Stakeholders in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, Friday, held an in-depth analysis of the sector’s challenges and progress in the last two years.
The expected outcome – policy recommendations for 2009/2010, will be submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (Minecofin).
The ministry will then add these into the country’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy’s (EDPRS) annual report, which will later be discussed between government and donors.
Speaking to The New Times during the one-day event, Patrick Nyirishema, deputy CEO in charge RDB/IT, said one of the key constraints faced in the sector is the huge skills gap.
“We are moving very fast and yet it takes time to build skills – that is definitely a key challenge,” said Nyirishema.
He noted that although the private sector is growing, most of the growth is in the telecoms sector while other ICT segments lag behind.
Lack of energy, especially in rural areas, also poses another challenge especially when it comes to the roll out of ICT infrastructure in the countryside.
The representative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Mactar Seck, noted that despite positive trends and important opportunities that the knowledge economy offers for developing countries, the gap between developed and developing countries’ use of ICT remains wide.
“Formulating and implementing national ICT strategies is perhaps the biggest challenge policy makers face,” said Seck.