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Egypt to use electronic signatures for providing digital services for citizens

The e-signatures were first rolled out for government employees, after which businesses using digital invoices were able to use them.

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Electronic signatures are largely accepted as legal alternatives to agreements signed by hand in the Middle East and are also admissible in court. In the quest to go paperless, blockchain-based e-signatures have also been introduced to prevent fraud and secure digital documents. Citizens of the UAE can also sign digital documents remotely, using their UAE pass to authenticate their identity.

Now, Egypt has ramped up its digitization push to provide online services to citizens by using electronic signatures for verification. This will be implemented as part of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology’s strategy to provide efficient telecom services and digital jobs for young Egyptians.

Electronic signature services were activated for government employees as part of the first stage, allowing them to use it to improve their performance. This was followed by rolling out e-signatures for businesses that use digital invoices in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. For the next stage, these services will be extended to citizens and provide consular services to Egyptians abroad.

To achieve digitization in the country, Egypt’s information infrastructure has been created by connecting several government databases. This facilitated a digital visualization of every citizen’s rights, helping the government provide support such as grants for those with irregular employment during the pandemic. The digital ecosystem also enables government agencies to share data, which helps citizens receive all services from a single platform.

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