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NIGERIA : ICT4D Annual Review 2007
synopsis of the ICT4D sector in
Jidaw Systems (Mastercomputers) http://www.jidaw.com
Information and communications are integral to human society. In African societies that existed before colonial rule, people communicated using various instruments and codes such as talking drums, flutes, gongs, town crier and village square meetings. Many historical records are still recorded on the walls of caves, and especially through oral tradition. The use of writing and the invention of printing transformed the type and content of recorded history. Communications on a universal scale became possible through the use of books, newspapers, magazines and radio. "More recent technological innovations increased further the reach and speed of communications, culminating, for now, with digital technology".
The advancements in technology has created so many ICT tools that are necessary and useful in the development process. These new technologies have become central to contemporary societies. A basic classification by Chris Nicol of Association for Progressive Communications of these modern technologies is as follows:
- Information Technology uses computers, which have become indispensable in modern societies to process data and save time. The use of computers is so pervasive to modern development in commerce, education and governance amongst others.
- Telecommunication Technologies includes telephones-mobile, fixed (with fax), and broadcasting of radio and television, often through satellites;
- Networking Technologies, of which the best known is the internet, but which has extended to mobile phone technology, Voice Over IP telephony, satellite communications, and other forms of communications that are still in their infancy.
These all have come to dominate modern society and become the basis for the survival of the modern man, thus defining what is now called the information society. This is the information age!
Globalization-though few agree on any single definition, it generally describes a world where market forces are the driving forces. Today, trade and investments are expanding the hitherto known boundaries of nations. We hear about liberalization, free markets, deregulation, privatization of public enterprises among others as part of the globalization processes. In fact, the major instrument of globalization, information technology has created a global village. According to Alfred P. Sloan, "the big work behind business judgment is in finding and acknowledging the facts and circumstances concerning technology, and the market in their continuously changing forms. The rapidity of modern technological change makes the search for facts a permanently necessary feature." Bill Gates supports him by saying "how you gather, manage, and use information will determine whether you win or lose". De Horowitz, former President of the International Federation of Library Associations, made this assertion many years ago to the effect that,…developing countries of the future would be those who come late to the information revolution.
The world's digital
divide is now rather apparent and reinforcing poverty. All the Computers
and telecommunications facilities in
The situation is further
aggravated by a lack of ICT policy or poor implementation strategies in
It is in light of the foregoing that the government set up the National Information Technology Development Agency, which is to anchor the governments' ICT policy implementation strategy. The National Strategic Action Plan is to provide concrete implementation strategies over the next 5 years for the key sectors -health, education, infrastructure, human resource development, Agriculture, Legal/Regulations, private sector/industry, media/community, amongst others - as part of an integrated approach to achieving national development espoused through the new National Economic Empowerment Development Programme (NEEDS).
According to the CBN
(Central Bank of
The ongoing economic reform programme coupled with high crude oil prices boosted the country's external reserves and enabled the defense of the Naira exchange rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Latest figures released
by the CBN shows that
Communications Technology in
: The Journey so far Nigeria
Historically, as at
1994, there were more than 200 registered companies in
Today the structure of the industry would still be largely the same. Vendors representing all the major global brands in ICT dominate the industry. Between 1999 and today, some of the leading brands have opened country offices along side their vendors/distributors. Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Samsung, Dell , CISCO, ORACLE, are among the leading brands with a Nigerian office. Nigerian owned firms are now also growing in strength, but besides Zinox and Omatek, they are largely players in the distributive trade.
The developments in
telecommunications over the past four years, especially with the advent
of GSM technology has also spurn new companies offering telephone sales
and after sales services. In fact
Deregulation of the telecommunications sector led to the
introduction of major Global System of Mobile Communications (GSM),
mobile phone providers such as MTN Nigeria, Celtel, Globacom and Mtel
are key players. Towards the end of 2006, Nitel and Mtel were acquired
by a multipurpose vehicle-Transcorp Inc.
