Source: Vientiane Times
Luang Prabang province has begun the first steps in becoming a Smart City through the creation of e-government practices.
The development of smart cities is becoming an inevitable trend, a revolution in urban management through the use of digital technology and telecom networks to enhance the quality of life in many countries around the world, including Laos.
Due to the many outstanding advantages offered, such as being cost saving, transportation time saving, raising life expectancy, and reducing environmental pollution emissions, most countries harbour ambitions to build a smart city system.
Luang Prabang province is now on the road to e-government and smart city projects to be carried out from 2021-2025, with the aim of improving the quality of life for people and business operations through IT applications and public communication to support timely and effective resolution of issues that are of concern to people and businesses.
In pursuit of these goals, several actions have taken place.
The province’s leaders have applied the U-money service for the payment of salaries to state employees in Phonethong, Phoukhoun and Viengkham villages, in three out of 12 districts, with a total of 1,565 people receiving the equivalent of more than 3.2 billion kip per month.
In addition, allowances are being paid via U-money to all village chiefs in 12 districts, involving 279 villages and 1,337 people, equivalent to more than 387.7 million kip per month.
Contracts have been signed on the payment of petrol for teachers, payment of salaries to district veterans’ associations, and the payment of 673 student tuition fees through U-money.
In addition, the province is continuing to sign contracts to pay protection salaries and personal allowances at health clinics across the city.
Information technology applications give a competitive advantage and the province’s goal is to build an image of state administration being a helping hand, serving people in a friendly and modern way.
This will be achieved through teams of professional staff, civil servants and employees equipped with qualifications and capabilities that meet the required standards, thus creating a public and transparent business environment that promotes competitiveness and investment.
Luang Prabang has been at the forefront of research and the rollout of smart city and e-government systems by applying VC-Cloud, a video conferencing solution, to four units, and applying U-Office, a document management solution, to six units in the province, which save time and money in everyday work.
Director of the Department of Post and Telecommunications in Luang Prabang province, Mr Phoumi Ophetsan, said “As everyone knows, we are currently in the 4.0 era, so IT and digital products are extremely important in today’s work. All state departments, agencies and the private sector must apply IT and digital technology in their management in order to save time and process more accurate data. Especially in the provincial capital, it is necessary to use IT and digital systems in public administration to become a smart city, following the plan of the government.”
On December 3, 2020, Unitel signed a cooperation agreement on developing e-government and smart city systems for Luang Prabang province. The agreement focused on building e-government, leading to Luang Prabang province becoming a smart city during the years 2021-2025.
Specific objectives include: research and implement a Smart City Operation Centre; online surveillance cameras, vehicle tracking and management system; deploying solutions for e-government; electronic document management, videoconferencing; implementation of medical solutions; hospital management system, electronic medical records; solutions for education; smart school management, electronic contact book, SMS education and student monitoring; and research and implementation of other technology solutions for departments and provinces.