Vision From The Top
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  • 1. Open City Portal Delta Nigeria, November 2008 General Background: Local Digital Agenda
  • 2. Contents 2. Why ICT should be developed 1. Local Digital Agenda 3. ICT development strategy 4. Policy areas ICT Strategy should cover 5 Experience of African Countries 2.1 Instruments for ICT development 2.2 ICT strategy key points 5.1 South African example 5.2 Other African examples 5.3 Nigerian experience 5.4 Conclusion
  • 3. Contents 2. Why ICT should be developed 1. Local Digital Agenda 3. ICT development strategy 4. Policy areas ICT Strategy should cover 5 Experience of African Countries 2.1 Instruments for ICT development 2.2 ICT strategy key points 5.1 South African example 5.2 Other African examples 5.3 Nigerian experience 5.4 Conclusion
  • 4. 1. Local Digital Agenda
    • The Local Digital Agenda (LDA) is a Strategic Plan for the Development of the Information Society in a given city or region
    Designed to promote the Information Society taking into account socio-economic and cultural backgrounds in particular, and based on the involvement of citizens and social actors, ultimately promoting sustainable development.
    • In order to develop and implement a LDA, it is necessary to have:
    • Political will and leadership
    • Supporting tools and resources , both economic and technical
  • 5. 1. Local Digital Agenda
    • Its design and development will be similar to any Sector Strategic Plan , coordinated with and integrated into the city or region´s Global Strategic Plan.
    • Improvement of local government, communication and citizen involvement.
    • Fully development of the endogenous potential to create wealth and employment : the Information Society has an enormous bearing on economic growth and social cohesion.
    • Improvement of the quality of life for local citizens.
    Main advantages of designing and implementing a LDA are:
  • 6. Contents 2. Why ICT should be developed 1. Local Digital Agenda 3. ICT development strategy 4. Policy areas ICT Strategy should cover 5 Experience of African Countries 2.1 Instruments for ICT development 2.2 ICT strategy key points 5.1 South African example 5.2 Other African examples 5.3 Nigerian experience 5.4 Conclusion
  • 7. 2. Why ICT should be developed
    • Behind such initiatives there is an increasing recognition that ICT is the key to:
    • promote knowledge-based growth
    • job creation
    • provide access to information and knowledge
    Access to information and knowledge can stimulate economic growth by creating new products, increasing productivity and promoting new commercial and administrative methods. Recently many countries have published national ICT development strategies. In addition to economic development, connection to ICT fosters social development , cohesion and inclusion through its applications in education, health and increased citizen participation in civil society and government.
  • 8. 2.1 Instruments for ICT development
    • The following instruments and mechanisms are essential to successful development :
    • An efficient and transparent regulatory framework
    • Creation of a broad range of ICT-enabled businesses
    • A conducive environment for innovation
    • Financial and social infrastructure to support entrepreneurship .
    In essence, ICT is not an objective but a tool for creating a dynamic, innovative and upgraded business environment and knowledge economy . National ICT strategy is a framework to formulate a country's approach to the revision of the policy and business environment in order to achieve a dynamic innovative knowledge-based society
  • 9.
    • A successful national ICT strategy must be comprehensive and focus on several strategic areas depending on an individual country's situation.
    2.2 ICT strategy keypoints The strategy process should be inclusive and involve all stakeholders . The process also needs high-level political leadership and commitment . The strategy process should start with an assessment of the current policy reform stage and identify the next steps for policy reform. Effective strategy should focus on the most important bottlenecks and provide a systematic solution for all issues. The solutions should promote as much private sector participation as possible, based on sustainable business models. Solutions should involve scaling up, capacity building and institution building .
  • 10. Contents 2. Why ICT should be developed 1. Local Digital Agenda 3. ICT development strategy 4. Policy areas ICT Strategy should cover 5 Experience of African Countries 2.1 Instruments for ICT development 2.2 ICT strategy key points 5.1 South African example 5.2 Other African examples 5.3 Nigerian experience 5.4 Conclusion
  • 11. 3. ICT development strategy
    • It is necessary to have comprehensive programmes to address the following five strategic areas in an integrated ICT development strategy.
    Liberalised environment and a supportive regulatory framework ICT businesses emerge only if innovative ideas are allowed to be commercialised. Regulatory frameworks promote and support a liberalised environment in order to allow innovative private sector firms to enter the market and help expand telecommunications infrastructure. A supportive regulatory framework is needed to enhance competition through liberalisation , introduction of an independent regulator and privatisation of the state-owned telecommunications operator. It is essential that the benefit of ICT is shared by all citizens . Access to communications infrastructure, including telephones and internet connections, should be given to all people , not only middle-to-high-income people who live in urban areas, but also to people who live in rural areas and poor communities. Achieving universal access
  • 12. 3. ICT development strategy
    • ICT strategy can gain support of the government and citizens only if it can create a broad range of job opportunities.
    • Creation of community and government information sites should be encouraged.
    • Content industries, including e-learning, e-health and e-commerce should be developed to provide relevant information and transaction opportunities to match the local people's needs and to provide access to international markets for local products and services.
