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World Bank Group president visits GSC, commends e-government transformation plans

By Raed Omari - Feb 12,2024 - Last updated at Feb 12,2024

Bank Group President Ajay Banga (right) speaks to Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Ahmad Hanandeh during a field visit on Sunday to Amman Government Service Centre in Muqablain in eastern Amman (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — World Bank Group President Ajay Banga on Sunday hailed the progress and excellence Jordan has achieved in e-government services.


Banga’s remarks came during a visit he paid to the World Bank-financed Amman Government Service Centre (GSC) in Muqablain, in eastern Amman.


Underlining the “high level” and smoothness of the e-services at GSC, Banga hailed the project as “unique”, “creative” and increasing faith in governments.


“If more governments were able to provide such a simple way of e-government services, it would increase the faith in governments across the world,” the World Bank president said. 


“This [GSC] is an example of that. I see so many services, like getting a passport, marriage documents, vehicles, land registration. I applaud you for your desire to serve people.”


The World Bank president, who met on Sunday with Prime Minister Bishr Khasawneh, also commended the plans put forward by His Majesty King Abdullah to achieve economic growth.


“I am very impressed by the idea of the 10-year plan put forward by his majesty to achieve economic growth and create jobs in Jordan.”


Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Ahmad Hanandeh said that the GSC has been operating since one year with over 1.8 million transactions executed there since then.  


“Such e-services have been offered with a very high satisfaction rate of around 89 per cent,” the minister said, adding that “we are looking forward for more cooperation with the World Bank to scale up the digital transformation project”.


The World Bank-financed GSC is Jordan’s first government service centre. 


Launched in 2022, the GSC revolutionises public service accessibility and delivery, offering over 100 digitalised services from 20 ministries in one centralised hub, according to a World Bank statement to The Jordan Times.


 “So far three centres have been opened out of the 15 planned centres nationwide supported by the World Bank’s Youth, Technology and Jobs Project [YTJ],” the statement said. 


The World Bank statement said that some of these centres are open on a 24-hour basis throughout the week. “The GSC project has seen investments in infrastructure, technology, and capacity building, enabling the implementation of digital solutions and enhancing service delivery across various sectors.”


“These investments have resulted in significant improvements in efficiency, transparency and citizen satisfaction,” the statement said.


Implemented by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship and financed by the World Bank, the YTJ is creating a dynamic, competitive and highly skilled ICT sector in Jordan. 


The objective of the YTJ, according to the statement, is to train 15,000 youth on the latest digital technologies, develop a new digital skills curriculum for 300,000 students in public schools, and establish 3-5 Tech Hubs in underserved communities. 


It also seeks to support digital firms to create 10,000 new job opportunities through incentive packages and grants, as well as empower individuals, especially the youth, women, and refugees through employment subsidy, market expansion, and GIG economy incentives.


As of December 2023, YTJ has offered training to over 2,816 individuals on employable digital skills, empowering them for the future workforce, including 1,493 women (53 per cent), 107 Syrians and nearly 1,579 individuals are benefitting from the Employment Subsidy Incentive, including 794 women (50 per cent), the statement said. 


Under the project, 28 digital firms have been supported in expanding their business plans, contributing to the growth of the digital sector.


On the government services front, the project digitised 178 new services, improved 20 e-government services, and facilitated over 3.5 million transactions through new and improved e-services, according to the statement.


YTJ has enabled digital payments for 803 government services, marking a significant milestone towards a more digitised and efficient government payment system, it said. 

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