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Home Home Browse Resources Toolkits & Publications Developing National Information and Communications Infrastructure (NICI) Policies, Plans and Strategies: the 'why' and 'how'
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Developing National Information and Communications Infrastructure (NICI) Policies, Plans and Strategies: the 'why' and 'how'

DetailsDetails
Type
Toolkit

Author
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Posted
November 11, 2006

Categories
Education
Technology
Digital Citizenship
Civil Society
Digital Divide

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aboutAbout
The emergence and convergence of information and communication technologies (ICT) remain at the centre of global social and economic transformations. The ICT sector is a gamut of industries and services activities – Internet service provision, telecommunications equipment and services, information technology (IT) equipment and services, media and broadcasting, libraries and documentation centres, commercial information providers, network-based information services and other related information and communication activities. These technological components which used to be accounted as separate activities have converged to characterise all aspects of ICTs. This has also led to the introduction of the concept of national information infrastructure (NII) or global information infrastructure (GII) defined as the "technologies, organisations, and capabilities that facilitate the production and use of ICTs" [1].

As a result, the definition of National Information and Communications Infrastructure (NICI) plans and strategies has become high on the agenda, and developing countries are confronted with the challenge to be responsive and flexible to the convergence of telecommunication, audio-visual and computing technologies. NICI plans and strategies need to reflect overall development priorities, redefine sectoral policies and support the introduction of new regulatory framework so as to improve the efficiency and to mobilise resources for building national information and communication infrastructure. Attempts are made in this paper to assess the ICT situation in African countries, to outline the pressing need to build-up NICI plans and strategies and the various steps to be taken to enable countries to be part of the information society.

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