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What can be done to have the ICT Policy approved?

Below is some text from my blog: vazene.blogspot.com
The aim to solicit ideas of what we can do in Malawi to have our ICT Policy approved. Suggestionsare welcome and those can be posted on my blog.


The APC-ICT Policy hand book mentions that a policy can be pursued by a government, party, ruler, statesman etc. In the Malawi context, "Boma ndi anthu"- the people are part of a government and if the people make up a government, it means each one of us has the mandate to pursue a policy. Let us join hands using what ever platform possible to make our voice heard that we are running out of time, we need the ICT policy like yesterday.

The ICT policy covers three main areas: telecommunication, broadcasting and the internet; yet when it came to advocating for the policy, none of these three areas mentioned was explored. We tried to advocate for the policy through workshops and meetings, may be it never went beyond the workshop summaries and the minutes taken at the workshop.

I have decided to give it a push through the internet, with the hope that someone out there will read it and take some action.

With the policy gap, how can we expect to bridge the digital gap at different levels.

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Comment by Chipo Kanjo on November 18, 2008 at 12:20pm
Lebo,

Thanks. Yes we have an ICT society, actually last week they hosted the 6th International Open Access
Conference in Lilongwe, but the three mentioned above were not in attendance. I will contact them via the members who participated from the department of Information.

Chipo
Comment by Malebogo Lekoape on November 18, 2008 at 7:44am
hi Chipo

the participants from Malawi are: Frank Sajiwa (Department of Information Systems)
Monica Kunje and Florence Matewere both from the National college of Information and Technology, Ministry of Information and Civic Society)

Do you have an IT Society in Malawi. you can also persue this through that society. build strong relations with the ministry responsible for ICT, and also get an influencial member of parliament to be the Patron of the society. What you also have to do is have some good ICT projects that will improve the lifes of the malawi community, choose some projects from the list to drive the policy....publicise the good work you are doing....surely they wont turn a blind eye on that one.

hope that will help

regards
Lebo
Comment by Chipo Kanjo on October 29, 2008 at 3:40pm
Thanks Mwende. Do you remember the names of the participants from Malawi?
Comment by Mwende Njiraini on October 29, 2008 at 1:52pm
Hi Chipo
Great to meet you again on this online space!! Vlada, Emmanuel Edet and myself have just come facilitating a workshop in Swaziland on ICT policy and strategy development for southern african countries - there were 3 participants from Malawi - i believe they were from government. It would be interesting to see the what participants would take away towards the approval of the ICT policy in their countries.
In my opinion to get the policy approved you need a person champion the process - for example the minister in charge of ICT with government support from the highest level i.e the president - the government would appreciate the role that ICT plays in enabling development in other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, etc
I will look through the policy and give you comments
regards
Mwende
Comment by Chipo Kanjo on October 26, 2008 at 6:49pm
Charity, Thanks so much for this information. I will definately check their web site.
I also invite you to make some comments on my blog :-)

good day.
Comment by Charity Gamboa-Embley on October 25, 2008 at 4:09pm
Hi Chippo. This reminds me about the whole concept of "convergence." Why don't you try participating in the next CPRSouth? CPR stands for Communication Policy Research and allows scholars to present a paper about ICT policies. This year's CPRSouth3 will be held in China but sad to say the call for participation/fellowship was done as early as May of this year and the fellowship will take place in Beiijing this December. CPRSouth 3 participants get free travel and accomodation while attending workshops in a university in Beiijing and finalizing their ICT research papers. Well, this is what I know of from the information I gathered before. I think there is another one for next year. I also think CPRSouth would be a good platform for you to start calling attention to Malawi's lack of ICT Policy. You can present a paper.and address your concerns. You can check the website for CPRSouth: http://cprsouth.org/

I think they constantly call for paper presentations on ICT Policy and Research. I hope this information helps and good luck! :)
Comment by Chipo Kanjo on October 19, 2008 at 4:19pm
Herewith the link to the draft ICT Policy:
http://www.malawi.gov.mw/Policies/National%20ICT%20Policy%204%20Development%20-%20Draft%20(2).pdf

and to the APC ICT Policy Handbook which I find to be very comprehensive
http://rights.apc.org/handbook/

Currently there is a National ICT working group and one of its mandate is to push for the policy approval and also develop ICT strategies to go along with the policy. But it becomes less exciting, when the "motivator", in
this case the ICT policy is not ready on the table.
Comment by Seiiti on October 19, 2008 at 4:09pm
Very interesting, Chipo. Can you share with us the link to the Malawi Draft ICT Policy?

I am also interested to know how you have been participating in these discussions - is there a working group?

If possible also send us the link to the APC document - you can place them as replies to this comment if you want

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