Viet Nam Finalizes E-Strategy to Close Digital Divide
Ha Noi - Viet Nam is putting final touches on its national Information and Communications Technology (ICT) strategy until 2010 and beyond in a bid to make new technologies work for the country’s social and economic development.
The outline of the national ICT strategy was released today by the Ministry of Post and Telematics (MPT) at a roundtable, the last of a year-long series of multi-stakeholder forums in which a national strategy has steadily taken shape.
The roundtables, Paving the Road towards Viet Nam’s ICT Strategy, have been organized by the Ministry of Posts and Telematics (MPT) with support of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). They bring policy-makers at national and local levels, donors, the civil society and the private sector together to develop Viet Nam’s first comprehensive digital strategy. The roundtables are part of the project "National Consultations on Information and Communication Technology for Development", supported by the UNDP.
Each of the previous roundtables has focused on the strategy’s pillars including upgrading Viet Nam's IT infrastructure, developing human resources, improving IT applications, and strengthening the domestic IT industry, which will all contribute to the achievement of national socio-economic development goals. The strategy envisages important roles for the Government, enterprises as well as users in the development and implementation of the strategy.
Dr. Mai Liem Truc, Standing Vice Minister of MPT said : "The roundtables offer a unique window of opportunity for us to interact with one another, exchange views and experiences, and deepen our understanding of how ICT can best be used as an effective development tool to acquire new knowledge to address the challenges we face."
UNDP Resident Representative Jordan Ryan said: "The potential of new technologies to address the development challenges from poverty reduction to education and health care has still not been fully unleashed."
Ryan commented that the strategy will assist Viet Nam in reversing its growing digital divide and using ICT to help shrink social and economic disparities. He said UNDP's interest in ICT is not in the distribution of the technology itself, but in its potential as a tool that helps Viet Nam achieve development goals: "ICT plays a catalytic role not just in accelerating economic growth, but also in helping Viet Nam meet key development priorities, particularly the Millennium Development Goals, from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, to health and education. ICT is about improving access and expanding services, cutting transaction costs, improving government efficiency and making development possible."
The project has developed a website to facilitate the sharing of information related to the roundtables and the national ICT for Development strategy. The website can be accessed at www.ict4d.org.vn.