The GSM revolution changed the face of Information and
Communications Technology in
At present there are (two) national carriers, 5 (four)
digital mobile (GSM) operators and over 20 operators have been licensed to provide fixed wireless
services at national and regional levels. Some of these PTOs and FWAs licensed earlier have now been granted Universal Licenses and
about two of them - Multilinks and Starcomms have rolled our GSM
Since the GSM launch, mobile telephony has rapidly become
the most popular method of voice communication in
According to Chief
Cornelius Adebayo, the former Federal Minister of Communications, (ITU,
March 2006) "The number
of fixed lines which was about 700,000 in 2002 had almost doubled by the
end of 2005, while the number of Mobile lines had risen from about 1.56
million in 2002 to the present figure of about 20 million. It is no
wonder then that the Nigerian Mobile market has been rated as one of the
fastest growing in the world and it is projected that by the year 2010
it will be
Deregulation has also led to the issuance of licenses for
fixed wireless networks, Internet services, VSAT (Very Small Aperture
Satellite System) and telecommunication equipment services. The telecom
boom has resulted in greater usage of Internet Technology, growth and
availability of cyber cafés, increased Internet provision by ISPs and
PTOs, increased communications services (mobile telephony, e-mail, VOIP),
reduction of Internet costs, online information gathering and research,
e-learning, Internet business opportunities, online advertising
opportunities as well as developments in e-banking. Growth has been
A few years ago, "cyber café" was a strange
word from another world. Today cyber cafés exist in virtually every
neighborhood especially in the urban centers. Because cost of ICT is
still relatively high for most individuals, the cybercafe has
significantly improved accessibility to the Internet in
With the exclusivity period granted the 4 digital Mobile
GSM Operators ending in 2006, NCC is set to replace all existing
licenses including the five-year exclusive mobile licenses granted GSM
operators in February 2001 with Unified (Universal) licensing. Unified
licensing is expected to be technology neutral and is a move to further
open up and liberalize the sector in the interest of the consumers. The
new regime is expected to foster development of the sector, encourage a
level playing field, increase competition and ultimately reduce tariffs.
In addition to other efforts to serve the rural areas,
the federal government is currently embarking upon an expansive national
rural telephone project.
Computer education in
Nigeria has come a long way since the foundation of the IBM African
Education Training Centre at the University of Ibadan in 1963 for the
training of computer personnel to operate, program, and, to a limited
extent, service IBM 1461/1620 machines. Today there are fully fledged
computer science departments in
Cheaper telecommunication costs has also made access to the Internet cheaper and therefore commonplace. Cyber cafés now help provide access to the Internet, whilst a few telecommunications companies also offer Internet connection with telephone services.
Three categories of
institutions identified as providing Computer Education in
1) Tertiary institutions setup by statutes e.g. Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Technology, Colleges of Education, etc
2) Institutions that run professional computer education courses and training for public exams and international certifications, e.g. CPN, BCS, IDPM, International certifications developed by Microsoft, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, etc.
3) Institutions that run computer literacy programmes including computer awareness, appreciation, computer utilization and use of computer packages
For (1) and (2), of such educational programs the aim is to produce professionals with expertise in high demand areas such as Programming, Technical Support, Engineering, Database, Information Warehousing, Networking, Web Development, Research, Internet and E-Commerce. Since ICT is the infrastructure of the Knowledge economy, such skilled professionals are needed to create, operate, design, maintain, program and deploy information and communication technology solutions.
In addition for (1), Computer Science and Engineering graduates produced can be involved in conducting hardware and software research and development.
For (3) the aim is to produce improve the level of computer literacy of students and working professionals irrespective of their course of studies or profession. The Knowledge economy requires knowledge workers who are IT savvy.
Services Available in Educational and Research Institutes
most of the educational and research institutes visited, the ICT
infrastructures had just been
put in place. There had been computer systems available for so many
years but their use was limited to word processing. The ICT drive in
most of the educational and research institutes visited is on Internet
service provision. A lot of the institutes have achieved this using
government allocation, privately or internationally sourced funds and
the educational and research institutes visited had computing equipment,
such as computer systems, printers and scanners, while the provision of
Internet service in most of the institutes is a recent development.
was a wide range of computing equipment available in the institutes.
institutes had a mixture of branded and assembled computer systems. The
was also discovered that the computing needs of the administrative staff
have priority over that of research staff.
National Universities Commission (NUC) recently carried out (January -
Area Network (LAN): Almost
all the institutes have a LAN, which is usually wired.
LAN may be restricted to the resource room, the library or the main
building of the institute
e.g. NIHORT, NACETEM, FIIRO. The LAN at NIPRD consists of several LANs
in different buildings joined together by a wireless link. All the LANs
are based on the 10/100 Mbps Ethernet technology.
