This week,

  1. “Digital Kazakhstan” has been presented to the public;
  2. The digitalization of Eurasia is accelerating;
  3. Belarus and Kazakhstan prepare “smart” ID-cards;
  4. Uzbekistan continues informatization of the public sector;
  5. Cybersecurity in Moldova: everything is under control;
  6. Kyrgyzstan approved a plan for the implementation of road safety systems;
  7. The Belarusian government got its cloud service.

1. “Digital Kazakhstan” Consists of 23 Projects.

Digital Economy | Kazakhstan

The National Digitalization Program “Digital Kazakhstan” was approved by the government on September 14, 2017. The program includes 23 specialized sectoral projects that must transform the country’s economy with the help of ICTs. This was announced by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev during a meeting on digitalization of Kazakhstan.

The authorities hope that by 2025 Kazakhstan will take the 30th place in the international rating of digital competitiveness. The government’s plans are based on the implementation of the announced 23 projects in four areas: infrastructure development, human capital improvement, digitalization of economic sectors and improvement of electronic public services. In addition, the authorities express their interest in developing additional projects, given the rapidly developing digital technologies.

The program defines three basic approaches: digitalization of the main sectors of the economy, the introduction of the newest technologies and the principle of flexibility, which is the “document’s philosophy”. Ubiquitous access to the Internet will become the infrastructural basis of the digital economy. According to the government, 77% of the adult population of Kazakhstan today have basic digital literacy and have access to the Internet.

DR Comments: Based on our sources, the developers of the “Digital Kazakhstan” program followed the development of the Russian “Digital Economy” program. So, they managed to improve many provisions criticized by experts in the initial version of the Russian digitalization program.

2. Digitalization Programs Are Being Developed by All Countries of the Region.

Digital Economy | E-governance | Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Russia | Armenia

The digitalization of the Eurasian Union is getting closer. In the meeting of the Government of Kazakhstan where the program “Digital Kazakhstan” was presented, the Minister of Communications of Russia Nikolay Nikiforov told his colleagues about the progress of the implementation of the Russian “Digital Economy” program and invited Kazakhstan to jointly develop key technologies for digital transformation. In response, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev suggested that Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan should create a joint commission for digitalization.

Meanwhile, The Deputy Chairman of the Economic Council under the President of the Russia Alexei Kudrin stated that Russia may reduce by one-third the number of officials and reduce government administration costs by 0.3% of GDP with the help of digitalization of public administration systems. He also expressed regret that in the “Digital Economy” program the digitization of state administration is not reflected in full measure.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed its interest to cooperate with the Kyrgyz authorities in the implementation of the national digitalization program “Taza Koom”. This cooperation would help to increase direct foreign investments in the Kyrgyz economy.

In the meantime, Armenia will present its draft program of digitalization by the end of the year. This was reported by the country’s Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan. Earlier, we reported that the Armenian government developed the country’s digital agenda: the development of a digital strategy, the development of e-government, and the increase in the electronic services.

DR Comments: The issue of digital integration of the economies of the EAEU members became a central topic at the meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in Astana, Kazakhstan on August 14, 2017. The Eurasian Economic Commission (ECE) calls the member-states to harmonize their digital policies.

3. Smart ID-Cards Will Appear in Few Years.

E-Governance | Belarus | Kazakhstan 

Deputy Minister of Communications of Belarus Dmitry Shedko stated that the government is developing an electronic ID-card, which will replace all other IDs. The ID-card will also be a carrier of electronic digital signature so that a person can get easy access to public electronic services. The beginning of new ID-cards issuance, as well as biometric passports, is scheduled on January 1, 2019.

Kazakhstan plans to introduce an ID-card based on the blockchain technology. The new ID will replace five other documents. This was reported by Bagdat Musin, head of the committee on legal statistics and special accounts of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Kazakhstan. This development is possible due to “Azamat” application, which will allow citizens to receive digitized analogs of such documents as ID, driver’s license, technical passport for the car, technical inspection certificate, and insurance certificate. All personal information will be stored in the QR code. To launch the project and to go completely paperless, the government has to adopt the amendments to the legislation.

DR Comments: Almost all countries in the region are developing smart IDs and passports, using biometric technologies over the past few years.

4. Uzbekistan to Launch a New Informatization Center.

Digital Economy | Uzbekistan 

A unified integrator for the implementation and development of state information systems will be established in Uzbekistan. It will be the Center for ICT Development and Implementation Uzinfocom. The goal of the new Center is to improve the project management system in the field of informatization of the public sector. Experts note that there already exists a structure with a similar function – “Electronic Government” System Development Center (CEP). However, the difference between CEP and Uzinficom is that previously a tender was required for any IT project, and now Uzinficom will have the right to chose contractors and subcontractors on a competitive basis. Local IT companies will be able to get only 30% of all works.

The funding of IT projects will be provided at the expense of the Information and Communication Technologies Development Fund. As of January 1, 2018, 70% of funds from mobile operators’ fee for the use of subscriber numbers, 10% of state fees paid through the Single Portal of Interactive Public Services will be deposited to the Fund. This means that Uzinficom will have a stable budget to implement new IT systems.

DR Comments: The opinions of the experts are divided. Some believe that the new approach will save money by introducing unified principles and optimizing IT solutions. On the other hand, experts are concerned about a possible monopolization of the ICT market by a new structure.

5. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Moldova Actively Uses ICT to Ensure Cybersecurity.

Information Security | Moldova

Vyacheslav Soltan, head of the Cybercrime Department at the General Prosecutor’s Office, told us in an exclusive interview how Moldova is combating cybercrimes. In 2009, Moldova ratified the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. In addition, the Parliament adopted a number of laws on cybersecurity, including amendments to the Criminal Code, which allowed creating the required legal framework for ensuring cybersecurity of the country. Since the number of cybercrimes is constantly growing, the effective legislation allows law enforcement to quickly respond to them. The Information and Security Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor General’s Office and other bodies are involved in the anti-cybercrime activities. However, the government understands the need to create a single national body to combat cybercrime under the leadership of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

According to Vyacheslav Soltan, the issue of the legal framework for regulating the blocking of online access is within the scope of the government’s attention. However, the safety of society dominates over the interests of businesses. In general, Moldovan legislation meets international standards, however, as Soltan believes, it still needs to be improved. For instance, one of the existing problems is the lack of the opportunity of interception of computer information in real time, which was not adopted yet in the Moldovan legislation.

6. Kyrgyz Roads Will Become Safer.

Digital Economy | Kyrgyzstan 

The Government of Kyrgyzstan has approved a plan for introducing road safety systems in the country. Vice-premier Temir Dzhumakadirov was appointed as a supervisor of this plan. According to the plan and within the framework of the “Taza Koom” project, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Municipalities of Bishkek and Osh should establish a system of photo and video recording of violations of traffic rules by November 30, 2017.

DR Comments: Earlier we reported that the government plans to launch “Smart City” projects in the two largest cities of the country – Bishkek and Osh.

7. The G-Cloud – the Cloud Service for the Government of Belarus.

Digital Access | Belarus

The beCloud company introduced the cloud-based service G-Cloud, developed specifically for the state structures and agencies of Belarus. G-Cloud will be the first secured cloud service in Belarus, providing standards for requirements for complex information security systems. As the head of beСloud, Sergey Poblaguev emphasized, the project’s goal is to create a national cloud platform, with the help of which the state’s IT costs will be reduced. It is planned to create a system for public safety monitoring, energy, transport, health, and education management. According to the Belarusian legislation, by the end of 2018, all IT systems of state bodies and agencies will be transferred to the new cloud platform.

This digest is also available in Russian