You are on page 1of 14



and teletypes. lung-blown horns. for example. signal flags. or sent by loud whistles. In the modern age of electricity and electronics. such as beacons. 2011). and optical heliographs. telecommunications involved the use of visual signals. 2008) In earlier times. or audio messages via coded drumbeats. A combination of huge distances. World Bank studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between economic development and telecommunications density and available services. telecommunications now also includes the use of electrical devices such as telegraphs.J. & Whalley. semaphore telegraphs. the use of radio and microwave communications.. 2011) BACKGROUND It has long been argued that one of the major factors holding back economic development in African countries has been the poor state of its communications networks. telephones. (Wikipedia.INTRODUCTION Telecommunication Telecommunication is the process of exchange of information between users (human or automated) using electric media (Kirch. smoke signals. large rural populations and insufficient funds for investment has meant that fixed-wire links have been economic to provide only in towns and cities (Curwen. .P. plus the use of the orbiting satellites and the Internet. and some studies even claim that a causal relationship exists in both directions. as well as fiber optics and their associated electronics.

The telecommunications sector in China has been among the fastest growing sectors in China with an average growth rate of 31% from 2000 to 2005. training and research. The diffusion model builds on approaches such as multimedia and campaign strategies. transactive. 2008) 1. development of research centers and other positive changes on an economy and a culture. & UNESCO. which will surely fuel further growth (China Telcom. open and radical reforms of planning that encompass small scale and large scale processes. Analysys International reported in April 2007 that China’s top four telecommunications companies alone are likely to spend nearly $32 billion on capital expenditures in 2007. It will also outline the different approaches that can be used to mitigate the challenges that are encountered at the implementation level.Telecommunications growth has also been linked to other stimulants like increased education. 2-3) This paper will seek to propose strategies that can be adopted by developing countries to revitalize their economies. improved access to information. its 131 million Internet users are one tenth of the world’s users. China’s 371 million phone subscribers account for one fourth of the world. while the participatory model calls for upward. The provision of flows of information regarding . Network development and Documentation This approach requires networking through satellite telecommunication links or the Internet as basic infrastructure. (Servaes.. pp. POSSIBLE STRATEGIES Diverse strategies can be applied which can be grouped under either the diffusion or participatory model.J.

.networks and data centre services across the government.supporting the development and implementation of appropriate Government ICT architectures and standards to facilitate the progressive migration to a converged whole-of-Government voice and data environment. government agencies and their business partners. Consolidating the management responsibility and accountability for infrastructure. For example. supporting the use of geospatial and other large data types to improve government operations and decision making. developing Government Information Security Strategies which support effective communication between the Public. implement eHealth and e-Learning strategies to improve health and learning outcomes particularly in non-metropolitan areas.J. in news reporting. implemented and researched to support the process of development. Leadership Governments should adopt a leadership role in the use of telecommunications for service delivery improvements and continuous productivity gains.& UNESCO. 2008) 2. this type networking allows journalists in one part of the world to voice their views and exchange news events from their perspectives to counterbalance the mainstream traffic of data and information from other parts of the world (Servaes.development events and issues through telecommunication services or the internet are designed. “Possible actions could include supporting government accountability through improved access to government information and decisions. assisting agencies in the development of appropriate broadband enabled service delivery strategies. including Internet delivery .

2009) 3. voluntary (but driven by perceived necessity such as international acceptance). and Marsh. and in the end result in the growth of the economy. support the use of modelling and simulation to improve Government decision making and explore and develop ICT technologies to contribute to a low carbon world through reduced industry carbon footprint. Dolowitz and Marsh (2000) suggest that this can happen in different ways: lesson drawing (involving the rational evaluation of alternative polices).Ensuring that cross agency telecommunications projects are coordinated. Policy and Legislation Governments can provide incentives to telecommunication companies to be able to penetrate remote areas that do not currently have any coverage. D. where policies are transferred from one country or institution to another. both of which through several mechanisms have promoted the establishment of information and communication technology (ICT) polices/strategies by all countries. despite the difficulties even resourced regulators of the European Union face in instituting legally binding maximum . Adoption of international telecommunication strategies like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).Nigerian telecoms liberalization was instigated partly through the promotion of reforms by international donor agencies (Ndukwe. While policy makers and regulators elsewhere in Africa emulate European ‘‘best practice’’ roaming regulation.. well managed and align with Government priorities.” (Queensland Government. hence fostering development of telecommunication in these areas.and coercive transfer (i. 2000) Policy and government intervention can also be implemented in form of providing a competitive environment.e. D. As an example. (Dolowitz. For example. 2005)In cases. direct imposition by an aid agency).

