Government transactions through electronic channels such as the National Portal (Bahrain.bh), the eGovernment Apps Store (Bahrain.bh/apps), and self-service kiosks grew to more than 2,200,000 online transactions compared to the same period last year as per the first half report of 2023.
Dr. Zakariya AlKhajah, Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Deputy Chief Executive for Electronic Transformation, said that the results have shown a 13% increase in the number of visitors to the National Portal, which topped 11 million visits during the first half of the year.
Dr. AlKhajah said that the total number of electronic transactions through eGovernment mobile applications reached approximately 700,000, a 15% jump compared to the first half of 2022, with a 13% rise in financial transactions and 18% in app usage. These increases were attributed to the iGA’s continuous improvements and updates to the eGovernment Apps, as well as users’ preference and convenience in conducting government services through smart devices.
He said that the positive results are in line with the iGA’s strategic direction towards comprehensive digital transformation in the Kingdom as well as the contentious efforts to reinforce the efficiency of government entities and the quality of public service delivery. This goes in line with the directives of Gen. Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Information and Communication Technology (MCICT).
Dr. AlKhajah highlighted that new services and innovative features were introduced in the National Portal Bahrain.bh as part of the ongoing efforts by the iGA to enhance the Portal and its user experience. These include personalization of profiles, the ability to view messages received from the Government Notifications System, viewing transaction records and receipts, and the Government Services Catalogue. Alongside these updates, improvements were made to the portal’s infrastructure to enhance capacity, and responsiveness, and ensure smooth navigation on mobile and smart devices.
He said that the iGA, in cooperation with other government entities, has developed 66 eServices and re-engineered them to be offered via digital channels in 2023. The most notable that have been launched in the first half of 2023 include ‘Customs Authorization Services’, ‘Government Documents Verification’, ‘National Examinations Results’, and ‘Higher Education Council services’. This is in addition to the ‘Marriage Assistance’ service, and the ‘Thanks & Appreciation’ service available via the National Suggestions & Complaint System “Tawasul”.
The report included statistics from the National Portal, which has witnessed 1.5 million payment transactions. Topping the list were Electricity and Water, followed by the General Directorate of Traffic, and ID card services in terms of payment value. The most frequently used eServices were ID Cards, followed by Electricity and Water, Passport Renewal, and General Directorate of Traffic Services. Education & Training Quality Authority services were also in demand due to the introduction of the ‘National Examinations Results’ service and various enhancements.
The report also showed that a remarkable increase in the usage of the Bahrain Legislations app with a nine-fold increase in the number of users compared to the same period last year, as the updated version of the app features new elements and eServices. Meanwhile, the eShabab app, which lists events and programs offered by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs (MYS), was increasingly popular during this period due to the launch of the Youth City 2030 initiative.