Digital & Technology

E-Baby, E-Government & Education

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She not only wants to disrupt her own countrys’ society but the whole regions. Ana Brnabić, prime minister of the Republic of Serbia, has the great vision to lead her country and, as a chain reaction, the Balkan as a whole into digitalization. A vision you can actually imagine coming true while listening to the politician. Only recent, in August 2016, her steep political career kicked of, when she was appointed minister of public administration and local self-government of Serbia. Nine months later president Aleksandar Vučić recommended the party independent Ana Brnabić to be prime minister. She is the first female Serbian prime minister and not only her gender but also her openly communicated homosexuality has been a favourable point of attack to her critics.

Ana Brnabić faces her opponents with a successful international business career and a clear vision on how to tackle the challenges that come with innovation and digitalization. Her method is to approach them with the help of digital-experts and a hands-on mentality.

“We don’t know what we’re doing”

Like raising awareness as the first step forward, Ana Brnabić acknowledges that the government misses the ability and talents to transform Serbia by themselves. That’s why she seeks help with ’Digital Serbia’. Which is a private non-profit partnership between leading national and international tech companies, which now advises the Serbian government in tech and digitalization issues.

To the prime minister the main points along the way are education, both formal and informal, infrastructure, e-government and examples. Coding is already a mandatory subject in primary schools, starting in fifth grade. After a trial round in 2017, the administration will offer digital retraining to 1000 employees this year to meet the demand of 3000 skilled workers in tech each year.

Paperless administrative offices are no longer a distant image but a rather possible implementation that makes the life easier not only to citizens but also to officials. One of these initiatives is called E-Baby: A new born child will now be registered right in the maternity ward so parents don’t have to fill out any paperwork at administarive offices. Electronic archives, signatures and payments are the next steps.

Leapfrog the ecosystem

Another concern of Ana Brnabić is to make room and bring in the creative tech industry. Therefore she plans on investing millions into tech infrastructure as well as to help entrepreneurs with legal support and build incubators where big companies and start-ups can stimulate each other. Ana Brnabićs visions seem to fulfil the requirements to build up an innovative and digital Serbia, now all she needs is the talents to put them into action.