#DigiGovSpotlight ‘60% of vital public services to go online by 2026’ - Cabo Verde’s digital government Chief

By Si Ying Thian

The three pillars of the African island-state's digital government are digital identity and authentication, interoperability between information systems, and disruptive innovations, says Carlos Tavares Pina, Chief of Cabo Verde’s Nucleo Operacional da Socidade de Informacao (NOSi).

The three pillars of Cabo Verde's digital government being digital identity and authentication, interoperability between information systems, and disruptive innovations. Image: NOSi. 

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A small group of islands with big digital ambitions aptly describes Cabo Verde, located off West Africa.


Speaking to GovInsider, CEO of Cabo Verde’s digital government agency, Nucleo Operacional da Socidade de Informacao (NOSi), Carlos Tavares Pina, spells out the government’s target to digitalise at least 60 per cent of vital public services by 2026.


To get there, Pina highlighted the key goals around digitalised public services, including bringing governments closer to citizens, promoting transparent governance through easier information access, securing digital infrastructure, raising digital literacy, and more.


Established about 25 years ago, NOSi plays a pivotal role in establishing Cabo Verde’s digital government. It currently spearheads digital transformation in the country and abroad by creating technological solutions for both the private and public sector.


Company registration can be done in a day, and election results are released within two hours, claims Pina. When it comes to ease of starting a business, Cabo Verde scored above the regional average (84.5/100), following Senegal and Gambia, according to World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report.


Cabo Verde is also ranked sixth in Africa in ICT development in 2023, according to UN’s ICT agency, International Telecommunication Union.


NOSi has also developed and continues to develop e-government projects in some African countries. According to Chinese tech company Huawei, NOSi is providing data center hosting services for surrounding countries, including Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and more.

Digital economy ambitions beyond its pristine waters


While Cabo Verde is better known for being a resort destination with tourism as one of its key revenue streams, the government is thinking ahead when it comes to sustainable development.


Since 2017, it has launched two five-year Strategic Plans for Sustainable Development (2017-2021; 2022-2026) to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and integrate the country into the global economy.


“Through the development of the digital economy and innovation, we aim to position Cabo Verde as a digital platform in the region, not just as a consumer but also as a researcher, investor, producer, and distributor in the digital economy,” says Pinas.


The digital technology sector is an important economic sector in Cabo Verde, Pinas adds, due to government policies promoting digital literacy, inclusion, and private sector involvement, with a focus on digitalising public services to enhance competitiveness.


“Innovation, integration, agility and results-driven focus are our key values,” says Pinas, attributing these values enabling NoSi to make “qualitative strides” in the country’s digital transformation journey.

Digital government initiatives around three pillars


Since 2019, NOSi has been honing three key pillars supporting Cabo Verde’s digital government, namely digital identification and authentication, systems interoperability and disruptive innovations.


NoSi’s website has the full list of digital transition projects, showing the project’s status – whether it is in progress or finished.


Pina shares some notable projects NoSi has led in the recent years:

  1. Consular portal and the Digital Diaspora initiative: Launched in 2020, the Consular Portal has made it easier for the diaspora population to access public services, such as applying for passports, identity cards, criminal records and more. The Digital Diaspora initiative has also accelerated the digital transition of the overseas embassies and consular services.
  2. Justice Information System (SIJ): NoSi restructured and adapted the country’s justice system to better support the electronic processing of court cases, eliminating the use of paper and streamlining workflows for swift and effective justice.
  3. Integrated Government Resource Planning (IGRP): The open-source framework for developing solutions is the main foundation of Cabo Verde’s digital government. “The architecture is based on microservices, making it agile, robust, secure, flexible, and capable of meeting the growing demands of digital solutions development,” says Pinas.

Aside from technological solutions, NoSi also develops digital literacy programmes, including NOSiAkademia that was launched in 2016 to equalise employment access to all new graduates through professional internships and certifications.


“Till 2020, NOSIAkademia has trained and empowered around 311 young people, and from these, more than 70% have entered the labour market,” states its official website.


Another programme is WebLab, which nurtures digital competencies among children and youth. There are currently 44 such laboratories installed across the country in secondary schools, where educators teach robotics, programming, multimedia, smartphone use, computer maintenance and repair.

Emerging priorities for NOSi


Pinas shares that NOSi is looking to implement a government cloud based on blockchain technology next. It is also hoping to migrate its legacy technological solutions to the open-source IGRP framework eventually.


With disruptive innovations as one of its pillars, NOSi wants to harness more emerging technologies, such as AI, Internet of Things, and cloud computing to improve the efficiency and security of processes.


“We target to have at least 30% of public administration processes incorporated with AI or ML technologies, and use cloud technologies to strengthen the interoperability between platforms.”


Other grand ambitions it has in its books include improving resident citizen adoption rates for its national digital ID to 100%, improving the country’s cybersecurity environment, and putting in place disaster recovery infrastructure for its data centres in its disaster-prone islands.