By Ishmael Dumbuya
World Bank has through the Ministry of Information and Communications disbursed a grant of $50Million for the implementation of the Digital Transformation Project, with three objectives that should be met, including access to broadband internet connectivity; enhance digital skills, and government to deliver on their digital services.
Speaking to Radio Democracy’ Gud Morning Salone program,’Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swarray, explained that the project will last for 5 years.
He said when President Bio was elected in 2018, he had a broad vision wherein Sierra Leoneans will be digitally connected and that when he was appointed to run the ministry, he met a lot of challenges which the previous ministry had with the World Bank.
He went on to state that in 2014, when Sierra Leone tried to implement the Digital Transformation Project, the World Bank was not happy because of the manner in which resources were used, to an extent that the ministry was blacklisted by the bank.
He further stated that the project will help people to effectively participate in the digital economy and added that the ministry also works with Smart Africa, a digital company geared towards digitalizing the African economy.
“Unlike the previous government, the World Bank took this government more seriously when it comes to project implementation,” he boasted.
He highlighted that digital transformation enhances digital platforms and services to make dealings with the government easier and more accessible than ever before.
According to the minister, digital transformation is not just about the private sector that can benefit from technological advancements and the new ways of working, indicating that in order to keep up with public expectations for streamlined, efficient, and hassle-free services, public sector organizations must look to digital solutions to get the best value from public funds and deliver a better citizen experience.
“Digital transformation in government involves the utilization of innovative technologies in order to deliver more transparent, cost –effective and customer- focused services to citizens at both national and local level,” he said.
He ended by underlining that innovative digital technologies with human understanding can enable public sector organizations to transform and streamline their services, driving better value from public funds and providing improved public services.