29 and 30 September 2021: The UfM Practical Educational Workshop on ´´e-governance´´ in Palestine was organized digitally on 29 and 30 September, in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ, and the Estonian ICT Cluster, as a tangible initiative towards strengthening UfM-Palestine cooperation ties.
This Workshop is the second in a series of UfM e-governance Workshops intended for the interested Southern Mediterranean Countries as follow-up to the conclusions of the UfM Conference on ´´Digital Transformation and Digital Skills for the Future´´ held in Tallinn (Estonian Capital), exactly two years ago, on 30 September 2019.
Bringing together participants form various backgrounds including public administration, private sector, civil society and academia, this two-day event allowed to share the well-known Estonian experience and hold a through exchange of ideas on digital transformation which has recently become more crucial than ever because of the huge disruption caused by the pandemic crisis.
At the opening session, Mr. Ishaq Sidr, Minister of Communications of Information Technology of Palestine, and Ms. Amal Jado, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine, highlighted the determination of the Palestinian Government to set up an e-Governance to better address the existing challenges, presenting the legal framework and the national strategy to achieve this goal. From his part, the UfM Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Abdelkader El Khissassi, underlined that digital transformation in the region, which constitutes a key enabler of sustainable economic development, is a priority in the UfM´s agenda. In the same vein, Mr Johannes Laepple, Head of GIZ project ´´support to the UfM on Employment and Trade´´, touched upon the importance of digital transition and the need of making it inclusive and citizen centered.
Whilst the first day´s sessions were dedicated to presenting the state of digitalization in Palestine and examining the key enablers of digitalization such as national strategy, PPP, digital skills and digital identity; the second day´s sessions were a deep dive into the conducive legal framework to build a secure digital society and some concrete examples of digital public services (e-taxation, e-health, e-justice…) including those aimed at ensuring an attractive business environment (business registry, digital trade, cross-border services).
Lastly, it should be announced that the UfM intends to organize, in collaboration with GIZ and the Estonian ICT Cluster, similar national e-governance Workshops in the future for the benefit of other Southern Mediterranean countries, as a contribution to a better preparation of the region for the move to the digital era.