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International and Comparative Communication Policy Denise Campbell – Policy Analyst from Washington NGO Prof. S. Venturelli.

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International and Comparative Communication PolicyDenise Campbell – Policy Analyst from Washington NGOProf. S. Venturelli

The Progress and Feasibility of Implementing Ghana’s ICT-led Socio-Economic Development Policy and Strategies for Ghana (ICT4AD) as a Means of Transformation into a Knowledge based Economy and Solution for Socio-Economic Improvement and Development written for the Government of Ghana and the Ministry of Education, Science & Sports; Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning; and the Ministry of Communications Ministry

executive summary

Executive Summary

Ghana’s ICT for Accelerated Development Policy (ICT4AD) outlines the myriad ways policymakers aim to utilize ICT to transform Ghana into a knowledge based economy.

The primary goals of ICT4AD to provide the framework and analytical structures for ICT-driven socio-economic development policy and put forth a plan that will aid in Ghana’s economic development and assist in the achieving Millennium Development Goals

This is in recognition that one key to Ghana’s progress and continued stability of the economy is movement of the society towards a knowledge based information society

The policy analysis will examine the degree of progress and implementation of the government of Ghana’s efforts to transform and revolutionize the country’s society and economy through the development and use of an Integrated ICT-infused Socio-Economic Development Framework

policy provisions
Policy Provisions

Key Policy Objectives with which the paper is concerned are:

  • To engineer an ICT-led socio-economic development process with the potential to transform Ghana into a middle income, information rich, knowledge based and technology driven economy and society
  • To create a more enabling environment to facilitate these efforts
  • Provision 2.3.1 stipulates the Goal of Developing Ghana’s Information Sector to be dominated by a technology based, knowledge driven industrial sector
    • -with high income economy defined by trading in ICT product and services

Provision 2.3.1 stipulates achieving multiple sector ICT led socio-economic development

Provision 2.3.3 Develop Ghana’s ICT sector and Use if ICT as a Broad-based enabler of development goals.

