ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES DRAFT ICT POLICY WITHOUT FUNDS TO BACK IT

Computing

Though the Zambian government has launched the National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy, it has not set aside any funding measures to have the ICT policy implemented, writes Timothy Kasolo. Information Minister Mutale Nalumango at the launch of the ICT policy said though funding is not secured for the final implementation a team of experts was engaged to help in the drafting of the national ICT policy.

She explained that the fact that the team of experts was engaged the private sector and the government participated in drafting of the ICT policy."This shows a clear testimony of the partnership between the state and other stakeholders," Nalumango said. Nalumango explained that the government would aim at drawing support from the private sector and other partners in the actual implementation of the policy.

Apart from looking at the cooperating partners she urged Zambians to join in the formulation and implementation of the country’s ICT policy. She argued that the policy was not only for the government but for every Zambian and the stakeholders so as to carter for all sectors of society. The minister observed that ICTs play an important role in ensuring sustainable, social and economic development of the country.

She added that some of the ways in which ICTs can contribute to the standards are the involvement of community radio stations, newspapers, the internet and the availability of communication facilities through the expansion of cellular phone network coverage.

Meanwhile Transport and Communication Minister Bates Namuyamba noted that his ministry would immediately engage parliamentarians and the cabinet so that they understand the role and importance of ICTs in national development, prior to policy approval and legislation. The draft policy has been financially and technically supported by the Japanese government and the United National Development Programme (UNDP).