Regulatory and Professional Activities
Development Agency (NITDA)
National IT Development Agency (NITDA) is responsible for the implementation of the National ICT policy and the facilitation of the use of ICT as a tool for national development. However, NITDA has been hampered by a lack of legislative backing which they secured only in December 2006, which has limited its effectiveness, coupled with the lack of human and financial resources to facilitate its work.
THE NATIONAL ICT STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN
"The Nigerian National
Strategic Action Plan is in line with the implementation of the approved
Plan of Action of the
- Bridging the Digital Divide by
encouraging Investment in Information and Communications Technology.
- Using ICT as a tool for a wide
range of applications, such as remote sensing, environmental,
agricultural and Infrastructural planning.
- Identifying and exploring
opportunities for trade, investment and finance.
- Helping in the fight against
illiteracy and embarking on programmes to improve the state of health
and Educational sectors.
- Encouraging Identification and
pursuit of areas of research and required development, amongst others.
The National committee has been
divided into sub-groups as follows:
i) Human resource
ii) Research and Development (R &
iv) ICT in Education
v) National Security and Law
vi) Legislature and Governance
vii) IT popularization and deployment
viii) Private sector development
- Trade and commerce
- Service sector
- Industrial sector development
- Local and foreign Direct Investment
ix) Legal and Regulatory framework
x) ICT in Health
xi) ICT in Agriculture
The United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa (ECA) is supporting NITDA in drawing up the plan.
In addition to the recruitment of an international resource person to
facilitate the group committee work, financial assistance is being
received from ECA.
In all, several meetings have
been held both at the general and sub-committee levels. At the
sub-committee level, relevant stakeholders have been identified
especially for questionnaire administration, focus group discussion and
general input to produce an all inclusive and generally acceptable plan
of action for implementation at the national level. The resource persons
are also working hard to meet up the new deadline November 2006. The
work has reached 75% completion."
NITDA should do everything within
its powers to publish this plan for Nigerians to see. It would help
integrate man of the initiatives currently being developed in the
country in a coherent manner.
Prof Cleopas Angaye is
the current CEO of NITDA located at
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
Commission (NCC) is the regulatory body for
According to NCC, deregulated telecommunications services include:
"Sales and Installation of Terminal equipment (Mobile Cellular Phones, Satellite Communication and Switching equipments etc); Public Payphone Services; Internet Services; Prepaid Calling Card Services; Community Telephony wth exchanges; Paging Services; Trunk and 2-Way Radio Network Services; Fixed Telephony Siervices, employing cable and Radio; Satellite Network Services (e.g. Domestic VSAT networks); Repairs & Maintenance of telecommunications facilities; Cabling services; Tele-Centers/Cyber Cafes".
Dr Ernest Ndukwe is the current CEO/ Executive Vice Chairman. NCC is located at it new headquarters opposite the Transcorp Hilton Hotel. See www.ncc.com.ng
The first professional
computer body in
Nigeria Computer Society is the premier member association responsible for the advancement of Computer Science and Technology, Computer Applications and Professionals Practice.
The Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), established by Decree 49 of 1993 is responsible for the control and supervision of the Computing Profession in the country. CPN has responsibilities amongst others for the accreditation of Computer Training institutions, courses and programmes.
However, most Computer
training institutions and programmes operated and run in
- The Institute of
Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) is a nonprofit organization
specifically set up to facilitate business and trade in software and
related services in
- The Association of
Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) is the umbrella organization of all
telecommunications companies operating in
Development Information Network (DevNet)
DevNet started the ICT4D
campaign when she collaborated with the British Council and WangoNet to
form the Nigerian Network on ICT. This platform was used to facilitate a
national educational project that culminated in a National Conference on
Nigerian IT Policy. DevNet also facilitated contributions of NGOs to the
Lagos Digital Village/Nigerian
WSIS Youth Caucus-facilitated by the young former IT Ambassador
Gbenga Sessan has contributed immensely in promoting youth in ICT4D. At
WSIS Tunis, they collaborated with NYIN, Schoolnet Africa, Paradigm
Initiative Network and Nigerian WSIS Youth Caucus to put up a most
scintillating performance on youth and ICT in
led by the affable Dr John Dada, this is
The Nigeria Internet
Group (NIG) is a non-governmental organization promoting and
facilitating full Internet connectivity in
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) Founded with a vision to use information and Communication Technologies for the development of society. The organization works under five semi-autonomous projects. These are the Computer Literacy Project (CLP), the SchoolNet Project (SnP), the Community Access Network (CAN), the Trade in ICTs Monitor (TIM) and the ICTs Research and Adaptation Programme (ITRAP). The method of work includes training, seminars and workshops, research, advocacy and publication.
