By Issa Sikiti da Silva, Mali
The coordinator of Mali’s proposed 6-point ICT development strategy believes digital technologies have the potential to revolutionise people’s lifestyle and working relationships, boost culture and improve education, among others.
The strategy, dubbed ‘Mali Digital Plan 2020’ is an ambitious 65-page document currently being drafted by group of national experts in Mali.
The government in this vast and impoverished West African nation, which has commissioned the plan, said the policy will help reorganise the digital economy, boost economic growth and create jobs, among others.
The government also said that the digital plan will focus on the following areas:
· Expand the access to digital networks and services
· Develop production and digital content
· Diversify digital use and services
· Strengthen the existing legislative framework
· Develop human capital, and
· Develop local digital industry
Boubacar Coulibaly, who is coordinating the project, said in the capital Bamako that digital has the potential to not only revolutionise people’s lifestyle and working relationships, but also boost culture and education, among others.
Coulibaly urged the active participation of all stakeholders and players to ensure that Mali Digital Plan 2020 becomes a success and strenghen social and economic development.
Despite being one of the world’s poorest countries and boasting one of Africa’s highest illiteracy rates, Mali is thought to have made inroads in the ICT sector in the past decade, with over 80% of its people now connected to mobile phones and four million more using the internet.
Internet cafés, known here as Cyber Cafés, have also mushroomed in the capital Bamako, as Malians continue to discover the joy and advantages of being online.
The digital industry currently contributes 7% to the country’s GDP, according to theMinistère de l’Economie Numérique, de l’Information et de la Communication.