News & Events / GovStack Digital Leaders Forum Highlights at WSIS+20

GovStack Digital Leaders Forum Highlights at WSIS+20

GovStack Digital Leaders Forum Highlights at WSIS+20
GovStack Digital Leaders Forum Highlights at WSIS+20
Ayush Shukla Jun 6, 2024

The second edition of the GovStack Digital Leaders Forum took place on the 30th of May, at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)+20 High-Level Event 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland. This forum serves as a unique hub for Government CXOs and leaders of the global GovTech ecosystem to share insights and learn from each other’s digital journeys.

In this edition, digital leaders from around the world discussed their experiences and lessons learned in digitizing government services using a Building Block Approach. The event opened with remarks from Ms. Noemie Bürkl, Deputy Chief Digital Officer at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). She highlighted the crucial role of digital technologies in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their impact on daily life. Ms. Bürkl emphasized, “The BMZ places significant emphasis on bridging the digital divide by focusing on digital transformation and Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) in our international digital policy and strategy.”

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Following the opening remarks, panelists from various regions shared their insights. Dr. Riham Moawad, Head of Strategy Office at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in Egypt, detailed Egypt’s digital journey, stressing the importance of interoperability and stakeholder collaboration. She announced, “With GIZ, we are on our way to establishing the digital transformation center. In cooperation with ITU and AU, we are setting up a digital umbrella to streamline planning, development, and implementation.” She further emphasized the role of GovStack in Egypt’s digital transformation efforts, stating, “When we first learned about GovStack and DPI, which complement each other, it aligned perfectly with our ongoing projects and initiatives.”

H.E. Mr. Mauricio Lizcano, Minister of Information Technologies and Communications in Colombia discussed their robust digital transformation strategy, structured around three pillars. He explained, “We are working on three main pillars: connectivity, as digital transformation, requires widespread access to high-speed internet; innovation tailored to regional strengths and weaknesses; and digital education, with about 2 million people being trained in strategies and technical skills like Python, cloud management, blockchain, and AI.” He also highlighted the importance of interoperability, mentioning Colombia’s use of X-Road for ease of use: “The national ID is linked with the citizen folder. Using X-Road, we are developing a strategy for interoperability between all institutions in Colombia.”

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From the Central Asian and Caucasus region, Bayan Khassenova, Project Manager at National Information Technology JSC (NITEC), represented Kazakhstan. In 2023, Kazakhstan adopted the GovStack Approach in partnership with ITU. Ms. Khassenova emphasized collaboration, stating, “Last year, ITU, our digital ministry, and GovTech signed a joint declaration to cooperate on the GovStack project in Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We started the regional forum in March this year, gathering all our neighbors to discuss cooperation and shared interests. Previously, we were not collaborating.” She also discussed digital services in Kazakhstan: “We currently have 40 proactive services, and the main Building Block they rely on is the data exchange platform.”

The GovStack Digital Leaders Forum continues to be a pivotal platform for fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among global digital leaders, driving the advancement of government digital transformation.

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