Americas Advance Digital Transformation for Equality at E-Government Summit

At the seventh E-Government Ministerial Meeting, which ended Nov. 11th in Lima, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean reaffirmed their commitment to a digital transformation that supports greater equality and reinvigorates social and productive activity.

The meeting was attended by 60 delegates in person from nearly 30 countries, as well as 400 people from the host country and many others who attended online. In addition to reiterating their commitment by approving the Lima Declaration, the countries exchanged experiences on issues like cybersecurity, public-sector innovation, and emerging technologies.

The summit was held in conjunction with the 16th Annual Meeting of the Electronic Government Network of Latin America and the Caribbean (GEALC Network) and was organized by the network itself, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Peruvian Secretariat of Digital Government and Transformation.

Event participants approved the Regional Agreement of the Americas on Cross-Border Digital Signatures, which comprises of a tool for technical authentication of digital signatures between Mercosur countries was unveiled at the event. Uruguay, as president pro tempore of the trade block, endorsed the tool at the event. The GEALC Network launched a similar instrument endorsed by Ecuador, the network’s country chair for 2022.

The excelGOB awards for excellence in digital government were also presented at the event. The winners of the eighth year of these awards were Uruguay’s, as the best solution in cross-border digital services, and Mi Argentina, in the category of digital transformation. Special mentions were given to the Programa Digital Girls Peru program in the gender equality category, Brazil’s Recommending Services Using Artificial Intelligence project in the area of emerging technologies, and Peru’s Trustworthy Digital Territories program in the open data category.

The summit featured presentations from e-government leaders like South Korea, Estonia, and Spain, among other countries from outside the region. Governments from the Americas also shared their digital initiatives, as the digital transformation gains high-level momentum across the continent in pursuit of equality and restored social and productive activity.

This trend lends special relevance to the Guide to Digital Transformation for Governments, produced by the IDB and released on the first day of the summit. Also at the event, the GEALC Network elected authorities for the upcoming year, choosing Peru as the chair for 2023, as well as an executive committee formed by Peru, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Dominica, and Surinam, as well as the IDB, the OAS (as technical secretariat), and the network manager.

This ministerial summit advances the Regional Program for Digital Transformation approved at the Ninth Summit of the Americas, organized by the OAS in Los Angeles (United States) on June 8–10. This program commits to pursuing innovative digital ecosystems, open and digital government, cybersecurity, and “inclusive, resilient, efficient, and equitable” economic recovery “using digital technologies.”

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