Angola is demonstrating how a country devastated by so many years of war can and must conciliate two indispensable aspects. On the one hand, the most immediate concerns, such as the satisfaction of basic human needs and the reconstruction of state and physical infrastructure. On the other hand, the definition and construction of a sustainable development model capable of responding to the new challenges of globalization and the Information Society (IS).
In this context, the Government of Angola has approved an Information Society Action Plan (PASI) and an Electronic Government Action Plan (PAGE), an initiative sponsored by the National Commission of Information Technology (CNTI) headed by Professor Pedro Sebastião Teta, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology. In this way, it was possible to promote a consistent and coordinated approach from all spheres of government and the various socio-economic agents towards an integrated and duly weighed vision.
To produce the previously mentioned action plans, CNTI used the methodology and assistance provided by the Leadership Business Consulting Team, with a broad international expertise and a proven track record in the development of similar projects in Cape Verde and in Portugal.
These action plans demonstrate Angola’s determination and ambition in this domain. Accordingly, the President of the Republic of Angola, in his message delivered on the occasion of the World Summit on the Information Society, held in Tunis in November 2005, stresses that the “The Electronic Government Action Plan and the Information Society Action Plan fully demonstrate our ambition, our interest, our vision of the future, and our commitment towards the accomplishment of a Strategy for the Development of Information and Communication Technologies by 2010.”
The action plans define a formal and explicit strategy which must serve as a key reference for all public and private, local and foreign agents, presently operating in Angola, involved in information technology areas and in the development of the information and knowledge society.
The Information Society Action Plan (PASI) was structured along 10 action pillars, subdivided into 6 content-based pillars – whose actions and projects directly contribute to the development of the IS – and 4 context-based pillars designed to ensure a sustainable development of the IS.
The development of the Information Society in Angola is seen as a lever for the country’s development goals, and not as a goal in itself.
The Electronic Government Action Plan (PAGE) defines five axes of action and proposes a long term model based on a technological platform common to the entire public administration to promote integration and interoperability leading to improved citizen satisfaction and convenience, increased efficiency of public services, greater government transparency, and stimulus to democratic participation.
The implementation of both PASI and PAGE is a challenge that essentially relates to organization and management, therefore requiring an active institutional environment capable of mobilizing civil society participation in public-private partnerships, as for instance, the creation of a strategic and operational planning agency, in line with international best practice.
The new institutional framework must be anchored in a culture of achievement, subject to effectiveness and efficiency requirements, and based on the following principles: a) realization and implementation oriented actions; b) Collaborative work among public and private entities and Civil Society; c) Complementarity approach in order to avoid duplication of efforts or infrastructures; d) Monitoring and reporting of activities as a means of reinforcing both internal and external transparency.
The implementation of both PASI and PAGE represents a huge challenge to Angola, calling for different types of external support. However, Angolans have high demand standards for quality. Today Angola is a highly competitive market regarding the supply of information technologies, especially from companies in South Africa, Brazil, China, United States, India, and from various European countries, with particular emphasis on Portugal. In this context, the Angolan market has gained awareness and is better prepared to assess the quality and professionalism it needs to build a modern and competitive country, both regionally and worldwide.
PASI and PAGE are available on www.leadership-bc.com.
Angola 2006 IT Forum Illustrates a Country Engaged in Action
Inaugurated by the Prime-Minister of Angola and closed by the country’s Minister of Finance, the Forum had 47 exhibition stands distributed along a 2,000 square meter area. More than 60 addresses were delivered throughout the three-day Forum, which had an average attendance of 600 participants per day, amounting to a total of 1,800 participants (for more information, please visit www.itforum.ao. The Forum’s success demonstrates that the major economic and social agents in Angola are fully aware of the crucial importance of Information Technologies as a means of propelling the productive and economic activity and the competitiveness of the country and its businesses.
In the Session’s closing speech, Professor Pedro Teta, President of the National Commission of Information Technology (CNTI), stressed that the Angolan decision-makers are today fully aware of how important Information Technologies are to ensuring a more effective, efficient, participative and transparent governance, also providing major contributions towards the reinforcement of national cohesion and the State’s capacity, the improvement of the population’s living conditions and the reduction of poverty within the scope of the Millennium Goals.