Left to right: Vivek Puthucode, General Manager, Public Sector, Microsoft Asia Pacific, Hasitha Abeywardena, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka and Maldives, Wasantha Deshapriya, Secretary to the Ministry, Hon. Minister Harin Fernando
The Ministry of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure & Foreign Employment signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft in Sri Lanka to drive the country’s digital transformation.
The MoU will enable the ministry to improve the efficiency and create good governance across the government to ensure effective citizen services for the people of Sri Lanka. It was signed on May 16th, 2018 at a special ceremony in Colombo by Wasantha Deshapriya, Secretary to the Ministry, and Hasitha Abeywardena, Country Manager of Microsoft Sri Lanka and Maldives. The signing was held in the presence of Hon. Harin Fernando, Minister of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment.
Hon. Minister Harin Fernando stated, “As the world transforms and digitization has become ubiquitous across all industries, sectors and the public, this partnership between the Government of Sri Lanka and Microsoft is vital for Sri Lanka to harness the potential of this connectivity, 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 everchanging technology landscape to provide accurate and up to date citizen services anywhere, any time.”
The MoU is the realization of the country’s e-Government Policy and plans for Digital Transformation. The salient features of the MoU are the establishment and implementation of:
- The digital transformation blueprint for the government of Sri Lanka
- 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 program
- Skills development for students with a special focus on the implementation of “Smart Classrooms” and digital education
- Technical assistance and expertise on the e-Gov policy and plan
“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. 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. We are proud to foster innovation through our developer community, who are building next-generation AI applications on our cloud. 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,” said Hasitha Abeywardena, Country Manager for Microsoft in Sri Lanka and Maldives.
“We currently focus on three key areas as shared by our CEO Satya Nadella: Privacy, Cybersecurity and ethics. First, privacy is a fundamental human right, which is why we are working hard to ensure compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Second, Cybersecurity where we act with collective responsibility to keep the world safe. We have led bold new cross-industry initiatives, like the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, and have called on governments across the world to do more, through initiatives such as a Digital Geneva Convention. Third, Microsoft makes it a priority to ensure that with every step and progress in our work on AI, we work in an ethical and responsible way,” he continued.