Friday, March 30, 2007

Zambia launches ICT Policy

The Zambian Government has finally launched the
national Information Communication Technology (ICT)
policy because such has the potential to accelerate
social and economic development, President Mwanawasa
has said.

He said the national ICT policy would mainly address
the development of three sectors namely
telecommunications, information technology and
broadcasting which were important pillars for general
growth of Zambia’s economy.
Government through the policy intended to bridge the
digital divides amongst Zambians.
President Mwanawasa said bridging the digital divide
amongst Zambians would entail transforming Zambia into
an economy based on information and knowledge
supported by consistent development of and pervasive
access to ICT by all citizens by 2030.
Mr Mwanawasa said the national ICT policy would
contribute to national development in many ways which
included the creation of an innovative market
responsive, highly competitive, coordinated and well
regulated ICT industry.
The policy would contribute to national development
through facilitation of joint venture initiatives for
local entrepreneurs with international private
investors in the provision of public ICT goods and
services.
He said the policy would enhance development of ICT
business incubators and technology parks which would
accelerate the development of local consumption for
consumer ICT products and services.
“The policy will enhance national development through
the creation of a favorable business environment and
promote Zambia as an attractive destination for ICT
related investments within the region and on the
international market targeting manufacturing and local
product assembly, research and development and human
resource development components business environment
and promote,” the President said.
Although Zambia had made some significant strides in
the development of the ICT sector, Mr Mwanawasa felt
there were some specific challenges which required to
be addressed urgently.
He pointed out that the current regulatory framework
in the ICT sector was fragmented. There are three
bodies under this sector namely the Communications
Authority (CA) which regulates the telecommunication
sector, ministry of communications and transporting
which regulates the postal and courier services as
well as the ministry of information and broadcasting
which regulates broadcasting.
Mr Mwanawasa said with the convergence of technology,
there was need to rationalize the regulatory framework
to eliminate duplication. The President called on
ministries of communications and that of information
and broadcasting to harmonise the regulatory framework
in the sector.
He said in a democratic society like Zambia’s, access
to information for the purpose of transparency was of
prime importance and that there was therefore need to
quickly implement E-Governance in all Government
institutions.
“I am directing the ministry of communications and
transport to expedite the adoption of the E-Governance
in all ministries and Government institutions.
“There is need to fast track the enactment of the ICT
Act and other pieces of legislation to provide an
enabling environment for the implementation of the
policy,” Mr Mwanawasa said. He reminded stakeholders
of the need to develop ICT infrastructure in rural and
under served areas to provide access to as many people
as possible.
The ministry of communications and transport should
ensure that such an aspect was embraced in all
activities related to the ICT policy implementation.
He commended everybody that participated in
formulation of the policy and donors that assisted the
project financially. Communications and transport
minister Peter Daka urged Zambia Telecommunication
services (Zamtel) to quicken the development of the
optic fiber so as to ease communication costs in the
country.
He said ICT should be made available even in rural
areas so that the Zambian people moved at the same
wave length in embracing information technology.


Copy of the Times of Zambia Newspaper- Zambia
Delphine Hampande,Journalists -Times of Zambia

1 comment:

Memeza said...

Visit CodeZed for a breakdown of the Zambian ICT policy.