Contact : Y. Z. Ya'u Flat
3, First Floor,
Further details about NGOs active in ICT4D contact email@example.com
Private Sector in
private sector in
Small and Medium Enterprises
A Nigerian Bank for Industry (BOI) was set up
by the government to meet the financing needs of local manufacturers and
small and medium scale industries (SMEs). In addition, in its Monetary
Policy the CBN in 2001 mandated banks to set aside 10 percent of their
gross profit towards financing SME projects through the Small Medium
Industries Equity Investment Scheme (SMIEIS). Under this scheme, the CBN
makes available loans, channeled through selected banks to small
enterprises, such as farmers, at a rate lower than prevailing commercial
rates. All banks operating in
Furthermore, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) was established by the SMEDAN Act of 2003 to promote the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector of the Nigerian Economy. There is also an Association of Small Scale Industry (NASSI) that represents the interests of SMEs operating within the economy.
The largest investment in SMEs has been in the ICT sector, with the
In 1960s, agriculture was the most important sector in
Agriculture however employs over two thirds of the population, and
accounts for a third of the GDP. Nigerian agriculture is characterized
by its product diversity - tree and food crops, forestry, livestock and
fishing. However, the agricultural sector is not very efficient as
Industry and Manufacturing
There are different types of manufacturing industries in
Nigeria's manufacturing capacity utilization still remains very low due
primarily to the high costs of production owing to the poor state of
infrastructure such as power generation and water supply Most depend on generating sets for reliable power supply..
Although buy-Nigeria campaigns have been launched, demand for local
manufactured goods is quite low compared to cheaper imported products.
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) is a national industrial
association serving and representing nearly 2000 companies in private
and public sectors in manufacturing, construction and service sectors of
the national economy.
There is renewed focus on local sourcing of raw materials, and a need for
the manufacturing industry to become more globally competitive. Export
of manufactured good isn't really significant at present.
Oil & Gas
The dominant role of Oil has pushed agriculture, the traditional mainstay
of the economy, from the early fifties and sixties, to the background.
Since the 1970s, it has become heavily dependent on earnings from oil,
which account for more than half of Federal Government revenue and over
90% of export earnings..
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) is responsible for upstream
and downstream development, which entails exploiting, refining, and
Major oil companies exploring oil resources in
The relationship of the companies and the Government with local
communities in the Niger Delta region is still a troubled one.
Inter-ethnic clashes, community strife, vandalism, hostage takings, and
the rise of other criminal activity clearly highlight the tension in the
The Nigerian financial system comprises bank and non-bank financial institutions which are regulated by the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Insurance Commission (NIC), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), and the National Board for Community Banks (NBCB).
The CBN is the apex regulatory authority of the financial system. In 2005, CBN gave the banks 18 months to recapitalize the minimum paid-up capital for banks from N2 billion to N25 billion and at the end of the day only 25 banks were able to meet this target. A major component and source of investment drive for the 25 recapitalized banks is the synchronization of their computer networks. All the Banks now offer real time online transactions, Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) services and even online internet and mobile banking. Most of them have also migrated to new banking software platforms.
Following the successful
conclusion of the banking industry consolidation / recapitalization
exercise in the banking industry, the National Insurance Commission of
Nigeria (NAICOM) is also carrying out a reform of
The main institutions in the capital market include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is at the apex and serves as the regulatory authority of the market, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (LSE), the issuing houses and the stock broking firms.
At present, there are
six branches of The Nigerian Stock Exchange. Clearing, Delivery and
Settlement: Clearing, Settlement and Delivery of transactions on The
Exchange are done electronically by the Central Securities Clearing
System Limited (CSCS), a subsidiary of The Stock Exchange. The Exchange
The Current Reforms
The financial services
industry plays a critical role in the socio-economic development in any
society. The current reforms in the finance industry aim to strengthen
the operators for global competitiveness and for better performance.
Financial services are improving in
Development Finance Institutions
The Bank of Industry (BOI)
is a product of the merger of three development financial institutions.
