Governing ICT in developing countries

ICT governance, like any form of governance, is meant to strategically support and simplify governance for all parties: citizens, enterprises and the government.

The govt plans to establish infrastructure for connectivity.
The govt plans to establish infrastructure for connectivity.

The efficient use and legislation of ICTs will not only connect all these parties and effectively support their processes, but also increase investment and drive the country towards a more technologically apt society. Therefore, to be able to see the fruits of how ICT can benefit all levels, a practical legal framework needs to be established that focuses on control and accountability as well as performance and risk management.

Though Zimbabwe is slowly recovering from an economic meltdown, it is not lacking in new Information and Communications Technologies. Thus the government of Zimbabwe is making strides to ensure that Zimbabwe does not get left behind in the ICT revolution due to non-existent legislation.

The Ministry of Information Communication Technology rolled out its Strategic Plan for 2010 to 2014 which focuses on, amongst other things:

– Infrastructural facilities for connectivity and equitable access

– A common electronic–business framework

– Information and content development and sharing platforms

– E-Government platform that serves Government and citizens

– A conducive enabling political, legal and technical environment

– ICTs industry and support services

– Human resource development

This is a commendable plan, but the main issue, as always, comes down to implementation. Many of the tools for good governance are familiar, however, their use has been poor or overly optimistic. How long will it be until these great ideas are put into full throttle to benefit the citizens?

As with many forms of technology, the risks are not clearly understood when the technology is introduced, thus the Legislation usually follows. Furthermore, the plan does not indicate how it will build the ICT skills of the country.

In terms of ICT regulations and policies, companies have a right to make their own policies in order to track and monitor users so that information about the company is always secure. Thus the government has to ensure this is done in such as way that the employee’s privacy is not invaded as well as notifying employees on the implications of these policies.

Nevertheless, the hard fact is we are living in a technologically driven society, and thank goodness the government has identified that. The big issue, therefore, is what to do next.

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Post published in: Tech