e-Governance Knowledge Hub
In 2022 HSE University launched the Knowledge Hub for e-Governance, primarily focused on Africa and aimed at sharing the experience of developing and implementing e-Governance solutions between Russian and African institutions.
The knowledge sharing is to be carried out in the field of digital transformation of public administration, covering its theoretical aspect, regulatory framework, technologies and platforms, international rankings, trends, etc.
The Programme’s scope corresponds to the provisions of the Declaration of the First Russia–Africa Summit, Agenda 2063 and Russian strategic interests in the region, namely the long-term strengthening of the African governments sovereignty, including their digital independence, contributing to the sustainable development, limiting the external influence on decision-making, and promoting bilateral trade.
Digital development and digital transformation of public administration were suggested among the most promising avenues of knowledge-sharing on the first stage of the Programme, with the focus on industry standards and strategies development promoting sustainability of institutions and quality of governance.
The format of knowledge sharing will allow the exchange of experience of development and deployment of e-governance platforms in the African countries. The participants will also get the opportunity to become acquainted with the state of the art solutions and their developers.
A Winter e-Governance Knowledge Sharing Week for African civil servants is to be held in December in Moscow. It will involve research, educational, and training activities in the field of digital transformation for civil servants and legislators provided by Russian and African experts. It will also include visits to the offices of partner companies and excursions. Participants who successfully complete the course will be awarded certificates of international standard.
The Programme’s concept was first presented on April 13, 2022, at a roundtable at the XXIII Yasin (April) International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development in the presence of distinguished diplomats and experts. Ambassadors and experts emphasised on the similarity of the challenges faced by their countries with those that have already been successfully addressed in Russia. They expressed their interest in gaining experience and sharing knowledge in state-building and their willingness to cooperate with HSE University within the framework of the Programme.
On December 15, 2022, at a roundtable Russia-Africa: digital transformation of public administration the reports on the prospects of cooperation with African countries in the digital markets were presented. The experts discussed suggestions regarding the contents of the knowledge sharing for e-Governance Programme.
In line with the global trend of e-Government development over the last decade African governments have made significant progress in this area. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the necessity of investing in e-governance and digital infrastructure, and most of the African governments, intergovernmental organisations and the African Union have made it a priority and adopted ambitious strategies including but not limited to the The Digital transformation strategy for Africa (2020-2030), Agenda 2063, national strategies which aim to guarantee equal access to public services and reduce the digital gap.
Nevertheless, according to the latest UN e-Governance Development Survey, Africa has an average e-Government Development Index (EGDI) of 0.41. It is a tangible progress compared to 0.28 in 2012, but the room for growth is still huge.
International institutions, such as the UN, the World Bank, the African Development bank invest extensively in playing a role in the digital transformation of public administration in African countries providing their intellectual expertise and resources.
The shortage of telecommunications infrastructure, though visibly improved аccording to the 2022 UN survey, high cost of mobile broadband subscriptions, as well as the scarcity of cybersecurity frameworks are still hurdles to overcome.
As of 2022 EGDI of Russia in the UN e-Governance Development Rating amounted to 0.816 (the leader in the field, Denmark scored 0.97 EGDI) demonstrating steady growth of the EGDI value. Russia is also among top 10 leading countries in digitalisation of public services according to the World Bank’s GovTech Maturity Index (GTMI) rating with the maturity index of 0.897.
Unlike most competitors, Russian e-Government is fully backed by domestic solutions and its developers, while the share of the Russian hardware in the government sector is growing steadily with the aim to reach 100% level.
At the end of 2022 the Russian Public Services Portal by Rostelecom was ranked as the most visited governmental website in the World according to the SimilarWeb rating. It delivers at least 132 federal public services with the number of verified accounts exceeding 100 millions as of November 2022.
E-Governance in Russia is also outperforming on the regional level, mainly in cities such as Moscow and Saint-Petersburg with their own portals: Moscow Mayor official website and Public Services Portal of Saint-Petersburg.
Moscow is leading the global rankings of e-Government, and it has consequently ranked in the top 10 in the 2018, 2020 and 2022 editions of the UN Survey. In 2022, Moscow shared the 5th place with Dubai, New York and Paris with the Local Online Service Index (LOSI) of 0.92.
Some Russian investors have already established their partnerships with African governments and institutions providing working solutions and expertise in the field of digital transformation of public administration, with ABBYY, Azimut, Galileosky, Geoscan, Rise SA Business Solutions among them.
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