On Sept. 12, 2013, Malawi’s cabinet finally officially adopted a national ICT Policy. Malawi first began being drafting the policy seven years ago. This process has been stalled due to “bureaucratic procrastination” and numerous government regime changes. The policy also had to be retooled due to the creation of an e-government department in the OPC or Office of the President and Cabinet. This e-government department had not been addressed in the original draft of the ICT Policy. The Malawi Cabinet recognizes the need to develop its ICTs. “In order to fully benefit from the information revolution, Malawi needs to modernize various sectors of her economy using ICTs,” the cabinet said.
This is an exciting time for ICT in Malawi. A country known for governmental corruption and instability in the recent past finally has a unified approach to developing their technologies. Also exciting to read is that this new ICT Policy is supposedly multi-faceted, and is looking to approach ICT from a variety of sectors to have the largest impact in economic and social development.
This new e-government sector seemed particularly interesting, and upon further research I came across the Department of Information Systems and Technology Management Services, or DISTMS for short, on the Malawi government’s website. This department aims “to promote, coordinate and support the utilization of Information and Communication Technology through the development of innovative ICT products and services in order to accelerate the implementation of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy.”
This is a great direction for Malawi to be going, hopefully the country is able to build on this progress.