Vague plans for eGovernment in Benin

The World Bank’s eBenin Project, a loan of $10 million, is now in the pipeline. It’s aim is “to support population, businesses and governments in Benin to have access to quality and affordable ICT services on open, transparent and non-discriminatory terms.” It consists of two components: improving the enabling environment; and improving good governance and transparency.

Here is the project’s description of how it will improve eGovernment:

Deploy flagship applications for which country champion and commitment have been identified to improve internal systems, deliver services more efficiently and effectively, and make information & services more accessible to the population. Applications that could be targeted are: customs systems, income taxes, social security benefits, personal documents (passport, driving license), car registration, building license, birth and marriage certificates, electronic payment (for utilities). The applications will be prioritized as follows: (i) activities that will have the greatest impact in terms of transparency and accountability; (ii) activity for which a champion and commitment has been identified; (iii) involvement of local communities, NGOs or local units of international agencies; (iv) possibility of private sector participation; (v) high potential of success with implementation and payback within a few years.

This kind of generalised waffle is what gives both aid and African public administration a bad name.