They are: the Nigerian Bank of Commerce and Industry (NBCI), the
Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) and the National Economic
Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND). BOI was created in January 2000. BOI's
mission is to "transform
institutions and funds operating in
Privatization of state enterprises by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) accelerated between 2000 and 2006. Government enterprises in the following sectors were privatized or scheduled for privatization:
Telecommunications, Electricity ( Generation and Distribution), Petroleum Refining, Coal Bitumen Production (mining, Processing and Export) and Tourism generation (Tour and Travel, Hospitality, etc). Many of these companies have made huge investments in ICTs to enable them recommence business.
Nitel, the government owned former monolithic in the telecoms industry has been sold to
Transcorp- a special purpose vehicle for promoting
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
In an effort to provide an enabling environment for the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the Federal Government of Nigeria has developed a package of incentives for various sectors of the economy.
Since the private sector is the engine of growth and the creator of wealth, government's major responsibility is to provide the enabling environment for the private investors to operate.
government's policy of economic deregulation and liberalization has
opened up new windows of opportunity to all investors wishing to invest
in the country's economy. Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC),
is an Agency of the Federal Government which mission
includes maximizing the value of domestic and foreign investment
resources. NIPC has the
responsibility to ensure the realization of the maximum benefits of the
policies of liberalization and deregulation of the national economy. The lastest investment is the $400million paid by Mukadala for
the 5th GSM license. Most of the existing operators are also
angling for the new 3-G license that the NCC is about to auction with a
price tag of $150 million each!
Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is responsible for promoting
export development in
Manufacturers Association Of Nigeria Export Promotion Group (MANEG) is a Sectoral Group of MAN, made of all the exporters of the Association from all the Sectoral Groups.
It is the largest group
of manufacturing exporter companies in
The ICT industry has witnessed export services since 2004 with the establishment of West African operations of many Nigeria ICT firms such as Technology Distributors, ZInox and Omatek Computers.
Framework for National ICT4D Development
The National development program is based on a "private-sector" led and "market- oriented" economy. This is based on the need to diversify the economy away from its over-dependence on the capital-intensive oil sector.
Measures taken have
included deregulation of fuel prices, privatization of the country's
four oil refineries, and instituted the National Economic Empowerment
Development Strategy (NEEDS). In November 2005,
The Federal Government has put in place the National Economic, Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). NEEDS is the instrument for poverty reduction in the country.
The State and Local
Government counterparts of NEEDS are State and Local Government
Economic, Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS /
The strategy lays particular stress on four key actions: reforming the way government works and its institutions; growing the private sector; implementing a social charter for the people; and re-orientation of the people with an enduring African value system.
NEEDS, in collaboration with State SEEDS, constitutes a response to the challenges of underdevelopment. The aim is to mobilize people around the core values, principles and programmes of both strategies.
After a long campaign by
2. The National Development Strategy
a. The Framework for National Development
National Economic Empowerment Development Programme (NEEDS) is the key
economic and social development framework of the current administration.
Released in 2004, it outlines the key development objectives of the
government over the next 3 years (2007) whilst anchoring the pivot of
the economy on the private sector.
b. Challenges to Development Strategy / National ICT4D Plan.
developmental challenges are the absence of the infrastructure for the
successful take off of the developmental aspiration of the government.
The private sector itself is still in infancy, there is hardly a
privately owned company that has the kind of experience the national
development strategy seeks to pursue. The Strategy itself came late in
the life of the government, and thus its implementation is still largely
uncoordinated, and without a clear definition of the goals. Furthermore,
there is the added problem of low capacity within existing governmental
infrastructure for the attainment of the stated national development priorities. Thus, a Multi-Stakeholder Partnership (MSP) is the government's best bet in getting closer to their stated
The financial sector and
the oil and gas industry remain the leading users of information
Lack of Statistics - There is a dearth of statistics on the ICT sector and the effect of ICT on other sectors. Such information is critical for planning, policy analysis and decision-making.
The role of Organized Private Sector (OPS) in policy formulation is still minimal and mainly reactive.
Most of the economy is in the informal sector. Inflation has been a problem hindering growth.
A solid enabling environment needs to be created - Economic activity is still plagued by generally poor infrastructure, including roads, inferior public transportation, gasoline and water shortages, electricity outages, widespread fraud and corruption, and public health crises. Infrastructure, is poor and inadequate - power supply is epileptic, not made much progress in creating a solid enabling environment.
