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E-Government Strategies for Poverty Reduction in Africa

E-Government Strategies for Poverty Reduction in Africa
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Author(s): K. M. Baharul Islam (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Ethiopia)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 10
Source title: Electronic Government: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko (University of Tampere, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-947-2.ch143


View E-Government Strategies for Poverty Reduction in Africa on the publisher's website for pricing and purchasing information.


The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) in May 1996, which serves as a guiding framework for building the information and communication infrastructure in Africa. Since the launch of AISI, ECA has been supporting member states to embark on the development of National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) policies, plans and strategies, which are instrumental to materialize the visions enshrined in the AISI at the national level and to create an environment conducive for information and communication technology (ICT)-led development initiative. Thus far, more than 30 countries in the continent have embarked, in one form or the other, on the development of national ICT strategies, and more countries have expressed interests to initiate national ICT policies. One specific element of the NICI process is to realign the country’s development goals, more precisely the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) objectives, with the emerging ICT Policy. It is not an easy task, as traditionally the decision makers see ICT as a completely separate domain and often fail to see the role of ICT as a tool to attain the PRSP goals. Therefore, The Gambia NICI process was deliberately geared towards centering ICT policies and plans on the country’s declared PRSP elements. The NICI policy that was developed consciously mapped the route to underlay the ICT tools that will help the country reach its PRSP destination swiftly, efficiently and more responsibly to the people. This article illustrates an e-government strategy built on the objectives of poverty reduction as illustrated by a case study of The Gambia e-government strategy and NICI policy. The process and its evolved mechanism might serve as a model for e-government strategy and policy developers, planners and all stakeholders in general working in the area of digital governance.

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