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ICT Policies and Strategies in Rwanda, Namibia & South Africa. Jonathan Miller PhD July 2001. The View from Africa. Great International Interest in the Digital Divide UN (UNITeS), HealthInternetwork G8: Okinawa Charter DOT Force Genoa Plan of Action Commonwealth Secretariat

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ict policies and strategies in rwanda namibia south africa

ICT Policies and Strategies in Rwanda, Namibia & South Africa

Jonathan Miller PhD

July 2001

the view from africa
The View from Africa
  • Great International Interest in the Digital Divide
    • UN (UNITeS), HealthInternetwork
    • G8: Okinawa Charter
      • DOT Force
        • Genoa Plan of Action
    • Commonwealth Secretariat
    • Multitude of International Donors
contrasting ict policy issues
The Developing World

Alleviating Poverty



The Cost of Telephone Calls

The Banking System

Physical Logistics

Contrasting ICT Policy Issues
  • The developed World
    • Electronic Commerce
    • Universal Service
    • Electronic Gambling
    • Technology Neutral Taxation
    • Privacy of the Individual
the starting point
The Starting Point
  • ICT is good for social/economic development
  • There is a growing digital divide
  • There is an untapped ICT market in developing countries
interest within africa s 53 countries
Interest within Africa’s 53 Countries
  • ISAD Conference: 1996
    • Spreading the benefits of ICT’s equitably and quickly
    • The NICI Process: 22 countries
  • SADC “Policy Guidelines” for Info-based Economy
  • COMESA: E-Commerce, Trade & Investment
particular countries
Particular Countries
  • South Africa
  • Namibia
  • Rwanda
  • Tanzania
  • Mozambique
progress in south africa
Progress in South Africa
  • 1994 marked the turning point
  • The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) set the vision for the country.
  • We had an agreed basis to measure many policies, programmes and projects
south africa s vision
South Africa’s Vision

Balance growth with development and place simultaneous emphasis on redressing the present regional, racial, gender and structural imbalances in the economy

major ict initiatives 1996 2001
Major ICT Initiatives:1996-2001
  • National Research and Technology Foresight
  • Information Technology National Qualifications Framework
  • Electronic Commerce Policy Process
  • SA Information Technology Industry Strategy
sa it industry strategy project www saitis co za
SA IT Industry Strategy Project(www.saitis.co.za)
  • A coordinated ICT industry strategy
  • ICT‑enabled growth of businesses across the entire economy
  • A robust ICT industry
  • A country poised for the Information Age

Strategy Development Framework

ICT Sector

ICT Usage


Industry Structure

Sustaining Environment


Global Competitiveness



Research & Development

Labour Issues

Intellectual Property


Knowledge Transfer

ICT Literacy


Human Resources

saitis follow on projects
SAITIS Follow-on Projects
  • Sustainability Structures and Processes
  • Labour Market Statistics
  • ICT Portal
  • ICT Cluster Development
  • Youth Internship Program
  • Black ICT SMME Development

“Our vision is that Namibia will be an industrialised state by 2030, with a significant improvement in the essential quality of life of all Namibians.”

namibia s ict policy process 1998 2001
Namibia's ICT Policy Process: 1998-2001
  • NICI Process commenced in 1998
  • Telecommunication Framework 1999
  • Draft ICT Policy tabled 2001
  • Far-sighted Minister of Information
namibian priorities for implementation
Namibian Priorities for Implementation
  • Enhance rural access to information 
  • Grow and stabilise the ICT professional community
  • Facilitate excellent ICT public education, especially in schools
  • Foster e-commerce, e-business and e-government
  • Strengthen the existing ICT infrastructure
  • Create an ICT Cluster
critical success factors
Critical Success Factors
  • A strong national body with committed leadership to guide the implementation of ICT Policy
  • A detailed implementation plan that
    • defines indicators against which to measure success
    • lays out practical growth steps towards achievable targets
    • names responsible parties
    • and sets realistic timelines
rwanda vision 2020
Rwanda: Vision 2020
  • To develop Rwanda into a middle income country by Year 2020 (current GDP per capita is $200)
  • To modernize the Rwandan economy and society using ICTs as an engine for:
    • accelerated development and economic growth
    • national prosperity
    • global competitiveness
  • 1998: ICT Policy process commenced
  • 2000: ICT Policy tabled and endorsed by President Kagame
  • 2001: First 5-year $500 million Plan tabled (400 pages)
  • Presidential Drive for Rwanda to become a Regional Services Centre
other countries
Other Countries
  • Mozambique
    • National ICT Commission in place
    • 2000: ICT Policy accepted by government
    • 2001: Implementation Process in the making
    • Driven by Prime Minister
  • Tanzania
    • 1997: Started an ICT policy process
    • 1997: Published a telecommunications policy
    • 2000: eThinkTank launched
    • 2001: First attempts to initiate ICT Policy process
similarities and differences
All believe in the potential of ICT

All emphasize human resource development

All espouse high level collaboration

All struggle to marry public and private role-players

All are small enough to contemplate national initiatives

Some set seriously unrealistic goals

Some use ICT as a political lever

Policy process

The grand plan

Multiple plans

Targeted interventions

“critical success factors”

Similarities and Differences
the emperor s new clothes
The Emperor’s New Clothes?
  • Expensive
  • Take a long time
  • No follow through to implementation
  • Long on assessments but very short on visible results
  • The process is getting bogged down
other concerns
Other Concerns
  • Lack of insight into dynamics of ICT usage
  • No cumulative tradition of research
  • No coordination of initiatives
  • Donor-Driven Agenda