Human capacity needs to be developed to meet the challenges of the Knowledge Economy. There needs to be consistency in economic decision making.
Increased dependence on imports and lack of growth in the non-oil sector indicates that there is still an urgent need to diversify the Nigerian economy - SMEs, traditional manufacturers need to perform better and be globally competitive.
SERVICE PROVISION FUND
to Chapter VII, Part IV, of the Communications Act of 2003, the Federal
Government of Nigeria established a Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF)
to facilitate rapid achievement of national policy goals for
universal access to telecommunications, information and communication
To achieve universal access, universal coverage and universal service through a public-private partnership framework that stimulates economic and social development, private sector investment and market-based provision of basic affordable and quality ICT infrastructure and services to unserved and underserved areas, communities and populations.
Fund will seek to contribute to national economic and social development
by enhancing the universal accessibility and availability of
telecommunications and ICT infrastructure and services to all,
particularly to rural residents, and socially and physically
disadvantaged populations. The Fund will also promote technological
innovation and competition in ICT service delivery in rural areas;
support the establishment of efficient, self-sustaining, market-oriented
businesses, including cooperatives, which will continue to expand access
to ICTs on their own initiative, requiring the minimum amounts of short-
and long-term Fund support possible as well as ensure effective
utilization of funds to leverage investments in rural communications.
Strategies and mechanisms for extending access to rural and underserved
- Criteria and modalities for eligibility to access the fund
- Type of Projects to be funded
- Appropriate technology for service provisioning in rural
and underserved areas.
- Micro-financing mechanism
- Tariff and Interconnection for rural areas
- Affordability and sustainability concerns of ICT services
provisioning for rural areas
- Alternate Power Sources
- Research and Development.
USPF Projects will be categorised in the following manner:
- Category A: Projects that require less than NGN 50 million in USPF Subsidies.
- Category B: Projects that require between NGN 50 million and NGN 200 million in USPF Subsidies.
- Category C: Projects that require between NGN 200 million and NGN500million in USPF Subsidies.
- Category D: Projects that require more than NGN 500 million in USPF subsidies.
- Pilot Projects: Pilots will be executed for projects that test out new models, approaches or technologies.
DIGITAL SOLIDARITY FUND
DIGITAL SOLIDARITY CHARTER
a spirit of digital solidarity, the Charter affirms the following
principles, objectives and commitment :
build democratic, fair, participatory and pacific societies, reduce
poverty and disparities
information society should give all individuals the means to ensure
their physical, mental and intellectual development, a better
quality of life and the opportunity to fully tap their potential,
information society should contribute to economic and social justice
and enable communities at all levels, wherever they are in the
world, to guarantee Human rights and fundamental freedoms. It should
help to attain the objectives contained in the Millennium
access education, health and employment
information society should provide all individuals with free access
to infrastructure, tools and content required for them to flourish,
work, produce, communicate, access learning, transmit and develop
contribute to the development of humanity's heritage and enrich
information society should, with respect for cultural diversity,
ensure the transmission to future generations of values, traditions
and institutions that contribute to the long-term prosperity of
human communities, while seeking to revitalise them so as to better
manage the new challenges of globalisation.
develop good relations and promote social integration with respect for
nature and natural resources
use of ICTs should contribute to better relations and a greater
security between people and between populations, and promote social,
cultural and economic integration while taking full advantage of the
development of ICTs should be compatible with the ecological
management of natural resources, particularly natural, non-renewable
resources and help respect the natural balances required for a good
quality of life for citizens.
freedom of action of every individual in a caring information society
should also take account of the needs of future generations.
Digital Solidarity Fund will devote all its efforts and all its
resources to supporting these principles with the following objectives :
an equitable and affordable access to ICTs and their content for
everyone, especially the marginalised, such as women, the disabled,
the elderly, indigenous populations and the poor in urban and rural
areas, with a special effort devoted to the most disadvantaged
countries and communities;
such access as a fundamental right, and to do so both at public and
private sector level, independently of market fluctuations, growth
and issues of profitability with respect for a socially, culturally,
economically, financially and ecologically sustainable information
everyone access to information and knowledge to contribute to the
autonomy and personal development of every individual and to
strengthen the commitment of local communities at the social,
political, economic and cultural level ;
reduce economic, social and cultural inequalities between the
info-rich and the info-poor through the identification and
mobilisation of resources resulting from new financing mechanisms.
