[AfrICANN-discuss] Zambia launches ICT Policy

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 09:34:56 SAST 2007

In line with some of the policy issues that we alluded to at the 28th
ICANN meeting in Lisbon, I thought you would be interested to read the
below. Have a look at this website to see some long term committments
that are still valid: http://www.uneca.org/aisi/
Copy of the Times of Zambia Newspaper- Zambia

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

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
"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 n
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
He commended everybody that participated in formulation of the policy
and donors that assisted the project financially. Communications and
transportminister 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
wave length in embracing information technology.

Delphine Hampande
Journalists -Times of Zambia
Mobile- =260-97875524
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