en masse. animation and music. Airtel) decided that the only way to save itself was to exploit its only competitive advantage – licenses in adjoining countries of Kenya. 2011) 4. such as computer games. . the effect of this move was to compel other regional operators to follow suit. Development of Digital Content and Applications This deals with the development of development of ICT and related creative industries.A. not only did roaming charges disappear across major networks. As a result. (Gillwald. (Now. in East Africa operators have dropped roaming charges from their competitive business models.& Muriuki. Zain. to a network that offered them home package rates as they moved across East Africa’s porous borders.. The creation of an enabling policy and regulatory environment allowed operators to integrate historically separate national networks into cross-border operations. undermining roaming markets in the region and ending roaming charges in East Africa forever. to institute various other pricing strategies in an attempt to retain or recover their dominant positions. film and television production. Tanzania and Uganda.M. and further. With the high price of communications in East Africa and the premium charges placed on international mobile roaming. There was little stopping them from churning. With the launch of One Network– a product that eliminated roaming charges for cross border traffic on its three networks it set in motion a competitive struggle for roaming customers that resulted in the removal of roaming charges by competitor networks – achieving in weeks what European regulators had struggled with for over a decade. Mobile phone users in this region are largely pre-paid and adept at using multiple SIM cards. but the prices of various other mobile services also fell as subscriber numbers soared.tariffs for roaming.

In situations where Internet may be introduced to a business. Encouraging of activities such as the digitization of cultural collections at local government and community levels to build community capacity and grow demand for broadband infrastructure (Queensland Government. This would provide training for agency personnel and technicians. and lack of time. For rural women in developing countries the barriers to Internet use are exacerbated by their lower economic and social status. exchange programmes and networking. (Aitkin) . their lack of training and literacy. It is ironic that though more women are involved in careers in the communications sector. management and printing. 2008). and are passively barred from access to computers and the Internet.This can be done in partnership with the private sector to improve collaboration and information sharing.& UNESCO. (Servaes. Training and Capacity Building Vocational and follow-up training systems can be developed. organisation or institution. 2009) 5. women regularly find themselves at the low end of the hierarchy. instead of to the (female) receptionist or secretary who is willing and able to use the computer for communications.J. to improve the quality of output and bilateral communication flows. implemented and evaluated in co-operation with local training and development centers and universities. few have attained positions at the decisionmaking level or serve on governing boards and bodies that influence media policy. their lack of autonomy. A common complaint at a workshop on 'Women and the Internet" at the NGO Forum in Beijing was that computers and modems tend to go to the (male) Director's office where they remain unused.

calling cabins . such as computer and the internet are used to bridge information and knowledge divides.banks of cell phones set up in portable shipping containers . increase trade and marketing opportunities. Crore is a unit in the Indian numbering . in areas once considered tele-deserts.& UNESCO. Small business initiatives related to the operation of public access centres are proliferating in developing countries worldwide. increase transparency and efficiency in government services.000 crore of foreign direct investment and 26 percent of the sum have been invested on the cellular segment. That has allowed small businesses to flourish in some underdeveloped areas and means that the rural poor no longer have to move to cities to find jobs. FDI. in Indian Telecommunications Industry is one of the most crucial parts that have caused such a hike in the telecom market so far. In South Africa. use of mobile and satellite telephony can help small entrepreneurs and rural farmers getting access to information needed to improve their livelihood (Servaes.6. The extended benefits directly serve the community in which the telecentres are based. In developing countries. enhance community empowerment by giving a voice to voiceless and vulnerable groups. in the past 15 years have received 10. creating networking and income opportunities. 2008) The opportunity to run a telecentre. a community communication centre or public calling centres as viable businesses create an economic opportunity where none existed before.J. Use of ICTs for Development Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). (Aitkin) 7. enhance direct participation from the public in the democratic process. Having access to education opportunities .are connecting long-neglected black enclaves to the cities. Foreign Direct Investment Foreign Direct Investment. India.

