GIS – 20 December, 2018: Government is harnessing the potential of digital technologies and making it a cornerstone of the development agenda of Mauritius to improve the socioeconomic landscape and provide more services to enhance the quality of life of the population. The Mauritius Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy, the Digital Government Transformation Strategy 2018-2022 and the Digital Mauritius 2030 Strategic Plan are set to support the country in its pursuit of digital transformation.
The Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, made this statement yesterday, in Ebène, at the launching ceremony of the Mauritius AI Strategy, the Digital Government Transformation Strategy 2018-2022 and the Digital Mauritius 2030 Strategic Plan.
In his address, Minister Sawmynaden highlighted that it is crucial to enable the country to foster and develop strategic targets to position itself as a leader in the field of technology both regionally and globally. The Digital Mauritius 2030 Strategic Plan, he underscored, aims to leverage the capacity of the country as a digital hub to act as a springboard and so as to connect to the African region and reinforce cooperation as well as partnerships. The Plan, he indicated, charts different strategic waves to create an enabling environment for the digital growth and competitiveness of the country, namely: digital Government; ICT infrastructure, innovation, talent management and cybersecurity.
As for the Digital Government Transformation Strategy 2018-2022, the Minister underlined that a new E-Government strategy is crucial to re-engineer the e-Government agenda and to revamp its services and operations by integrating technology. The Strategy, he explained, aims at engaging and working more closely with citizens in the conception and design of services in line with Government’s aim to transform the public sector in improving effectiveness by adopting a customer-oriented and citizen-oriented approach to cater for the needs of the population.
The Strategy includes the adoption of the once-only principle, capture data only once from citizens and reuse the data; Open Data-by-Default to ensure release of non-personal and non-sensitive data in an open and anonymised way; integrate a data-driven culture for informed decision-making to improve quality of services; integrating citizens’ view through E-participation; developing digital skills through capacity-building programmes; and, provision of online services for digital inclusiveness.
Moreover, Mr Sawmynaden underscored the colossal opportunities that can be achieved on the socioeconomic landscape through the development of AI. The Mauritius AI Strategy, he pointed out, addresses how AI can become an important vector of revival for important sectors such as transport, agriculture, manufacturing and health. The Mauritius AI Council, he recalled, will be set up to facilitate and oversee implementation of projects to take advantage of AI as well as to quantify the socioeconomic impacts.
The Minister also dwelt on the key achievements of his Ministry, which include: the Digital Youth Engagement Programme that offered training to some 2300 primary and secondary students; the ICT awareness programme for some 3000 senior citizens with the aim of inculcating digital skills and teaching them how to use online communication tools; Robotics Week to familiarise children to the world of robotics; the implementation of the Data Protection Act aligned with the General Data Protection Regulation; launching of mobile applications and of some 150 e-services as well as the Open Data Portal; Online renewal of motor vehicle license system; Mauritian Cybercrime Online Reporting System; and, the hosting in Mauritius of the World AI Show and Blockchain Summit.
Additionally, Mr Sawmynaden underlined that Mauritius has achieved considerable international recognition for its digital-related projects including: obtaining the E-Government Champion Status at the World Summit of Information Society 2018; ranking 6th in the African region on the International Telecommunication Union’s Global Cybersecurity Index; and, the selection of the first Mauritian Infrared Satellite, MIR-SAT1, under the UNOOSA/ JAXA KiboCUBE 2018 programme.