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From owner-afrik-it@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE Wed May 28 14:00:15 2003
Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 17:22:26 -0400
Reply-To: rlab@sympatico.ca
Sender: African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List <AFRIK-IT@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE>
From: Richard Labelle <rlab@sympatico.ca>
Subject: Djibouti ICT strategy and action plan

Djibouti ICT strategy and action plan

From Richard Labelle, Consultant, ICTs for development, UNDP, 28 May 2003

Djibouti ICT strategy docs online in French and English—meeting of international partners planned Beirut, May 28—31.

Summary: The Djibouti ICT strategy and action plan are available online at the following site: www.mccpt.dj. Chose the option : Société de l’information NTICs. The strategy and action plan are available in French and the Action plan is available in English.


Djibouti is a small city-state (pop. 680,000) occupying a strategic location on the Horn of Africa. The economy is service based, relying on transit and related services at the Port of Djibouti. All of Ethiopia’s sea bound imports and exports transit through Djibouti.

While the country is poor, relying on subsistence agriculture and a few natural resources, it has service-based and open economy, a freely convertible and stable currency pegged to the USD and is recognized in the region as a stable financial centre. It also located at the intersection of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Muslim world and of la Francophonie. It is also favoured with a direct connection to the SMW 2 & 3 fiber optic submarine cables linking Southern Europe and Asia.

Djibouti has always been a commercial and transportation hub and the Government has taken measures to strengthen this sector by placing the Port and Airport authorities under international management. The freeport area is being expanded along with the seaport which is also being deepened. Privatization measures are being considered for the major utilities including the national telecommunications operator, Djibouti Telecomms.

The Government of Djibouti as well as several other development actors such as the educational and especially the university and research communities as well as the private sector have recognized the importance of ICTs for Djibouti’s service based economy.

Starting in May of 2002, a process of consultation has been ongoing that has lead, with the help of UNDP and of the ITU to the preparation of an ICT strategy and action plan. It has also been the opportunity for revising telecommunications tariffs by an average of 50%. The Telecomms operator and sole service provider, Djibouti Telecomms is the subject of review by outside consultants under the auspices of the World Bank / IMF under the privatization commission of the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Djibouti.

More important, this process of consultation and reflection has led the Government and other development actors to recognize the importance of developing a strategic view of how ICTs can help transform the country and help define and achieve a vision for the future that is dependent on the mainstreaming of ICTs in the economy and throughout society everywhere across the country.

Under the leadership of the Ministry of Communication and Culture responsible for Posts and Telecommunications, the Government of the Republic of Djibouti has developed an ICT strategy and action plan with a 20-year horizon.

The action plan details over 30 projects that can be considered to help transform the country while trying to deal with the fundamental issues of poverty, literacy and access to education and health services in general, community development (community access centers and community radio) and the challenge of transforming and modernizing the economy, government and society in general using ICTs. Each project includes a budget.

From May 28 to May 31, in Beirut, ITU is hosting a round table meeting of international partners to hear the formal presentation of the Strategy and action plan by the Minister of Communication and Culture responsible for Posts and Telecommunications the Honourable of Djibouti, Minister Rifki Abdoulkader Bramakramah and his team. The objective of this meeting is to garner support from international partners in implementing the strategy and action plan.

This meeting will take place on the sidelines of three important meetings that will take place on the occasion of the 5th Annual Meeting on Telecommunication Development in the Arab Region: The Internet Forum, Telecom Develop and ARABSAT. ITU is hosting this meeting. For details of the programme, visit: http://www.ituarabic.org/Annual03/Annual03.htm.

The Djibouti ICT strategy and action plan are available online at the following site: www.mccpt.dj. Chose the option : Société de l’information NTICs. The strategy and action plan are available in French and the Action plan is available in English.

Thanks to ITU for its strong support of this process, including the translation of the Action Plan to English and especially to Miloud Ameziane of the ITU regional office in Cairo for his continued support and encouragement. Also many thanks to l’Agence Internationale de la Francophonie, Unesco and the Économic Commission for Africa (ECA) for its ongoing support and involvement.