Tanzania scoops UN award on digitilising public services

TANZANIA: GOVERNMENT’s efforts to digitalise services in public institutions have earned global recognition, with the United Nations (UN) Public Service Forum 2024 awarding the country for initiating e-Mrejesho platform under the e-Government Authority (e-GA).

Tanzania was among the only two African countries awarded on Wednesday during the forum, the other being South Africa.

The three-day annual forum, which was held in Songdo-Incheon, west of Seoul in the Republic of Korea, from Monday concluded yesterday with 72 UN Member States attending.

A total of 15 local governments and public institutions from around the world were honored with the United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA).

The awards were presented by Li Junhua, UN’s Under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, and the Republic of Korea’s Interior Minister Lee Sangmin and received by Tanzania’s Deputy Permanent Secretary in the President’s Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance), Xavier Daudi..

“I would like to congratulate all the awardees of the U.N. Public Service Awards. Your initiatives have showcased the breadth of innovations that governments are undertaking for inclusive development and fostering a culture of innovation in the public sector, which encourages generation of new ideas,” Mr Li Junhua, UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said in his closing remarks.

He said it also means leveraging the technology to streamline the process and delivery of public services is critical in an effective and responsive public sector.

Mr Li said throughout the session they heard inspiring examples of impactful public sector initiatives regarding digital technology advancement.

The Tanzania’s winning e-Mrejesho is a platform which centralizes the process of receiving citizen complaints, inquiries, and feedback.

This online space promotes data-driven decisionmaking by collecting and analyzing citizen feedback and complaints.

It empowers government agencies to make informed decisions based on public needs and concerns, fostering adaptability and responsiveness in governance.

Also read: Tanzania digital inclusion project wins global award

The platform’s user-centric approach also enhances the citizen experience and engagement with government agencies.

After the award ceremony, e-GA’ s Director General, Eng Benedict Ndomba, said the e-Mrejesho platform is helpful in saving time and money, where a citizen is not forced to travel a long distance to public office to submit his/her complaints or making a follow up on the implementation, instead, he/she can do it digitally through his/her mobile phones.

“In the past when a person wanted to present complaints over public service, he/she was forced to physically submit them in the suggestion box or send a letter to the particular institution, but currently it is done digitally,” Eng Ndomba explained.

Launched in 2003, the annual awards promote effectiveness, transparency and inclusivity to achieve the U.N.

Sustainable Development Goals by highlighting the creative achievements and contributions of public institutions addressing the social, economic and environmental needs of society.

The UNPSA were presented in three categories — innovation in public institutions, gender-responsive public services and tackling climate change.

Five winners in the innovation in public institutions category were Sao Paulo City Hall, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Latvia’s State Chancellery, the Western Cape Government of South Africa and Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University

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