The national strategy of digital transformation (2021-2025) is based on 7 axes, including the development of infrastructure and the generalisation of Internet services in the different regions, financial integration through the encouragement of e-commerce and electronic payment, said Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy Mohamed Fadhel Kraiem.
“The strategy also provides for the strengthening of Tunisia’s position as a field of digitisation and innovation, and as a destination for investment in the ICT field and the consolidation of the innovation system and incentives for private initiative,” added the minister at the opening of the Tunisia Didital Summit held on October 27-28, 2020.
The strategy also covers the ongoing digitisation of the administration and the simplification of administrative procedures, and the guarantee of Tunisia’s positioning in terms of breakthrough technologies (artificial intelligence, blockchain…), as well as the adaptation of the training and employment policy to the needs of the ICT sector, the reinforcement of cyber security mechanisms and digital sovereignty.
Nearly half of the projects of the strategic plan “Digital Tunisia 2020 have not yet been implemented and have been included in the framework of the digital transformation strategy 2020-2025, according to previous statements by the minister.
In order to achieve the expected objectives, the national strategy must be conceived as an urgent priority of the Ministry and implemented at the level of all departments, while working to strengthen the horizontal role of the Ministry in charge of ICT as a support structure in this field.
For Kraiem, the implementation of clear governance, the review of project management and the activation of the strategic council for the digital economy, whose 7th edition will be held in November 2020, as well as the opening up to the private sector and civil society, are sine qua non conditions for the achievement of the outlined objectives.
“During the period of the crisis of the 1st wave of COVID-19, digitisation was a solution that made it possible to manage the works and basic services, which continued in a normal way, except for high-speed internet, which was lacking in some regions,” said Kraiem.
This weakness was perceptible especially in the management of distance work and distance learning in the regions, which is in contradiction with the principle of equal opportunity, according to this official.
In this respect, the minister recalled the launch of the “Gov tech” project, in partnership with the Ministries of Education, Social Affairs and the Civil Service, with a view to connecting schools and high schools to broadband Internet and bringing social services closer to citizens, particularly in the inland regions.
The minister referred to the second phase of the startup programme relating to the establishment of new funding mechanisms and the creation of the fund of funds, saying that the department has been able to mobilize this year about 57 million euros for this program (about 184.4 million dinars).
He recalled that the Tunisia startup programme which aims to make the country, a pole of startups in Africa and the world, has since its launch in April 2019, granted 338 startup labels.
Tunisia is ranked via its Startup Act, 23rd out of about thirty countries at the forefront of digital and 1st in the Africa and Middle East region, according to “Startups Without Borders” which has just published its “Startup Visa Programs Attractiveness index”.