India to host ‘Digital Africa’ conference in March

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To ensure the benefits of digital platforms are made available for the empowerment of African citizens, an India-Africa conference on e-governance is being planned in March. The conference ‘: Empowered Citizens’ will witness participation of policy makers and government officials from India and 54 African countries.

“The Ministry of External Affairs-led initiative in collaboration with the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances () and National Centre for Good Governance envisages convening an Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) India-Africa e-governance with focus on enhanced south-south cooperation for sharing the benefits of e-governance for improved service delivery,” DARPG Additional Secretary V Srinivas said.

He said discussions have been held with African ambassadors in Delhi and the preparations have commenced. “Dates for the conference in March 2020 are expected to be announced shortly,” Srinivas told . The objective of the conference is to ensure the benefits of digital platforms are made available for empowerment of the African citizens, another official said.

India has a number of success stories on how technology is used to provide efficient services while improving the quality of life of the citizen, he said.

“An innovative feature of the ITEC India-Africa e-governance conference is that it provides a forum for government, business and academia from India and Africa while also seeking to crowdsource ideas on strengthening the collaboration through hackathon,” the officer said.

The conference will have eight sessions to cover an array of subjects including e-governance, fintech and capacity building, while also exploring business partnerships and identifying a roadmap forward, he said.

India’s several successful initiatives like BharatNet (a programme on providing broadband connectivity to all households), DigiLocker (platform for issuance and verification of documents and certificates), BHIM (unified payment interface) and Aadhaar enabled payment services, and its benefits would be highlighted during the event, the officer added.

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