2. ensuring that the implementation framework remains current will be an ever-present challenge. in many sub-Saharan countries the dominance of . To address this. A lack of Strategy Implementation Oversight Forming a Strategy Implementation Committees that report directly to the Strategic Information and Information and Communication Technology Ministry to keep them informed of its activities. Unlike the assumption that in developed countries this is created in part by the apathy of the masses.system equal to ten million (10. 2009) 3. 107). Nepal.Khemka.Gorai & Malhotra. 2010) IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES & POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS 1. and Pakistan.000. strategies and actions.000. 100 per cent FDI is permitted (Singh. Foreign direct investment (FDI) ceilings have been raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent in telecom services sector. It is widely used in India. the Committees appointed to oversee the strategy implementation (Strategy Implementation Committees) will have to annually review the framework. Bangladesh. depending on the changing environment and introduction of new technologies. (Queensland Government. Constantly Changing Telecommunications Environment Because of the constantly changing telecommunications environment. (Crore. For telecom equipment manufacturing and provision of ITenabled services. 2011) Telecom is the third largest sector to attract FDI in India in the post-liberalisation era. Political Interest in Policy Formation Public policy in the African context often reflects the goals and interests of the political and economic elites.

other relevant non-state actors can also be influential on policy including consultants. (Best.the elites stems instead from the marginalization of the masses.D. 2001) The importance of international policy networks could also help to explain the emphasis on provision of services through marketbased competition in telecommunications policies across several states.L & Thakur. both of which through several mechanisms have promoted the establishment of information and communication technology (ICT) polices/strategies by all countries. Agenda setting is the result of a bargaining process between elite interests that is then advanced as the public interest. J. Within these networks. In this case. 2009) 4. the inability to participate can also undermine efforts to be inclusive. A policy process that does not include the wider population can create problems during implementation.& Mintrom. 2004) Another issue is that of political support which has implications for the legitimacy of the law.. International Policy and Support True and Mintrom (2001) argue that transnational networks and policy diffusion help to explain the similarity in policy innovations that have been adopted by a variety of circumstances. (Kalu. the significance of international policy diffusion for developing countries is partly the result of the advocacy of international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). foundations.. think-tanks. academic institutions (Stone. M. Thus the government has to factor issues such as getting input from rural areas into the design of the policy process.M. 2001) Additionally. . (True.

designers and researchers. In Kenya. and universities to produce the much needed manpower.D.M. nurturing and helping to build sustainable enterprises in the knowledge economy. is a consortium of four organizations aiming to be a leader in identifying.5.. A lack of technical and human resource Lack of human/technical resources impairs many governments’ ability to develop policy and created the need for international support. ( .co. The program foresees three tracks – on mobile applications. communities such as the iHub and m:lab provide mentorship. (http://www. 2009) A lack of technical and human resource also lacks that could lead to the development of digital content needed for the development of the telecommunication sector in many developing countries. This also affects the implementation of the law. resources and office space to young entrepreneurs who develop web and software m:lab East Africa. part vector for investors and VCs(Venture Capitalists) and part incubator. The iHub is a technology community is an open space for the technologists. web and mobile phone programmers. investors.mlab. tech companies and hackers in the area. This space is a tech community facility with a focus on young & Thakur. By partnering with local training and development centers. (http://ihub. It is part open community workspace (co-working). on business incubation and technology entrepreneurship and on hosting of the Global Forum in 2011 – together with a supporting track of analytical work in the field of ICTs and Innovation Systems in Agriculture.

