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The challenge of digital inclusion in Mozambique

A pupil from FPLM Primary School at the Presidency in Maputo, during talks to discuss education in the developing world. Government policy on information and communication must meet the needs of the next generation / David Rose - Panos Pictures

ICTs are assuming increasing importance in the achievement of development goals and in promoting citizen participation. Mozambique was one of the first African countries to have a national policy aimed at maximising their contribution. This brief summarises a review of the achievements and weaknesses of the policy and considers the next steps needed to meet the information and communication needs of the coming generation.

Mozambique was one of the first countries in Africa to have a comprehensive policy for information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their contribution to development (ICT4D). Since their completion in 2002, the National ICT Policy and Implementation Strategy have provided the framework for the country’s ICT initiatives aimed at achieving development outcomes. Not all of the aims have been achieved, but there have been significant positive results from government commitment in this area.

The review:

  • looks at the successes and weaknesses of policy and implementation to date
  • examines the challenges, opportunities and priorities for ICT4D in Mozambique today, and
  • makes suggestions and recommendations for updating the policy and strategy to meet today’s circumstances and tomorrow’s needs.

The primary focus is on ‘digital inclusion’. Digital inclusion is not just about ensuring that people have access to ICTs through having computers in their communities or being taught to use computer software. Digital inclusion also means enabling people to use ICTs to improve their daily lives through relevant and local content available in appropriate forms. In this way ICTs can help to reduce the divide between urban and rural areas and promote equal access to information, education, goods and services.

Mozambique’s experience offers pointers for other African governments and organisations who want to maximise the value of ICTs within development.

Publisher: Panos London
Translation(s): English and Portugese
Editor: Panos London

Our policy brief explores the strengths and weaknesses of the ICT policy adopted in Mozambique.

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The challenge of digital inclusion in Mozambique (English)

O desafio da inclusão digital em Moçambique (Portugese version)