Analysis of Ethiopia’s national ICT policy and strategy: insights into policy issues and policy goals
Information and communication technologies are enablers for social and economic development. A national ICT policy is important to guide ICT sector. This paper analyzes ICT policy in Ethiopia. It examines whether the ICT policy conforms to the international commitments and benchmarks such as the World Summit for Information Society (WSIS) 2003 declaration of principles and its expanded Action Lines incorporated after WSIS+10 (after WSIS ten years implementation review). The qualitative study covered content analysis of the National ICT policy of Ethiopia and benchmarking with other countries. The review covered analysis of the link between the National ICT Policy and other government policies including National Development Policy, National e-strategy and Sectoral ICT policies. The result indicates that the National ICT Policy and Strategy draws on core policies and it is coherent with government development strategies. ICT is being considered both as an enabler for the different sectors and an economic sector of its own. Moreover, the result revealed that there is coherence between National ICT policy and strategy of Ethiopia and WSIS 2003 Declaration of principles and updated Action Lines set after WSIS+10, except few variations. The trend shows that the national ICT policy need to focus broadly on core and emerging issues that are crucial for ICT ecosystem such as infrastructure, services, applications, universal access, cyber security, social media, and users. Broadband infrastructure development is considered as key intervention in the policy. The study recommends that national ICT policy should be dynamic and broad that allow different sectors to establish ICT policies and strategies that help create a vibrant information society.
Keywords: National ICT policy, national e-strategies, ICT policy analysis, ICT policy issues, ICT policy goals, Ethiopia, developing countries