North African Government Policies Information and Communication Technologies (ICTS)
In 2011, political instabilities caused uncertainties in North Africa. The governments of different countries such as Switzerland have put more effort into supporting economic, political, and social changes. These projects are mostly used to improve the economy, emphasize human rights and democracy, eradicate unemployment, especially in Northern Africa, and handle issues of insecurity and migration (Cunningham & Ekenberg, 2016). They also shared their training and education experiences to encourage the youth and entrepreneurs to create self-employment. With these improvements and growth of democracy in most of these countries, North Africa has propelled forward in terms of economic growth and technology.
Morocco’s rapidly expanding economy has positively affected the growth of the ICT sector in the place. This is mainly indicated by the rapidly developing telecommunication industry in the state and strong outsourcing areas that have attracted investors to the country. Even though ICT is viewed as a way of initiating growth, many small businesses have not adopted it (Asogwa, 2015). However, government policies are put in place and are effectively increasing the role of ICT in business. With these significant improvements, the ICT sector in the country is valued at DH 13.5bn equivalent to $2.5bn, according to research done by Maroc Numeric Cluster, and shows more potential for expansion.
Egypt has a population of 83 million that is continually growing. 28% of its population has enrolled in education with only 19 million in employment. Liberalizing this country involves investing in employment, and incorporating ICT in all business operations to facilitate social and economic growth (Kayisire, & Wei, 2016). Some of the ICT facilities include e-Government services such as paying telephone bills, licenses inquiry, and examination certification. E-banking options involving both credit and debit cards have influenced and improved the lives of the citizens in the nation.
Recently, Libya has enjoyed improved internet freedom due to the enhanced security and elimination of restrictions to connectivity. However, the Libyan government is still fragmented and weak because of rival and militia governments. In 2017, mobile services were restored after the Islamic state was removed but later on restricted, and Facebook was blocked in the country and its surroundings (Gasiorowski, 2016). However, in 2018, Libyan Post Telecommunication and Information Technology Company announced new ICT projects to be implemented. Lack of a proper government would lead to a national crisis that has significant effects on internet freedom in the country with journalists and bloggers frequently murdered recently.
Tunisia has embraced innovation greatly by creating technology parks (which included digital technology to be located in Sfax, Nano and microelectronics in Sousse, and communication technology in Tunis) and cyber parks (to provide online services) being implemented (Ponelis & Holmner, 2015). Additionally, in 2017, e-health was launched that provided health to the citizens using ICT tools. This was used to manage patient flow, improve their care by facilitating their transfers and reception, and ensure their traceability.
Algerians are interested in technology dictated by the manner ICT has grown. The government is modernizing service delivery to its citizens in record keeping. According to the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, the rate of ICT penetration in the country has dramatically increased from 46.9% in 2015 to 71.2% in 2016 (Ponelis & Holmner, 2015). The government has expanded 3G and introduced 4G services. In 2017, 34 million citizens had access to the internet through a mobile phone (Kamel, 2018). It has also invested heavily in a county-wide fiber optic project that will provide reliable, quality, cost-effective and fast internet services.
People are at the down of a technological revolution which is changing every part of our life – relationships, employments, business sectors, and whole regions. Technological improvements can be seen even in the underdeveloped and poor countries such as North Africa. This could be considered as an evidence that the whole range of technologies available today have the potential to change the world.
Asogwa, B. E. (2015). E-Government Development in Africa: An Assessment of the Status of Sub-Regional Practice. In Emerging Issues and Prospects in African E-Government (pp. 1-20). IGI Global.
Cunningham, P. M., Cunningham, M., & Ekenberg, L. (2016). Factors Impacting on the Current Level of Open Innovation and ICT Entrepreneurship in Africa. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 73(1), 1-23.
Gasiorowski, M. (2016). The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. Hachette UK.
Kamel, S. H. (2018). The Growing Impact of ICT on Development in Africa. In Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition (pp. 7223-7233). IGI Global.
Kayisire, D., & Wei, J. (2016). ICT Adoption and Usage in Africa: Towards an Efficiency Assessment. Information Technology for Development, 22(4), 630-653.
Ponelis, S. R., & Holmner, M. A. (2015). ICT in Africa: Enabling a Better Life for all.