“With mobile phones becoming integrated into our lives their use for providing public service is becoming more and more pervasive”, says ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) CEO Reshan Dewapura. He said so while participating at the internationally renowned World Summit Awards (WSA) ICT conference held in Cairo, recently.
ICTA CEO shared the success of the e-Development programme in Sri Lanka with the world ICT leaders. He asserted that the Government was ready to provide key citizen services via the mobile phone within the next two to four years.
“In Sri Lanka, we have a great potential for providing public services via the mobile phone. We have technology, creativity and a growing demand for such services,” he explained.
ICTA CEO was among the distinguished ICT leaders in the world who shared the common platform of the World Summit Awards in Egypt. More than 40 countries participated in the conference, which honoured the best e-content creators around the world in 2012.
Explaining the ICT road map of the country, Dewapura says that the past experience will help harness a fruitful future in mobile technology. Sri Lankan talents and innovations will induce further growth.
“Sri Lanka’s flagship project where the mobile phone could be used, the Government Information Service project (1919) has extended its areas of service thus increasing people’s comfort”, ICTA CEO said. “Information service, e.g., on ‘train timetables’ and ‘current status of applications for the ‘national identity card’ or ‘police clearance certificate’ is now a widely used service”, Dewapura pointed out.
Referring to online payment solutions, the ICTA CEO said that currently some of the solutions were available via Lanka Gate. Examples are issuance of vehicle revenue licences and online issuance of Sri Lankan visa to foreign nationals. ICTA CEO said that although payment could not yet be made via mobile phones, plans were under way for payment through Lanka Gate via mobile phones in the future.
“In the future the Lank Gate will be used for all payments required for Government services”, he affirmed.
“Today we witness the power of the mobile to empower millions with information, content and services. Sri Lanka is ahead of many countries in mobile users with 90 per cent population coverage with 18 million mobile subscribers out of its population of about 21 million,” Dewapura added.