May 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Ministry of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft in Sri Lanka to provide effective citizen services.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU with Microsoft Sri Lanka Minister of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment, Harin Fernando said although it was long-overdue, this was a significant milestone for Sri Lanka to drive the country's digital transformation.
He said the Sri Lankan ICT sector maintains a very high standard in Asia and with current developments Sri Lanka will come close to the ICT standards of both Singapore and Dubai.
"As the world transforms and digitization has become ubiquitous across all industries, sectors and the public, this partnership between the Government and Microsoft is vital for Sri Lanka to harness the potential of this connectivity," The Minister said.
"The agreement will take us a step closer to the island's e-Government Policy and plans for digital transformation being realized," he said.
The MoU will cover areas such as the establishment and implementation of the digital transformation blueprint for the Government; public sector capacity building and productivity enhancement; a software procurement program to ensure a secure and seamless collaborative working environment for the public sector for better citizen services; a cyber-security risk assessment across the Government and security programs; skills development for students with a special focus on the implementation of 'Smart Classrooms' and digital education; and technical assistance and expertise on the e-Govt. policy and plan.
"Today cloud computing, the adoption of the Internet of Things and more recently, Artificial Intelligence can provide all sectors, including the public sector, the cost efficiencies, innovation liberty and freedom to provide with ease, services throughout the country and the world Every Government needs to stay current and agile and adapt to the demands of this ever-changing technology landscape to provide accurate and up to date citizen services anywhere, anytime".
"Signing this MoU with the Government of Sri Lanka is a landmark in our journey of 14 years in the country. It is a confirmation of our long term commitment, in keeping with our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more," said Hasitha Abeywardena, Country Manager for Microsoft in Sri Lanka and Maldives.
"Microsoft brings to the table the unique ability to provide a hybrid cloud environment with the best of both the public and private cloud to Sri Lanka. Even more importantly, it's about empowering everyone to fully participate in our society and our economy using technology to drive greater investment opportunity and FDI to the country,"
The MoU was signed between Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Ministry Secretary Wasantha Deshapriya and Microsoft Sri Lanka Country Manager Hasitha Abeywardena, in the presence of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Minister Harin Fernando and Microsoft Asia Pacific General Manager (Public Sector) Vivek Puthucode.