“Don’t rely on donors for ICT”

A senior Mozambican minister has said Africa will lag behind in the development of science and technology if the continent continues to rely on donors as major funders of the sector. Mr Venancio Simao Massingue, Mozambican minister for Science and Technology, said Africa can support development of ICTs out of its own resources as long as the right strategies and policies are put in place.

Mr Massingue was talking on the sideline of 14th ordinary session of the assembly of Africa heads of state taking place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Mozambique for instance,  has launched an ambitious $25 million Science and Technology Park to be devoted to research and business incubators for ICT related sub-sectors. He said the move is part of the larger decade and half long Africa Information Society Initiative (AISI) championed by the AU, aimed at integrating ICTs to catalyze Africa’s socio-economic development.

The Mozambican government has recently won an award for spearheading e-government, that is, deployment of ICTs on its governance structures in order to improve service delivery. Identity cards in the country can now be obtained electronically using biometrics, and the country would soon issue passports online once the national database is substantially improved. He said its funding mechanism is set to be sustainable, as it hinges on public/private partnership model (PPP).

via The Citizen (Dar es Salaam), 3 Feb 2010