    Creating jobs through ICT-enabled businesses Innovation and entrepreneurship support Innovation and entrepreneurship are crucial to the development of knowledge-based growth . To develop various ICT-related industries, it is vital to have a broad education programme to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. A systematic mechanism to encourage and support entrepreneurs in introducing innovative technologies should be promoted.
  • 13. 3. ICT development strategy
    • To develop ICT in transition economies, it is essential to encourage entrepreneurs to utilise ICT for socially beneficial purposes.
    • There are a growing number of entrepreneurs and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in various sectors using ICT in transition countries .
    • These individuals and organisations are finding innovative ways to bring about change in the social process while, at the same time, ensuring the sustainability of their operations.
    Supporting entrepreneurs
  • 14. Contents 2. Why ICT should be developed 1. Local Digital Agenda 3. ICT development strategy 4. Policy areas ICT Strategy should cover 5 Experience of African Countries 2.1 Instruments for ICT development 2.2 ICT strategy key points 5.1 South African example 5.2 Other African examples 5.3 Nigerian experience 5.4 Conclusion
  • 15. 4. Policy areas ICT Strategy should cover
    • ICT strategies will cover a number of sectors that need to be targeted by specific policies.
    Primarily related to the information society Primarily related to the information economy Education and health Industry sectors, trade, investment and finance Providing services to both the private and public sectors Government Sectors related to information society and information economy
  • 16. 4. Policy areas ICT Strategy should cover
    • Cross-cutting policies will affect all of the described sectors . They include policies related to telecommunications infrastructure, research and technology development, awareness creation, information technology (IT) training and literacy, legal and regulatory issues and measurement and monitoring.
    E-business policies (including e-commerce policies) will particularly affect the economic sectors . They include policies related to the business and economic environment, enterprise development (especially promotion of small and medium-size enterprises, or SMEs) and development of the ICT industry. E-society and e-government policies include areas such as health, education, culture and the media, as well as government services and customs . Cross-cutting policies E-business policies E-society and e-government policies
  • 17. 4. Policy areas ICT Strategy should cover
    • One cross-cutting issue relevant for countries at all levels of development is that of gender imbalances related to the digital economy.
    • In many countries, women make up the majority of the rural population , which is often marginalized in terms of telecommunications infrastructure, education and training.
    • Therefore, it is important to mainstream gender in all areas of national ICT strategies, and a number of international initiatives have been launched to that effect.
    Gender issue as cross-cutting at all levels
  • 18. Contents 2. Why ICT should be developed 1. Local Digital Agenda 3. ICT development strategy 4. Policy areas ICT Strategy should cover 5 Experience of African Countries 2.1 Instruments for ICT development 2.2 ICT strategy key points 5.1 South African example 5.2 Other African examples 5.3 Nigerian experience 5.4 Conclusion
  • 19. 5. Experience of African Countries
    •  
    • Africa is already starting to deliver technology innovations that can have impact worldwide.
    • For example, in Kenya, a new digital payment system allows users to transfer money across mobile phones with minimal cost using text messaging.  
    • Similar innovations in technology have the potential to scale across a variety of development areas in Africa: enabling teachers and students to access quality educational materials with the simplest digital technology, or linking people with limited access to health care to world-class treatment from doctors on the other side of the world., etc.
    The possibilities and challenges currently present in Africa are immense.
  • 20. 5.1 South African example
    • In South Africa, the Parliament employs various ICT tools to communicate with the public, including community radio, broadcasts of daily televised debates of the National Assembly and roundtables.
    • The Parliamentary Monitoring Group, a non-profit organisation, maintains a useful website where information on upcoming public hearings and parliamentary committee reports can be found.
    • South Africa’s constitution places particular importance on access to public information and the participation of citizens in domestic politics.
    Participation and interaction with the citizens is very important to every policy making process, and their opinions should be taken into account .
  • 21. 5.2 Other African examples
    • Small private telecentres have become very common in urban areas of many African countries.  
    • Universities and school have also established telecentres meant to provide access to students, but some of them also provide access to the general public . 
    • Some members of the international development community and some national governments have also invested in telecentres, with the goal of providing access in rural areas.  
    A key factor in facilitating the deployment of rural access points is the regulatory environment .
  • 22. 5.3 Nigerian experience
    • ICT in Nigeria had been growing at an exponential rate.
    • However Internet and other data related services still were lagging behind as a result of a lack of infrastructure
    • Completely dependent on International access for local connectivity and hosting resulting in wastages and duplication
    • Set up a structure that would enable local traffic to remain local
    • Provide world class facilities to enable the hosting industry to evolve and flourish .
    • Eliminate duplication and proliferation of networks owned by the government
    • Increase security
    • Bridge the Digital Divide
    Galaxy Backbone PLC was created to
  • 23. 5.4 Conclusion
    • But it’s important to remember that technology is only a tool that can help to realize this growth.
    To translate innovation into tangible progress will , take the cooperation and commitment of parties across the public and private sector , investing together in education, local business development, and other initiatives that can drive positive social and economic change. Initiatives like these represent a new wave of technological progress that can speed technology adoption across all of Africa and have a significant impact on African development . The level of interest in adopting ICT solutions like these to address Africa’s critical development challenges and the associated optimism for how this can positively impact economic growth is high.