By: Finda Judith Ngaujah
Strategic Communications Unit,
Ministry of Information and Communications
The Ministry of Information and Communications on Tuesday 7th July 2020, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Transport and Aviation to design Technological Systems to aid and improve the functions of the transport sector.
The Memorandum of Understanding is in support of the ministry’s drive to translate the President’s vision of creating a digitally inclusive society as was espoused in his inaugural state opening of parliament speech (SOP 2018).
Recently, the ministry launched the first phase of government’s digitalization project called “govonline”, which is aimed at improving government’s online presence. This project has specific services that target specific MDAs. The Ministry of Information and Communications, after critical assessment of the huge digitaliziation demand as well as promoting Sierra Leone’s entrepreneurship for sustainable economic growth and the financial cost burden on Government to handle this alone, thought it prudent to initiate the Public Private Partnership Model (PPP) as a means of easing the burden on Government. Through this model, the ministry is currently working with Niche Technologies (SL) Limited, to implement components under the “goveonline” project phase one.
On behalf of the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Deputy Minister Mamadi Ngobeh- Kamara reiterated His Excellency President Maada Bio’s urge for a nationwide digitalization. She said that as the ministry charged with the responsibility to lead this drive, it is looking forward to partnering with private sector companies in achieving the government’s digitalization drive. She went on to say that the MOU will lead to creating a framework agreement with specific terms and conditions for the complete digitalization of SLRSA, the direct beneficiary of the project.
In his response, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon, welcomed the ministry’s leadership role in reaching out to other MDAs to collectively achieve the President’s digitalization drive. He assured the deputy minister of Information and Communications that his ministry and all other parastatals under their purview will work collaboratively with the ministry in ensuring government’s digitalization dream is realized. According to him, this will be an opportunity for government to capture a holistic data on all government and private vehicles in the country.
Earlier in his opening statement, the Executive Director of Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA), Ibrahim Sannoh, welcomed the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Information and Communications through its E-governance program. According to him, one of his first goals upon assuming office was to interconnect all branches of SLRSA so that they can operate under a single system. He therefore sees this partnership as an opportunity to support his goal in delivering results in key areas such as, increasing public access to SLRSA services, increase revenue and improve transparency and accountability with the ultimate goal of improving on customer satisfaction.
Taking both ministries through a PowerPoint presentation, Mahmoud Idriss, Chief Executive Officer of Niche Technologies, clearly stated that the project, if successfully rolled out, would immensely help the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority in Accountability by eliminating revenue leakages. He further stated that the Project will also help in compliance by ensuring effective licensing, examination and testing of vehicles which would improve the revenue base of the institution. According to Mahmoud Idriss, the project will also increase Sierra Leone’s ranking on the Global Electronic Governance Development Index (EDI) and the World Bank ease of doing business ranking.
The two ministries concluded the ceremony by signing the Memorandum of Understanding.