COMMITMENT TO DIGITAL SOLIDARITY
that globalization and the emergence of the information society calls
for new forms of solidarity between citizens, private organisations and
the public authorities, nation States, local authorities and private
companies who approve these principles undertake, on a voluntary basis,
to reduce the digital inequalities between the info-rich and the
info-poor by devoting effective and identifiable resources to digital
commitment is aimed at people, companies, associations, institutions and
national and international organisations and the public authorities. It
can assume two forms:
authorities (local and national) commit to include in their
public bids for ICT (hardware, software and services), a clause for
digital solidarity which stipulates that the company who wins the
contract must make a contribution of at least one percent of the
amount of the transaction to the Digital Solidarity Fund (in
accordance with the « Geneva principle »1)
an alternative, public authorities (local and national)
commit to donate an amount of at least one percent of their budgets
earmarked for the purchase of ICT materials and services directly to
the Digital Solidarity Fund.
commitment similar to that undertaken by public authorities can be
subscribed by private companies, citizens and any other institution
interested to contribute.
addition, public authorities, private companies, citizens and other
interested institutions can decide to make :
commitment « in kind », through the intermediary of the Fund,
donating equipments, software or free training ;
voluntary financial contribution paid directly to the Digital
The intervention policy of the Fund is specific: the Fund will fight
the digital divide by means of local action primarily based on a collaboration
between the emerging South and the less advanced South, better
adapted to the on-field realities. The projects supported by the Fund
will comprise grassroots initiatives, respectful of cultural diversity
and local content. Turning to women's organisations and micro-credit,
these projects will address insolvent demand with a view to creating new
businesses and, in the long term, new markets.
The Future of ICT4D in
and Institutions for National Development
Without gainsaying, structures and institutions are the
necessary platforms for the achievement of any developmental goals of
any country. However,
Objectives Policy Commitments (NEEDS, MDGs, NAPEM etc)
of the productive structure of the economy away from oil/natural
international competitiveness and integration of the productive/service
sectors of the economy into the global economy.
reduction of the role of government in the direct production of goods
and services. Government's policy of privatization, deregulation and
liberalization will be pursued as the cardinal objective of the economic
and developmental policy of government.
the legal and regulatory frameworks of doing business.
infrastructural development to facilitate and encourage foreign direct
investments that are required to facilitate a competitive economy.
sustainable environmental development.
human and labour rights.
sectoral development strategies with a view to ensuring development
across board and ensure that the benefits are accruable to all.
of macroeconomic environment and efficiency of resource use predicated
on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MPEF) to ensure predictable and
sustainable public finance situation at all levels of government.
policies consistent with raising domestic savings and increasing private
an efficient capital market.
extreme poverty and hunger.
c. Key Goals/Deliverables
Basic Education for all.
future is bright for
Olubamise and Jide Awe
Players in the ICT Industry in
 ICT Policy: A Beginner's Handbook. Nicol, Chris (ed.).
 ICT Tools and
 Nicol, Chris Op Cit p1
and the challenge of Development in
 Calculated on the basis of
revenue to government from oil and gas in 2002. Data derived from
International Monetary Fund, Article IV consultation,2004. in
Country Assistance Plan for
 Development Assistance
Committee of the OECD,2003 in Country Assistance Plan for
 Country Assistance Plan for
 See Businessday 22nd February and Keith
Richards column titled
Lies, lies and damned statisticsMonday
 Information Technology in
Selected Countries: Reports from
 Blessing Anaro Businessday
research is needed to asses in qualitative terms what real benefits
have accrued to the economy from investments in GSM
 See the seminal work "ICT
Infrastructures Available in Nigerian Educational and Research
Institutes" Conducted by Department of Computer Science,
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December 16, 2008
Ola Kazeem Falodun of Kingsgate, Wicklow in Ireland says:
This is a job well done. It is useful, relevant and informative. Academic references are recommended to be applied.
April 22, 2008
Dr. Joseph AGU in France says:
This is a very comprehensive and objective report. It contains a lot of very useful information.
May 20, 2007
Jamiu Ayoola from Offa, Kwara State says:
Very detailed and comprehensive. Thanks for sharing this wealth of information.
September 6, 2007
Anne Chinasa Mpamah from Jos, Plateau state says:
This article is very rich, broadens knowledge on the on-going- ICT happenings around Nigeria and the globe. More grease.
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