  • To transform of Ghana into an information and knowledge driven, ICT literate nation
goals and policy objectives
Goals and Policy Objectives
  • To capitalize on this newfound economic opportunity, the national governments in collaboration with the private sector and the citizens have prioritized employment growth in the ITESBPO sector.
  • Must become attractive to foreign investors through large scale improvement of the county
  • If the policies are successful, Ghana will have an opportunity to become step forward in the Information Technology sector enabled by services-business process outsourcing (ITES-BPO) sector through the use of information technology and telecommunications. This will greatly benefit the country, economically, socially and positively impact a number of outcomes.
  • The government recognizes that this will necessitate several points:
    • The modernization and improvement of Ghana’s educational system using ICT to improve and expand access to education, training and research, resources
    • base of qualified workers and professional to staff its operations supported by a functioning education system
    • solid system of legal and regulatory framework and protections and a bureaucratic environment conducive to business
    • Massive capacity building in the form of physical and telecommunication infrastructure
assessment
Assessment
  • Ghana’s high unemployment rate, poverty, the lack of education of the youth and adults and poor infrastructure presents an uphill battle. The issue is more than just supplying computers and advocating policies that promote an Information Revolution. Success requires long-term investment in teaching, training and capacity and infrastructure building as well fostering engagement, comfort and understanding that allows individuals to take advantage of the technology.
  • There are many factors at work including culture, mindset, access to computers, knowledge of how to use the Internet and just how far reaching it is that prevent individuals from taking full advantage.
  • After decades under a military regime and a nation grown accustomed to reliance on government subsidies, citizens must now come to understand the ways they can take care of themselves through various jobs, entrepreneurial activities all of which can be powered and facilitated through effective use of ICTs. They must now come to understand themselves as being a part of galvanizing and driving the economy. will require increased external finance..
  • ICT Diffusion may reinforce and exacerbate more pressing issues such as providing food, water.
  • Computer ownership and accessibility and Internet access is a sign and factor in the ever-increasing internal gap between poor and middle class and urban and rural populations.
assessment1
ASSESSMENT
  • Infrastructure development is a significant problem.
  • In 2007, Telephone lines (per 100 people) 1.6; Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people) 32.4; Internet subscribers (per 100 people .1; Internet users (per 100 people) 3.8;
  • Progress has been made, but much work still needs to be done. With funding from the government and private organizations, roads can be improved, efficient transportation systems can be emplaced, and building, power lines and broad band can be constructed
  • Low-income countries such as Ghana that are well-governed in relation to their level of GDP and have put forward sound and credible plans for scaling up interventions to reach the MDGs require increased external finance.
  • The availability of employable talent is the single most important determinant for the growth of the IT services and ITES industries in the long term. A priority must be promotion of IT services and ITES industries in schools and improvement of the quality of education in order to develop generic skills that are relevant to a broad spectrum of industries.
assessment cont d
Assessment (Cont”d)
  • Private economic actors, domestic or foreign, are often in the best position to expand and develop the economic resources of a country. To promote private investment, it is essential that government provide the legal, educational, and basic infrastructure to protect and project a stable business environment.
  • Ghana is in a strong position to take the lead in ICT training. Ghana’s ICT Development Index (IDI) in 2007 was 1.63 and ranked 114 in the world. It boasts several existing and venerable ICT universities and institutions which are well regarded in West Africa. Source: Measuring the Information Society: The ICT Development Index 2009 by International Telecommunication Union.
barriers and challenges
Barriers and Challenges
  • High rate of poverty and low standard of living exacerbated by attendant development woes, significant amount of population living in "hot zones.”
  • High illiteracy rate and egregious challenges within the education system.
    • Schools throughout the country are characterized by poor infrastructure and inadequate teaching staff.
    • There is 37% and 29% electricity in primary and secondary schools respectively, low broadband, lack of ICT qualified or trained teachers (o.3% )
    • High computer to student ratio.
    • Poor and inadequate physical and telecommunication infrastructure throughout the country including poor transportation, lack of or unreliable electricity, power lines and poor broadband. I
    • In 2007, Telephone lines (per 100 people) was 1.6; Mobile cellular subscriptions 32.4; Internet subscribers1; Internet users (per 100 people) 3.8. Source: World Telecommunication Development Report 2010
  • Difficulty of turning youthful population (60% under 25 years old) and the challenges of them into an asset of development
  • Transforming culture and collective mindset into self enabling and empowering rather than government reliant.
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Expedite the advance and implementation the following acts to help signal credibility and readiness of legal and regulatory frameworks are sufficiently robust to attract foreign investment and to support implementation of the two ICT4AD and NTP. National Communication Authority Act, 2008, Act 7691; the National Information Technology Agency Act, 2008, Act 771; the Electronic Transactions Act, 2008, Act 772 and the Electronic Communications Act, 2008, Act 775
  • Improve physical and telecommunication infrastructure as expeditiously as possible
  • Expand Information Technology Enabled Services-Business Process Outsourcing (ITES-BPO) to become a priority sector that will help drive the economic growth in Ghana.
  • Engage local and community leaders in forming alliances and partnerships to help spread and inculcate ICT usage as seamlessly as possible.
  • Create and fund a streamlined educational initiatives to help increase computer literacy.
  • Partner with UNDP, UNICEF and other International Organizations, international and national NGOS and other members of Civil Society to train teachers in the rudiments and standard level of primary and secondary education and in ICT skills, usage and potential.
  • Governments need to be proactive if not aggressive in attracting strategic foreign and national investors and alliances in order to gain long-term investment that will improve infrastructure and development goals
recommendations1
Recommendations
  • Education exchange programs for Information Architects who will teach, train and prepare individuals and teachers on computer usage, hardware and software applicationsand other ICT topics.
  • Decrease bureaucracy for entrepreneurial ventures and small business creation. Promoting initiatives that facilitate these endeavors including teaching business registration, how to manage a business and other small business related concerns.
  • Create a Chamber of Commerce that supports small and local business and acts as a resource for entrepreneurs, private and small businesses, government and foreign investors
  • Begin a strategic cultural diplomacy campaign targeted to Western donor nations that "sell" and promulgate Ghana model of stability and democracy and a hub for IT and telecommunication services.
  • Create ownership, franchise and empowerment opportunities for Ghanaians to ensure that they will not get shut out of the telecommunications future when they have increased expertise.
  • Given greater interest in Ghana as an driver in ICT sector and telecommunication markets, tie capacity and infrastructure building and job creation and employment as a condition of buy-in to the Ghanaian telecommunication market.
  • Closer inspection, monitoring and regulation of Ewaste dumping and inspection of containers and shipments purportedly from “Donors.”
  • Take advantage of China's increased interest and opportunism in the region and include in any contract and negotiation the condition that in addition to resource they will build/donate needed infrastructure
conclusion
Conclusion
  • ICTs provide tremendous opportunities for facilitating development goals.
  • Successful and widespread adaptation will require passage of time to achieve diffusion,
  • Change requires the participation of multiple actors, including government commitment, stringent enforcement and expeditious movement on governmental policies and inclination of Ministers to exercise their power and commitment.
  • Ghana has recorded significant achievements in governance, growth and poverty reduction in the recent years and there has been some improvement in the telecom regulatory environment in the country.
  • However, there are significant impediments that must be addressed. Foremost, many of the provisions within ICT4AD have stalled owing to bureaucratic inefficiencies, foot dragging, and turf wars.
  • ICT4AD policy, action-plans have progressed at a very slow pace. The process must be accelerated if the country is to keep pace with the rapidly changing and competitive technological environment. It is a mater of urgency that the government indicate its political commitment by expediting policy objectives.