In today’s world, technology has transformed the way citizens live and work. The widespread use of ICTs offers both governments and citizens the potential to address traditional development issues in a new, innovative fashion. On the one hand, governments consider ICT as catalytic tools that can be used to promote services to the most marginalized populations, thus helping achieve the realization of the SDGs, while enhancing transparency and accountability of actors. On the other hand, citizens and stakeholders, benefit from ICT by having access to new communication channels and thus having ‘louder’ voices in decision- and public policy-making processes.
In Guinea-Bissau, the potential of digital transformation for improving the functioning of the State, the delivery of government functions, or the relation between citizens and state, has not been fully exploited yet. Contrarily scattered digital initiatives risk increasing the digital divide and leaving the country and its citizens even further behind. In this context, UNDP has initiated a project to support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in expanding its digital presence and tapping into the potential of technology to improve the way it functions by connecting the diplomatic and consular corps and its delivery services to promote the country’s visibility and image all over the world.
The project, which was signed on Wednesday 26th May 2021 by the UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Tjark Egenhoff, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Barbosa Suzi, will support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guinea Bissau in harnessing digital opportunities to contribute to the improvement and functioning of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This initiative is targeted to improve the government’s performance and capacity to function and deliver services as well as serve as a testing ground to encourage a social and cultural shift, which is required to bring Guinea-Bissau at speed with the digital age. The project will ultimately support the Government in its strategic communication and engagement in international fora to advance the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.