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Developments in least developed countries September 15, 2006

Posted by Jasper in Uncategorized.
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The ITU has released a report on ICT/Telecommunication development in least developed countries (LDC). The report examines key developments in the information and communication technology (ICT) and telecommunications sector including trends and challenges in the world’s poorest countries in the period 2001 to 2005. It may be downloaded here.

Conclusions and recommendations are the following:

  • Countries are coming together to share the costs of ICT infrastructure. A notable example is the East African Submarine System (EASSy) project (see www.eassy.org), an undersea fibre optic cable that will link the countries of East Africa to the rest of the world. This is the first optic fibre connectivity between Eastern Africa and the global optic fibre network. The following LDCs are involved in the project: Burundi, Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. 
  • Large ICT manufacturers are designing products and applications specifically tailored to the LDC market. Microsoft is launching a low-cost Windows XP operating system with an African language interface pack. This new starter edition will feature a simplified user interface for easy navigation. Initiatives such as this one also address the issue of local content.
  • Engaging national, subregional, bilateral and multilateral development actors with the aim of mobilizing resources and coordinating ICT development is the way to go.
  • The emergence and rapid deployment of wireless technology will speed up the race towards universal access in the LDC. The future is bright, as increasing political will, motivation to succeed, improved stability and a general bias towards the creation of an information society is to be noted. It is likely that the targets set by the Brussels Programme of Action at the Third United Nations Conference will be met by the majority of the countries before the Fourth United Nations Conference in 2010.
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