen platform. The online platform covers services such as applications for visa and passports, police clearance abstracts,  police licenses,  national identity cards, company licenses, environmental licenses, driver’s licenses, business registration, work permits, and civil registrations among others.
  2. b) Infrastructure –  Significant infrastructure projects to enhance service delivery have been developed for instance:

Ø  The Konza technopolis- This seeks to advance effective links between the public and commercial sectors, streamline business operations both inside and outside of the nation, encourage ICT adoption and use domestically, and advance sound ICT governance. It positions Kenya as the region’s technology powerhouse.

Ø County Connectivity Project- In order to ensure that county government offices are online, and to make it easier to provide online services via phones, emails, and teleconferencing, the ICT Authority conducted the county connection project.

Ø  National Fibre Optic Broadband Infrastructure (NOFBI) – This was a project proposed to establish a national public broadband network with access points in every county in order to attract and stimulate private sector participation in the provision of rural telecommunications services.

  1. c)   Digitising the Critical Infrastructure Assets e.g.

Ø  Energy Sector:

Ø  Electricity segment; and

Ø  Oil segment.

Ø  Transportation Sector:

Ø  Aviation;

Ø  Land Transport; and Maritime Transportation System.

Ø  ICT Sector:

Ø   Water and Sanitation sector.

Ø  Food and Agriculture Sector.

Ø  Government Installations.

Ø  Healthcare

Ø  Educational sector

Ø  Electrol system – see our previous article https://vellum.co.ke/will-ict-play-an-increasingly-important-role-in-kenyas-election/

Towards digitising government services, Kenya has to ensure that there are policy regulatory frameworks that would ensure minimum standards have been observed and the rights of the public are protected during the digitisation process. Nonetheless, towards digital transformation, Kenya has advanced in terms of policy and laws, the same is highlighted in our article here https://vellum.co.ke/digital-transformation-2/.

In conclusion, digitising government services provides the public with collaboration opportunities with different sectors in the government. We should all be on the lookout!