A delegation of ICT professionals from Libya, headed by Mohamad Benrasali, the country’s deputy minister for communications and informatics, has approached the ITU seeking to develop the country’s ICT infrastructure and services to international standards.
Benrasali asked for ITU’s support to prepare a master plan to modernise Libya’s ICT infrastructure to “world-leading standards”, according to a statement from the ITU.
The Libyan government laid down a timeframe of two years to reach its objectives of modernising the ICT sector and the ITU has committed to sending an assessment mission to Libya.
“The Libyan ICT sector poses several opportunities as well as challenges that can potentially result in significant economic growth, job creation, and transformation of government services, among other possible impacts,” Benrasali said.
He added that the master plan would focus on establishing a regulatory framework to encourage investment in developing the ICT sector and re-building infrastructure. He confirmed that capacity building would be an integral part of the plan.
Brahima Sanou, director of ITU’s telecommunication development bureau, was broadly optimistic about Libya’s plans: “It will be a challenge to meet the ambitious goals set by Libya, but I believe it is within our reach,” he said.
The Libyan government is focusing on e-government as a tool for public service delivery and had already launched its ‘e-Libya initiative’ aimed at revitalising the administration, according to Benrasali. E-Libya initiatives include open government, e-government, e-commerce and e-education.
“The initiative is based on smart applications and has a number of strategic objectives that aim to build a knowledge-based economy through ICT,” Benrasali said.
Hamadoun Touré, secretary-general of the ITU, said: “I am confident the country will quickly emerge as a leading player in the ICT sector and bridge the digital divide in the country. Establishing a regulatory framework will spur growth in ICT development in Libya and ITU will take immediate measures to share best practices and to ensure that steps are taken in the right direction.”
The Libyan delegation also met with the director of the ITU’s radio communication bureau, François Rancy, and the director of the telecommunication standardisation bureau, Malcolm Johnson, and discussed broadband development and spectrum management.