The government is reviewing the National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy of 2003 to make it match with changes in the ICT sector and ensure equitable access to opportunities.
The policy review process has come at an opportune time when ICT is increasingly becoming an important ingredient and tool in all facets of socio-economic activities, as demonstrated by the importance that the mushrooming initiatives are occupying in our society, including government, schools, economy and health.
This was said yesterday in Dar es Salaam by Minister for Communication, Science and Technology Prof Makame Mbarawa at the ICT stakeholders’ forum convened to kick-start the policy review.
“The policy review approached, as implementation of the National ICT Broadband Backbone, is moving into the second phase that is opening vast opportunities in the use and application of ICT, which in turn requires new and improved coordination mechanisms of national IT systems such as the making of the growing number of databases in the country to talk to each other,” he noted.
Prof Mbarawa said the need for rapid growth of economic activities in the ICT sector to be matched with indicators of its contribution to the national gross domestic product (GDP).
The minister’s expectations is to include a thorough evaluation of past efforts and build on the national agendas and priorities as stipulated in the various policies, strategies and development plan instruments, including the Tanzania Development Vision 2025, National Strategy for Poverty Reduction and Growth Phase II (Mkukuta).
He acknowledged the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) for agreeing to work with Tanzania in the project to support and facilitate the policy review process and its implementation.
For his part, Forum Chairperson and permanent secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology Dr Florens Turuka said the updated policy would guide the sector in the coming years.
He said the review would incorporate views of different stakeholders, including journalists.