National assembly of Zambia: ICT master plan
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become an important strategic tool in both developed and developing countries for promoting competitiveness and stimulating economic growth in addition to lowering delivery costs for public services in all sectors. ICTs play an important role in facilitating the attainment of development goals and in response to the challenges of the information age. In recognition of this, UNECA launched the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) in May 1996 as a common vision, not only to bridge the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world, but also to create opportunities for Africans to develop digital capacities effectively and speed the continent’s entry into a global economy propelled by information and knowledge. Parliaments need ICTs to function effectively. They also need to capitalize on the benefits of ICTs to enhance their interaction with the public and to collaborate with other parliaments worldwide. Zambian Members of Parliament (MPs) are already considering regulatory issues coming to Parliament as a result of deregulation and liberalization of telecommunications in the 1990s. The development of the ICT Master Plan is timely. It gives the National Assembly of the Republic of Zambia a rare opportunity to utilize ICTs and to support efforts in building an Information Society and a modern economy. Parliamentarians have the central role as representatives of the diverse political and social fabric of the nation. It is important to sensitize them about the modernization process, which needs to take into account the needs of all stakeholders in order to guarantee the equitable provision of technological resources and services to address the challenges of the “digital divide” and the “access divide”.