By Alex Marklew
The Egyptian government is working with Microsoft to develop e-government ideas and working practices, both between government departments and in the outside world.
The Egyptian government is working with Microsoft to launch an e-government initiative that is designed to cut down on bureaucracy and speed up decision-making within the government.
The American software giant will provide the Egyptian government with consulting services and helping Cairo to develop its overall e-government strategy.
“This e-government initiative confirms the commitment of the Egyptian government to embrace the NET revolution by using the technology to deliver new and better quality services to the public,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
“This will not only facilitate effective communication between government departments, but will improve broader Internet use as this will act as a major inducement to the whole Egyptian community to get on line.”
The Microsoft agreement was forged during the recent Egyptian government visit to the USA, which also featured President Honsi Mubarak’s summit with George W. Bush.
“The objective of this e-government initiative it to provide simpler and faster methods to fulfil the standard citizens’ requests from various government bodies,” said Dr Ahmed Nazif, Egypt’s Minister of Communication and IT, who helped negotiate the agreement.
“It also provides the framework to support intra-government collaboration for more timely and accurate information needed to facilitate decision making.
“We are very pleased to have secured the cooperation of Microsoft Corporation in this program, working alongside our teams of professionals to help bring in a global perspective.”
Egypt is extremely keen to develop a name for itself as a leading Internet economy, and in January a private consortium, supported by the government, unveiled a plan to provide the entire population of the country with free access to the web.
“Microsoft is committed to supporting the government’s plan to advance Egypt’s progress in the digital economy,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft EMEA.
“The Egyptian e-government team will have access to Microsoft specialists across the world, providing technical support, management feedback and knowledge sharing.”