Capacity Development Webinar on “Leveraging ICTs and Digital Government for Innovative Solutions to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic—Responses in Africa” (1 July 2020)
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs , through its Division of Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) and the Project Office on Governance (UNPOG), in collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional Office for Africa successfully organized the Webinar on “Leveraging ICTs and Digital Government for Innovative Solutions to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic—Responses in Africa” held on 1 July 2020. Assistant Secretary-General Maria-Francesca Spatolisano opened the Webinar which was attended by high-level dignitaries including the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies of South Africa. The Webinar was well-attended by over 150 participants from 70 countries via WebEx and over 2.2K views on Facebook Live. The capacity development event featured a total of 11 speakers which provided a good opportunity for the audience to listen to and interact with government officials and experts from countries and agencies such as South Africa, Kenya, EU, China and the Republic of Korea. The discussions focused on a) challenges in leveraging ICT and digital government to address COVID-19 in Africa; b) opportunities, strategies and innovative practices in using digital technologies to deliver services; c) challenges and opportunities of data governance in addressing COVID-19, in particular protection of privacy and personal data vis a vis the unintended consequences of the uses of digital technologies; d) strategies in bridging the digital divide to address COVID-19; e) increasing resilience of health care systems; and f) building partnerships for resilience. The Webinar provided pragmatic recommendations on how to prioritize policy actions and choose different solutions tailored to country-contextual situations.