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At the Crossroads: ICT Policy Making in East Africa

Florence Etta and Laurent Elder
East African Educational Publishers, IDRC

Available formats

Considering that information and communication technology (ICT) policymaking, e-strategies, or indeed e-government implementations have a recent history in Africa, not many countries have fully developed working policies or extensive related experience in these areas. The short history of ICTs in Africa shows that in 2003 only about a third of African countries had developed ICT policies. Those countries that have tell of a long, tedious, and little understood process. Kenya is only one example. Some ICT historians assert, not without contention, that the first attempts at ICT policymaking in Kenya actually date back to the early 1990s. The process is ongoing: Kenya’s maiden draft ICT policy was made public in November 2004.

This book, which presents experience from Kenya and other countries of East Africa, captures elements of both the process and the outcomes of ICT policymaking processes. With contributions from research projects, institutions, and spokespersons from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda, this book shows what worked and what did not work. It will be a useful guide for countries and institutions that are contemplating their own ICT-policymaking exercise, and will be of interest to researchers, educators, and students in development studies, history, and comparative studies; development professionals specializing in social policy and ICTs; and decision-makers and policy advisors in research and development organizations worldwide.

The editors

Florence Etta is Senior Program Officer for Acacia in IDRC’s Nairobi regional office.

Laurent Elder is Team Leader of IDRC's Pan Asia Networking program, and former Acacia Program Officer in IDRC’s Dakar regional office.