A delegation from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) together with several government entities made an official three-day visit to Estonia which started yesterday, to exchange knowledge and experiences regarding the UAE’s recent achievements in the smart transformation of its e-services and promote joint collaboration between the two countries.
The UAE delegation was led by H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, the TRA’s Director General, together with top-level officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Emirates Identity Authority.
The delegation reviewed the Estonian experience in transforming to e-Government services and the legal framework involved, evaluated the country’s X-Road and DigiDoc projects, as well as assessed other government e-services applications for electronic identity, digital signature, and various innovative initiatives.
The visit falls in line with the TRA’s efforts to increase its awareness on global experiences in common interests such as strategies for transforming into a knowledge-based society and economy, apply the latest concepts in services integration, and promote internet use and connectivity.
H.E. Al Mansoori said: “Within the framework of the UAE’s National Agenda, especially those elements related to the online services index, we are working to strengthen our efforts and move closer to our vision for the country. This requires sustaining the momentum until we reach our desired goals.”
“The UAE has made it into the top tiers in the global list of the 2016 UNDESA E-Government Development Index. Having achieved eighth place in the international online services index, we look into Estonia’s experience as one of the best digital examples among European countries which promotes e-government and enables their country to save costs and uphold a high standard of living for its citizens,” he explained.
H.E. Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Assistant Director General For Government Services, Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, said: “This visit to Estonia by a government delegation from the UAE follows the directive of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to accelerate the timely implementation of comprehensive smart government services. We are directed to review the leading and most innovative global practices and models on smart government and benefit from those experiences in terms of providing high quality services following the UAE Government’s strategy to provide a set of services compatible with the next generation of governments.”
“Estonia is one of the countries which has pioneered the use of smart services and is renowned for successfully advancing and implementing smart services models that are easy to access and use by customers. This visit is a great opportunity for knowledge, experiences and information exchange within the smart government field and review the best applications available for smart governments and cities, in addition to other advanced ICT technologies. It also promotes opportunities for collaboration in the adoption of technological innovations to achieve the happiness of society and build a sustainable and smart future for the coming generations.”
Dr. Khalid Al Awadi, Director of Information Security at the Emirates ID Authority (EIDA) and part of the delegation, noted that the UAE has come a long way in the field of infrastructure development in its shift towards a smart government and the provision of a safe environment through e-services. He pointed out the important role of the population register system and ID card managed by EIDA in achieving this vision.
Dr. Al Awadi explained the significance of reviewing and taking advantage of the outstanding international experiences in upgrading the electronic and smart services of various government agencies to keep up with the latest updates in modern technology, which positively reflects the UAE’s competitive edge in the sector.
He also said that EIDA implements a range of projects and initiatives such as the electronic link with institutions and the Center for Digital Authentication which actively contributes in enabling the various government institutions to benefit from the population register system and ID card project in further developing their services, procedures, decision-making and strategic planning.
Dr. Al Awadi added that EIDA will seek to benefit from the Estonian experience to explore new horizons in expanding the use of the ID card, enabling entities to benefit from the exceptional technical features of the ID card and linking their services to the same, in order to make it easier for the concerned entities and customers to take advantage of its applications which aim to save time and effort in completing transactions.
The UAE strives to work with various countries in technological development, particularly in ICT through its active role in international bodies such as the United Nations.
The delegation is keen to develop its national experience, in line with the TRA’s plan to exchange knowledge and experiences with advanced economies and other international partners. Estonia is considered among the leading countries in the world in terms of ICT development.
An Estonian delegation visited the UAE in 2015 and reviewed the country’s initiatives and achievements in developing its smart government, other related projects that have been implemented, the government’s developmental approaches, the networked connection of government services, and awareness campaigns for encouraging the use of e-services.