The 5th edition of the annual SIL (State Informatics Ltd) e-Gov conference, aiming to share new technological trends that affect governments around the world with regard to artificial intelligence and blockchain, opened yesterday at the Hilton Hotel in Flic-en-Flac. The theme of the conference is "AI & Blockchain in Government". The Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, and other personalities were present at the opening ceremony.
In his address, Minister Sawmynaden, highlighted that the ultimate goal of Government is to meet the needs of citizens and engage them by streamlining service delivery and bringing accuracy, promptness, and transparency.
The conference, he indicated, will act as a platform to inform the Government and stakeholders about the latest trends in the high-tech world and also pave the way for collaboration between government entities and the private sector. He emphasised that Government will continue to promote innovation and new technologies as essential tools, and added that ICT-based activities create opportunities for employment, offer prospects to young entrepreneurs and provide means to improve the performance and productivity of traditional sectors.
Speaking about the benefits of blockchain, Mr Sawmynaden underlined that it is the next disruptive technology that can potentially change the process in which governments and the corporate operate in Mauritius and abroad. By making data accessible through a common digital platform, blockchain can effectively become a game changer whenever a transaction occurs, where trust is at a premium, and where people need protection from identity theft including in the public sector, he said.
Furthermore, the Minister dwelt on the various initiatives being undertaken by his Ministry so as to ensure an effective public service delivery. They include: e-government and e-services which consist of reviewing the current processes and work procedures in the public sector so as to better serve our citizens and businesses. He also stated that a definite digital transformation is possible through the collaboration of the public and private sector and all stakeholders. He thus called on their concerted efforts to pave the way towards making ICT one of the principal pillars of the economy.
Referring to digitalisation of Government services, Mr Sawmynaden pointed out that the process started in the 1990's and indicated that, presently, Mauritius is ranked first in Africa in the United Nations e-Government Index 2018. This serves as a testimony of the progress made on the Smart Mauritius and Vision 2030 agenda, he rejoiced. As for the ICT/BPO sector, it employs around 25 000 people as at date and it is expected to grow by another 20 000 by 2030, he added.