Africa’s eTransformation & New Partnerships

In the article “Africa: Using ICTs for transformational development,” from the World Bank’s blog related to ICT, the author Tim Kelly highlights feasible ICT solutions in both the public and the private spheres. Kelly cites Kenya as an example of governmental intervention in ICT during which there is expected to be more
“open government, capacity building, and innovation” to reach the country’s ICT-related goals by 2017. As highlighted in Unwin’s chapter on policies and partnerships, a lack of transparency and a poor regulatory environment has often hindered the development of the ICT sector. Kelly explains that the goal of the “eTransform Africa” report argues that new technologies are essential for business entrepreneurship and economic growth. He also accents the ability of innovations to create job and increase domestic companies export potential.

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The “eTransform Africa” full report correlates with Unwin’s ideas of using multi-stakeholder approaches for the advancement of technology. Unwin explains that these partnerships are essential for the creation of ICT4D initiatives (Unwin 159), which the “eTransform Africa” report supports, stating that these stakeholders are essential for funding initial programs and start ups. The importance of openness of data and transparency of information is accentuated in the report, supporting different data sets including geographical information systems (GIS). Both Unwin and Kelly stress the importance of the inclusion of civil society in this process. What is the best way to create these partnerships or is it better to allow them to form organically? How do we further diversify them to allow ICT implementation to be as effective as possible?

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