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Promoting the Digital Transformation of African Portuguese-Speaking Countries and Timor-Leste

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The public sectors of African Portuguese-speaking countries and Timor-Leste (PALOP-TL) have made significant progress in mobilising digital technologies to promote internal efficiency, simplify government procedures and improve the delivery of public services. Nevertheless, fully harnessing these technologies to improve growth, opportunities for income and employment, and public service delivery requires a more profound shift from efficiency-driven to citizen-driven approaches. This cross-country review of the digital transformation of the public sectors in Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe and Timor-Leste reviews progress towards digital government and suggests strategies for enabling more effective, collaborative and sustainable digital government policies and approaches in PALOP-TL countries. These recommendations address three main areas: digital solutions for the delivery of core government functions, foundations for a digital government transformation, and digital services for citizens and businesses.

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Core government functions and digital solutions

The delivery of public services presupposes that governments are primarily capable to ensure and exercise a set of basic functions, such as collecting revenues, monitoring expenditure, managing the civil service or ensuring communication through public bodies and with citizens and businesses. Accordingly, the design and implementation of digital government strategies in African Portuguese-Speaking Countries and Timor-Leste (PALOP-TL) must take into account the ability of their respective governments to carry out a minimum set of core functions, which are deemed as an essential building block to ensure the foundations of a digitally transformed public sector. This chapter assesses how such upstream and downstream core government functions are currently being ensured by the governments of the PALOP-TL countries, as well as how digital solutions are being used to drive, support and improve the delivery of public services.

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