uptake of e-governance by African governments has the potential to slash
corruption, boost transparency and cut the cost of government across the
growth of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) has the
potential to expand e-governance In African countries, mobile devices and data
are increasingly becoming cheaper, more readily available and transmission
speeds becoming faster, allowing for the expansion of e-governance.
is defined by the UNDP as “the use and application of information technologies
in public administration to streamline and integrate workflows and processes,
to effectively manage data and information, enhance public service delivery, as
well as expand communication channels for engagement and empowerment of
UN E-Government Survey 2018 showed that most African countries lag far behind
their industrial and developing country peers when it comes to e-government
progress. More than 30 percent of African countries are at the bottom of the
world rankings on e-government capacity. Overall, Africa is the region with the
least capacity to introduce e-government initiatives.
surprisingly, the African countries, which according to the World Economic
Forum, has the most advanced information and communications technology sectors
- Mauritius, Seychelles, Tunisia, South Africa, Cape Verde and Botswana, also
ranks high in e-governance capacity.
has consistently been the African country with the most advances in
e-governance. The UN e-Government has since 2016 regularly ranked Mauritius as
the African country with the most developed e-governance.
is now also sharing its knowledge with other African countries, such as Ghana.
ICTs offers African governments new ways to deliver services more effectively,
give citizens new ways of holding governments accountable and offers new ways
for citizens to participate in government decisions. By improving government
efficiency, e-government boosts economic growth.
by getting more citizens to access public services, access government
information and engage with government, which boosts participation,
accountability and transparency, and overall boost democracy.
UNDP in a recent report argued that “ICTs are a catalytic tool to promote
services to the most marginalised populations, while enhancing transparency and
citizens have greater “access to new communication channels and thus having
‘louder’ voices in decision - and public policy-making processes”.
UNDP calls the potential of increased citizen participate in government
decision-making through e-governance as “e-participation”.
citizens with access to the internet can now access government information, use
online public services and pay online for public services. Cape Verde in 2008
introduced a Maison du Citoyen or Citizens’ Centre, a portal which brings
together electronically information about public services from different
departments which citizens regularly look for. This means that citizens do not
need to travel to individual ministries looking for or to access the
information. Citizens can apply for birth certificates, starting a company and pay
for services online.
of Cape Verde government departments make provision for citizens to directly
engage with government online. In Cape Verde, some government departments, such
as the Health Department, hold online public consultations with citizens over
Department of Justice has online forum in which citizens can respond to draft
laws. In the municipality of Tarrafal de São Nicolau citizens can engage with
government on policy and services through an online chat.
has prioritised turning the island into a Cyber Island, with e-Government as
the driving force.
government is focusing on delivering quality public services 24/7. It has
established a government web portal as a central point for government services,
information and consultation. It has also focused on creating a “joined-up
government” in which departments and public services are integrated online.
Mauritius has scaled up e-learning programmes for public servants.
is working on creating an online performance monitoring system through which
public servants can be held accountable by both government and citizens.
has an online government portal. Citizens can access government information, as
well as post their views on government performance through the portal. In 2010,
Morocco introduced a requirement that corporate taxes be paid online. The
Moroccan parliament has introduced e-petitions, through online petitioning on
bills, policies and regulations.
Tunisian government is transitioning government from paper-based system to a
paperless one. Public auditors are increasingly auditing information, data and
services online. In 2011, the Tunisian government launched the beginning of an
e-public procurement system for selected public procurement transactions, which
would include purchasing and payments.
have gradually turned core government documents into electronic form. In
Seychelles, citizens can make online tax payments, register their companies and
verify their voter details. Seychelles has an almost 100% mobile usage.
Internet speed is relatively high and broadband cost lower than in many African
countries. A number of the e-government public services are available for
citizens through mobile phones. Seychelles have introduced a voter verification
through mobile phones.
many African countries lack e-government strategies. Rather than cobbling
together standalone e-government strategies, African government will have to
put together e-government strategies that are linked to their country
of physical, human capital and technical infrastructure undermines e-government
development in Africa. Furthermore, African countries have high levels of
illiteracy, and large numbers of citizens are too poor to access technology.
African countries even if they have e-government facilities, often do not have
special support to make it accessible to the poor, rural areas and women - the
most marginalised in society.
many African countries with government-wide online government portals, these
often lack security. Many African e-government initiatives lack feedback
mechanisms for citizens to monitor initiatives.
to the internet in most African countries is through mobile devices. However,
the software applications, interfaces and products of many e-government systems
of many African countries do not speak to those in mobile devices.
African countries have an online e-government portal, which is not integrated
with the whole government. In many cases, the government departments and
agencies are not linked to the online e-governmental portal.
governments will have to invest in ICT and telecommunications infrastructure,
human resources and systems that can interactively problem-solve users queries.
African e-government projects fail, because it was either donor driven, lack
relevant data, human resource capacity and technology.
African governments are not participative, accountable or honest. The challenge
is therefore to make e-government transparent, participative and accountable
given the current lack of democratic governance cultures.
governments also need the political will - often absent - to introduce
e-governance reforms that will increase public sector efficiencies, citizen
participation and slash corruption.