Short-term. Deliver tangible and visible benefits Determine how success will be measured. and measure it. when people are skeptical and supported is needed most. it’ll be probably forcing it on them (and the strategy probably fail). if people aren't asking for it and they don't start using it. Rather than trying to "boil down" to a single approach. Recognize (and manage) complexity: There is usually no one single solution to any problem. focus on articulating a clear direction that can help people see how different components weave into a larger approach. not a sprint. and help reduce risk of failure.CONCLUSION There are of course many more strategies but at the end of the day it is important to note that for the success of any strategy. and making sure people understand the importance and urgency of the initiative. 3. Focus on adoption Whatever it is that is being implemented. be sure it makes sense. will increase the chances for success. . 6. A series of small steps. when aligned with a common and well-articulated vision. 1. (Gray. Take a journey of a thousand steps Change is a marathon. 4. Provide strong leadership Leadership should focus all efforts on communicating the vision. Prioritize according to national needs Look for quick wins. 5. there are factors that need to be taken into account. tangible benefits help drive adoption early. 2. 2005).

gov. How to implement strategy.html  http://ihub. & Whalley. from m:lab east africa:  http://www.php  http://www. Retrieved July 4. (2011).  Gray.Vol. (n.& Muriuki. China:  www.  Gillwald.  Servaes. Learning from abroad: the role of policy‐transfer in contemporary policy‐ making. Communication for Development and Social Change.M. Springer. Ontario. 42‐57.L & Thakur. Governance: An International Journal of Policy and Administration. D.  China W.J. 2011.’s%20Presentation/Country%20Experience20with%2 0Market%20Reforms%20in%20Telecoms%20%20‐%20060705. Emerald  Kirch. (2000). Retrieved July 4. New Delhi: Sage Publications. (2004). In J. The telecommunications policy process in post‐conflict developing  countries:the case of Crore. Regulatory intervention or disruptive competition? Lessons from East  Africa on the end of international mobile roaming charges.blogspot. and Aldershot: Ashgate.d.  . from Wikipedia: http://en. (2008). K. D. Queensland Telecommunications Strategic Framework 2009‐2012.mlab. Retrieved July 4.P. (2008). Australia: Queensland Government. 13. Communication for Development Approach. (n. Retrieved December 18. from  Nigerian Communications Comission:  www. 212‐214). Emerald Publishing Group (2008). 2008.wikipedia.J. from iHub: http://ihub. The restructuring of African mobile telecommunications provision and the  prospects for economic development.  Curwen.  Servaes. July 3). D.& UNESCO.  About us. from Communication  Nation: http://communicationnation. Speeches.chinatelecomusa.d.pdf  Queensland Government. Papers and Summits Presentations. 11 NO.php 32‐ 46.ncc.  Aitkin.). (2011. (2005. The Future is Now:How China Telecom's Transformation Enables Growth. & UNESCO. Encyclopedia of Public Health. Rural Women and Telecommunication in Developing Countries. Agenda Setting and Public Policy in Africa. (2005). 2011.  About.  Dolowitz. New Delhi: Sage  Publishing.J.mlab. Canada. 2011. (2009).D. Communication  for Development and Social Change (pp. &. 5‐24. 4. Retrieved July 2011. (2011). November 6).com/2005/11/how‐to‐implement‐strategy. E. (2009). 2.M.  Queensland. Emerald Group Publishing Limited VOL.).

 Telecommunication. June 30). Vol. (2010).  True..    .wikipedia. 45. from Wikipedia:  http://en. D. Kozhikode. Retrieved July 4. M.& Mintrom. (2011. J. Learning lessons. pp. (2001). (2001). Centre for  the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation working paper 69/01.  Stone. policy transfer and the international diffusion of policy ideas. 22‐57.Singh. 2011. Telecom Sector Report.Gorai & Malhotra.India: Investment Bank of  Kozhikode. 1‐47. International Studies Quarterly. Transnational networks and policy diffusion: the case of gender  mainstreaming.