Does your country have a National Information and Communication Infrastructure Plan?
August 4, 2011 Editor 0
National ICT plans, also known as National Information and Communication Infrastructure plans (NICI), are key to implementing the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) – an action framework that has been the basis for information and communication activities in Africa since 1996. AISI is not about technology. It is about giving Africans the means to improve the quality of their lives and fight against poverty.
Yet not all African countries have developed a NICI plan, formally accepted the plans as governmental policy, or enforced the policy through national action. In fact, do you even know if your country has a NICI, or it’s status?
Our good friends at Online Africa have published a list of African NICI status with this commentary:
During the 1999-2006 period, most nations either had a plan or were in the early stages of developing an ICT plan. In 2000, thirteen countries had NICI policies and plans while ten countries were in the process of designing NICI policies and plans. To see the plans of African nations between 1999 and 2006, head over to the NICI Country Pages created by the Economic Commission for Africa – once home to the most up-to-date information on Africa’s dynamic NICI scene. For historical documents and other secondary sources, browse the vast amount of information at the ICT Observatory. A UNECA PowerPoint showing the NICI status of each African country is available as well
Years later, however, the number of African nation with active ICT plans remains much the same as it did in 2004. Many nations still do not have an official government-approved plan. Other countries have seen success, but the status of their NICT plan remains difficult to pinpoint. Moreover, many of the nations that once had active national plans have failed to update, re-evaluate, or re-emphasize their plans. A plan that functioned in 1999 will not necessarily yield the same results in 2011 due to the changing technological landscape (think social media, mobile, and broadband). Accordingly, a nation with an ICT plan is not necessarily a nation with an active ICT plan.
With that news, are you wondering if a National Information and Communication Infrastructure plan matters? I would say yes. Just look at Kenya, which has a plan and is now the leading ICT4D country in Africa.
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