May 2007

World

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LEGISLATORS TO GET TRAINING IN ICT SKILLS FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE: UGANDA

The Parliamentary Information and Communication Technology Committee, Uganda is working on a new strategy to enable legislators to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This will enable the legislators to acquire relevant development information from the developed markets.

With the new ICT skills, the legislators will be in a position to get information from all over the world and will be informed better than ever before. This will result in skilled governance and development in their respective constituencies. Edward Kafufu Baliddawa, Chairperson, ICT Committee, said “At a meeting held in Rome, many of the legislators from around the globe recommended that ICT can be employed in Parliaments, especially in developing countries as a tool aimed at enhancing good governance and information dissemination to ease development.”

MALTA RANKED SECOND IN THE WEF’S GLOBAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY REPORT 2006 – 2007

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked the government of Malta as the second most successful government in the world promoting the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The government has an ambitious vision to become a world-leader in the technological stream which is the basis for tomorrow’s economy.

Malta is in the worldwide top 10 rankings for the strong priority the government gives to ICTs, for the availability and efficiency of online services and for the per capita quantity of high-tech exports. It is also the world leader for high-speed monthly broadband subscriptions. Though initially the government received a discouraging reaction from the opposition, the Maltese business community had worked with the government and its global allies to provide the best technology at prices aimed at encouraging demand. Minister Austin Gutt said “We have realised our vision but this is no time to rest. Staying on top is as tough as getting there. Our new National ICT Strategy for the next three years will be even more ambitious than the two documents that mapped out our work of the last six years.”

INTERNET ACCESS TO AMAZON TRIBES

In an effort to protect the world’s biggest rain forest Amazon, the Brazilian government will provide free Internet access to the tribes.

An agreement between the Forest People’s Network and the Ministers of Environment and Communication is signed to provide Internet signal by satellite to 150 communities, most of them reachable only by riverboat. Francisco Costa of the Environment Ministry said the goal of the initiative is to “encourage those people to join the public powers in the environmental management of the country. The government intends to strengthen the Forest People’s Network, a digital web for monitoring, protection and education.” According to the ministry, city and state governments must first install telecentres and then the federal government will provide the satellite connection. A native Indian tribe has said there are currently a few telecentres on the outskirts of cities, and these new telecentres installed at the deep forest and will allow them to access public officials easily so that they can alert them of illegal miners, loggers and ranchers. It would also strenthen indigenous culture by linking them and providning environmental education.

TAIWAN GETS HIGH RATING IN E-GOVERNMENT SERVICE

Over the past twenty years, Taiwan’s government has achieved much in terms of providing people with prompt and efficient services through various administrative reform processes including the deployment of e-Government systems to provide up-to-date information on government policies and activities.

Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) under the Cabinet is the nodal agency to oversee the administrative efficiency and modernisation at all levels of government. RDEC in conjunction with National Science Council, Council for Economic Planning and Development, and Central Personnel Administration formed a task force to oversee administrative reform and modernisation, technological development, economic development and management of government of personnel. The country’s achievement in providing e-Government services are admired by many countries. Most importantly, this is leading to saving of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money each year. The government based on its past experiences plans to expand its e-Government services to enable everyone to pay electric, water and telephone bills, make tax payments, and record changes in property registration, etc.

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