MinT, European Commission sign agreement enabling digital reform

The Ministry of Technology and Innovation (MinT) and the European Commission have signed an agreement for the implementation of a project that will enable digital reforms under the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) program.

As one of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s (PhD) reform programs, EoDB was initiated to improve the business climate, address the barriers for private sector development and monitor reform efforts.

According to Abiyot Bayou (PhD), digital transformation program Director General at MinT, the program mainly focuses on supporting Ministries and Agencies in developing e-government and transactional portals for possible e-government processes.

Under the agreement, the Commission will provide a grant valued at EUR 1.2mln to implement a project that supports the initiative.

Abiyot said the grant will support the Ministry in guiding and enabling digital reforms under the EoDB program. Besides, it backs efforts to incorporate Bahir Dar and Dire Dawa cities into the national business portal, which is a one-stop portal for e-government services. He said the measure improves EoDB in Ethiopia through the automation of essential government services leveraging information and communication technologies.

The support will also help facilitate the implementation of EoDB reforms by allowing further digitalization and reform ownership of the project.

In 2019, Ethiopia was 159th out of 190 countries in the Doing Business Index. Thus, explained Abiyot, the support will assist the country achieve the objective of placing Ethiopia in the index’s top 100 by 2021.

On behalf of the European Commission, Sanne Willems, Team Leader for Economy and Infrastructure said: “the EoDB reforms are designed to deliver a favorable business environment for private sector development.” She believes the EU’s support to MinT for the national business portal and digitalization reforms will effectively contribute to creating a favorable business environment and investment climate in Ethiopia.

The project is said to benefit institutions implementing the EoDB reforms, individual businesses, and citizens in Ethiopia.

In December 2018, a high-level committee was set up to improve the business climate, to address impediments for private sector development and monitor the reform efforts. Under the umbrella of the Prime Minister’s Office, eight institutions including the Ministry of Revenue, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Documents Authentication and Registration Agency are involved in the EoDB program.

Source: the reporter 

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