Egypt's Planning Ministry receives 1st mobile technology centre cars for 8 governorates

12 fully equipped mobile technology service vehicles will serve as mobile technology centres for the Ministry of Local Development

  
A general view of buildings by the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt January 30, 2021.

A general view of buildings by the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt January 30, 2021.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development has received the first batch of mobile technology service vehicles that will be distributed to eight governorates across Egypt.

The hand-over was witnessed, on Tuesday, by Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said and Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawy. 

The 12 fully equipped mobile technology service vehicles will serve as mobile technology centres for the Ministry of Local Development the governorates of: Cairo; Giza; Qaliubiya; Minya; Alexandria; Luxor; Kafr El-Sheikh; and Aswan.

This follows the cooperation protocol signed between the two ministries at the end of March regarding the management and operation of mobile technology centres that provide services to the governorates.

The hand-over ceremony, which took place at Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, was also attended by: Qaliubiya Governor Major General Abdel Hamid Al Hajjan; Major General Khaled Abdel Aal, Governor of Cairo; Major General Ahmed Rashid, Governor of Giza; and representatives from the Ministries of Local Development, and Planning and Economic Development. 

During the ceremony, El-Said affirmed the ministry’s keenness to develop the performance of government services and simplify the procedures for obtaining them. This would achieve transparency and integrity in the government apparatus, and to provide better and faster services to the Egyptian citizen.

The development also aims to achieve the goals of the sustainable development strategy “Egypt Vision 2030”.

The minister said that the government services development project began with the aim of providing services to citizens and investors nationwide in a civilised, fast, accurate, and integrated manner. 

This would take place through several means, represented by the development of technological centres for citizens’ services in neighbourhoods and cities with 265 technological centres. These would operate in a unified central system that is automated and linked to different departments. 

 This is through the implementation of the “one-stop-shop” system, which aims to separate the service provider from its applicant. It also aims to automate and simplify the procedures for obtaining these services to reduce the time required to obtain them. 

This system helps in extracting periodic reports that allow accurate data and information for decision-makers to follow the progress of work in those departments, and the performance of employees.

El-Said added that one aspect of the project is also to provide services through the government services portal for localities through the following internet link (LGS.GOV.EG). This will enable them to enquire about services and obtain information without having to go to the neighbourhood headquarters. 

Additionally, and for the first time, services are provided for the renewal of occupancy licences and advertisements, as well as stores, without the applicant needing to go to government agencies.

This is because the neighbourhood employee moves to the applicant, and performs the service instantaneously through the tablet device, through the ‘mobile neighbourhood’ service. 

Besides, the SMS service has been activated on the services provided in Cairo neighbourhoods. It is planned to improve the quality of the services provided and add new features during the coming period, such as the electronic payment service for fees owed for services through the Internet. 

This is in addition to linking with some external parties, such as civil defence, as a first stage, then the remaining authorities will be completed successively after the completion of the first stage.

El-Said pointed out that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was an incentive to try to innovate more means of providing services to citizens in non-traditional ways. The Mobile Technology Services Cars project was put in place to enable a reduction in congestion in fixed service delivery centres. 

The project aims to deliver government services to citizens via mobile cars to make it easier for them, to relieve crowded centres, and to provide access to services in remote areas. 

El-Said said that the idea of ??the “Mobile Technology Services Centres” project was presented as a new initiative by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development at the Cairo International Telecommunication and Information Technology Exhibition (Cairo ICT) in November 2020.

During that period, the project idea won approval from President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi as an effective means contributing to providing government services in a fast and easy way.

It would also reduce the burden on citizens, with the project being a catalyst for the implementation of the project on the ground in a short time. The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development last month signed a cooperation protocol with the Ministry of Local Development, under the patronage of Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly, to implement the project as an innovative solution to make it easier for citizens.

El-Said noted that the mobile technology services centres perform more than 140 local services, and print their outputs without the need for citizens to go to the technology centre in the neighbourhood or city.

This takes place through a mobile vehicle equipped with the latest information systems devices connected to the citizens’ service system in localities.

The services provided include all reimbursement services from paying rent, instalments, renewal of all shop licences, occupancies, and advertisements. It also provides these mobile centres with a means of monitoring connected to the main centre to follow up on work and achieve transparency.

El-Said added that the first phase of the project will be launched through the deployment of 12 cars equipped with mobile technology services cars in the governorates of Cairo, Alexandria, Qaliubiya, Giza, Kafr El-Sheikh, Minya, Luxor, and Aswan. The remaining cars will be deployed, respectively, in the next few months. 

The upcoming project, stressing that the implementation of this project required a great effort characterised by accuracy, organisation, and speed in implementation to relieve citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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