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Presentation on theme: " IFAD Panel Eradicating rural poverty by connecting rural communities Eradicating rural poverty by connecting rural communities" Elements."— Presentation transcript:

1 IFAD Panel Eradicating rural poverty by connecting rural communities Eradicating rural poverty by connecting rural communities" Elements of good policies + strategies to ensure meaningful use of ICTs in rural areas: The role of Governments and Private Sector 17 November 2005 Aida Opoku-Mensah OIC, DISD Economic Commission for Africa

2 Content 1.Policies and Strategies 2.Building Capacity for Policy Implementation 3.Developing Tools for Policy Implementation 4.Main Challenges 5.Rural Development + MDG Challenge

3 Policies and Strategies E-strategy process known as the National Information and Communication Infrastructure plan (NICI) is based on ECA’s African Information Society Initiative (AISI) to leverage the benefits of ICT for a people-centered, free market based and export-oriented socio-economic development.  Mission: To achieve higher growth rates in all spheres of socio-economic activities using ICT as a platform to implement applications and provide services.

4 Policies and Strategies E-strategies increasingly have to address poverty reduction and rural development concerns and calls for -Mainstreaming strategies in the PRSP processes -Strengthening pro-poor approaches and linkages with MDGs Some countries established the linkages Some countries established the linkages: -Comoros: reflecting PRSP concerns in national e- strategy -The Gambia: PRSP focus areas integrated -Niger: HIV/AIDS/Poverty reduction – some of the key areas

5 Policies and Strategies E-Strategies and Rural Focus: Role of GovernmentsE-Strategies and Rural Focus: Role of Governments  Adopt policies and strategies to increase access to information and communication facilities, prioritizing rural areas, grass- roots society and other disenfranchised groups, in particular, women and youth  Emphasis on public access issues; rural development in Comoros, Ghana, Niger, Mali, Swaziland

6 Policies and Strategies Policy objectives Enabling EnvironmentEnabling Environment: Ghana e-strategy focus on Deployment and Spread of ICTs in the Community to: promote equal and universal access to information and communications technologies services and resources to all communities, emphasis to ensure and facilitate equal access for women, the disadvantaged, the disabled, and rural and under-served communities  Initiatives include Community Information Centres, E- Agriculture strategy of Ministry of Agriculture; E-commerce initiatives

7 Policies and Strategies Enabling Environment Enabling Environment: Niger e-strategy focus: ICTs in the poverty reduction Strategy to: support economic growth using ICTs in productive Sectors  Initiatives include ICTs in the development of agriculture and livestock; fight desertification and the management of natural resources; creating an information and communication system between rural producers and market centers using ICTs  Network of local radios now regional centers of information for development – RURANET – Key instruments in Policy Implementation

8 Policies and Strategies Enabling Environment Enabling Environment: Democratizing Policy @ Community Level through Village Information and Communication Infrastructure policy process: Ghana and Swaziland based on MDGs+PRSs  To promote Integrated rural development - Shared rural public access telecentres, kiosks, mobile computing and telecommunication resources  Creating the necessary conditions for private sector involvement in rural areas  Support for ICT development at local level examining connectivity and content issues Developing appropriate technologies – broadcasting/SMS

9 Building Capacity for Policy Implementation ActivitiesActivities  ECA’s ITCA has been building the capacity of women Entrepreneurs from Francophone and Anglophone Africa. 45 Women trained with support from CISCO/InfoDev/Govt. of Japan

10 Developing Tools for Policy Implementation Applications + ToolsApplications + Tools In local languages for accessibility  Touchscreen kiosks for land management information in Amharic, the national language in Ethiopia for an Addis Ababa Municipality to improve service delivery, e.g. the provision of information about required documents or service charges of land administration.

11 Main Challenges nfrastructureInfrastructure: still limited in rural Africa InvestmentsInvestments: Governments need to do more and budget allocations should factor ICTs in rural development concerns PoliciesPolicies: should be implemented more vigorously to ensure rural and community access (legal/institutional/regulatory frameworks) Integration of ICTs in sectors that support rural development: agriculture, forestry, etc Private Sector involvement still limited – incentives needed Supporting R&D: more support needed for innovation and appls Building e-rural economy: using ICTs to open up the rural economy and introduce new wealth creation opportunities especially for women and youth Stronger lobbyStronger lobby on ICT and Rural development issues More applications/local content + use of local languages

12 Rural Development + MDG Challenges ICTs + Rural Dev. Impact ICTs in rural economy Economic empowerment (trade/commerce, agric produce, and handicrafts, increase livelihoods) MDG 1 ICTs in rural education Address knowledge deficit in rural areas MDG 2 ICT & Rural Women Rural women can benefit from ICTs for economic empowerment and education MDG 3

13 Rural Development + MDG Challenges ICTs + Rural Dev. Impact ICTs/Health Access to healthcare, diagnosis, health management, tracking for epidemics and disease control, etc. MDG 4, 5,6 ICTs + Natural Resource management Greater opportunities for better management of community resources also avoid environmental degradation and natural disasters using GIS tools MDG 7

14 Thank-You !

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