Italy and World Bank fund IT system for Iraq

The Italian government and the World Bank have agreed to invest $12m in an information technology system for the Iraqi civil...

The Italian government and the World Bank have agreed to invest $12m in an information technology system for the Iraqi civil service.

"The technical details are still being worked out," the spokesman said. "This is part of a G8 programme to promote e-government in developing countries."

Italian innovation minister Lucio Stanca announced the project following a meeting in Rome with World Bank chairman James Wolfensohn.

"The situation in Iraq is very difficult, but we have developed a project with the World Bank to create a network for the central government, with some other applications such as a general accounting system and a population registry," Stanca said.

The Italian Foreign Ministry's international co-operation programme will contribute up to $3m, with the rest provided by international development organisations including the Development Gateway Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving government efficiency in developing countries supported by the World Bank and the United Nations.

The security situation in Iraq will have to be stabilised before the project can be implemented.

Italy has been given a leading role in G8 projects to promote the use of information communication technology (ICT) in the developing world. Among the initiatives being supported by Italy are projects for electronic accounting and e-procurement in Jordan, an electronic payments system to reduce the influence of drug money on Panama's economy and an electronic tax programme for Uruguay.

Philip Willan writes for IDG News Service

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