Maputo — Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario declared on Monday that the constant and gradual expansion in the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) is one of the main challenges the country faces in the communications sector.
Speaking in Maputo at the opening ceremony of the ICT Forum of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Rosario argued for a mass expansion in ICTs that would reach people living in the most remote parts of the country.
“One of our challenges is to expand access by the communities in rural areas to information and communication technologies, as well as to strengthen cooperation in matters of cyber-security”, he said. “The technologies exist to benefit society, to promote rapid sharing of knowledge, to bring people together, and to facilitate financial and commercial transactions”.
Rosario argued that the various institutions working on ICTs should develop applications in Mozambican languages and at costs that are increasingly accessible to the public. “We must expand the number of beneficiaries from ICTs, through promoting programmes that fight against digital illiteracy”, he said.
The expansion of access to ICTs, he argued, would help save time, increase productivity and strengthen transparency in government actions.
“The development of online services”, said Rosario, “requires us to bank on broadband facilities, exploiting modern fibre-optic and radio communications technologies”.
“We are in an era when the world is a global village and is in constant evolution, where information and communication technologies have an important role in social organization and interaction, in governance actions, in the promotion of investments, and in financial transactions, all of which are important factors to drive the sustainable development of our countries”, declared the Prime Minister.
For his part, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita, said that Mozambique is taking steps forward to guarantee greater security in the use of ICTs. “We are making major advances in the use of ICTs in areas linked to legislation”, he claimed.
The CTO secretary general, Shola Taylor, warned that the digital future is “irreversible”, but offers opportunities for growth to Commonwealth countries.
The Forum, held under the theme “Digital Nations, Digital Wealth”, lasts until Friday. The CTO describes the Forum as “the premier ICT conference of the Commonwealth”, bringing together “senior policymakers, regulators and industry leaders from across the Commonwealth and beyond who will gather to examine the most topical issues in the ICT sectors”.