The need to develop the information, communication and technology (ICT) sector to be able to meet the MDGs by 2015 is underscored worldwide. ICTs can help reform government in such a way that existing institutional arrangements can be restructured and new innovative plans can flourish, paving the way for a collaborative, effective, inclusive, transparent and accountable government, critical for sustainable development.
As a global hub for innovation in public governance, DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) promotes knowledge-sharing of innovative approaches and practices in public management, particularly in the area of e-government.
Every two years, DPADM publishes the UN E-Government 2012 Survey, providing a tool that enables decision-makers to identify their areas of strength and challenges. The survey assesses the e-government readiness of the 193 UN Member States according to a quantitative composite index of e-readiness based on website assessment, telecommunication infrastructure, and human resource endowment.
Based on the findings of the UN E-Government 2012 Survey, Tanzania ranks 139 out of 193 Member States in e-government development and is one of the leading top five countries in Eastern Africa.
“We have to change to fit in the fast-growing world of information and technology. E-government is a milestone in our development strategies,” said President Ali Mohamed Shein in his speech to launch an e-government centre at Mazizini, Zanzibar municipality, in Tanzania.
President Shein said that the e-government programme is to improve communications, economic growth, employment creation and quality of lives. He told the gathering comprising Zanzibaris and delegates from the Chinese Embassy in the country that e-government is aimed at increasing efficiency in government through the use of information and communication technology.
President Shein thanked China’s ZTE, Helios-Tech of Israel, Microsoft from USA, and local companies Salem Construction Limited and Kemmisy Investment Limited for supporting the programme, which includes the installation of the fibre optic cable, construction of centres and establishing connections.
Mr. Mohammed Ame, Head of the e-government project facilitation team, said the plan for the e-government project started in 2006, but the ground work lasted only one-year.
“We have to celebrate the success. The project is important in many aspects including improving internet and phone communications,” he said. “The fibre optic cable will enable us to easily access e-health, e-education, e-tourism and other programmes,” he added.