Information Communication Technology and Liberia with respect to globalization  

Abstract Category: I.T.
Course / Degree: MSIS
Institution / University: Strayer University, United States
Published in: 2008

Thesis Abstract / Summary:

The purpose of this research is to access and analyze the current ICT system in Liberia and its ability to deliver social-economic development with the context of globalization. This study examines the ICT infrastructure, the technical human resource capacity, government plans and policies for ICT development. In the Information Age, the world has become one global village, where there is interdependence amongst nations around the globe as regard to economic integration, social and culture exchange. At the core of globalization are information-based economies and societies driven by ICT. However, there exists a significant digital divide between developed countries and a few developing countries on the one hand and most developing countries and LDC, such as Liberia on the other hand. In a world, which have been dramatically changed by ICT, for countries like Liberia to benefit from sustainable economic and social development from ICT, which will eventually lead to an information-based economy and society with the benefits of competitiveness with the global economy demands comprehensive advancement in ICT.

Hence, the main research question is: How can an effective ICT environment result in significant social –economic development? This research embarks on answering the main research question by representing findings and analysis on the following sub questions: What are the ICT infrastructures and technical human resource capacity in Liberia? What are the opportunities for the developing world and LDCs, especially Liberia in the global economy as a result of technology? What are the Liberian government plans and policies for the advancement of ICT, interest of incentives and investment opportunities for private entities?

The overall research is qualitative in nature, emphasized qualitative data. The findings presented in this research are based on data collected from both primary and secondary sources. Sources of information include: Official documents from the GOL, and other foreign governments. Research materials from organizations; like the United Nations, USAID, and the World Bank. Study from universities, publications, white paper, books, periodical, new articles, and the Internet. The study describe and explain, explore and interpret and build theory of Liberia’s ICT infrastructure, utilization, human resource capacity, social and economic benefits of an information-based society and economy, and the government plans and policies for ICT.

Chapter 3 examines the ICT infrastructures and human resource capacity in Liberia. ICT infrastructure and human resource capacity is a significance component of ICT advancement. Therefore, an assessment of the ICT infrastructures and technical human resource in Liberia is examined. Based on the Mosaic Group framework for accessing ICT infrastructure, which consist of Internet services infrastructure and telecommunication infrastructure, an analysis is done of the organizational infrastructure, connectivity infrastructure, sophistication of use and geographical dispersion to fully access Liberia’s ICT infrastructure. Organizational infrastructure analysis the robustness of the ICT market and services. Applying the Mosaic framework for organization infrastructure of the Internet to Liberia, the Internet and mobile phone sector are operating at a control level. Connectivity infrastructure examines the extent as well as the robustness of the physical structure of the network. Liberia’s connectivity infrastructure of the Internet is thin, while the mobile phone sector connectivity infrastructure is expanded. Sophistication of use looks at how the leading edge groups of users are utilizing the Internet. Liberia have a weak and unreliable Internet connectivity infrastructure, hence constraints the scale, scope, and sophistication of use. Liberia’s sophistication of use of the Internet is at minimal; where as the sophistication of use of the mobile sector is conventional. Geographical dispersion deals with the physical dispersion of the Internet in a country. The Internet in Liberia is confined to the capital Monrovia, the geographical dispersion of the Internet is at a single location. The geographical dispersion of the mobile phone sector is highly dispersed. Liberia is lacking the skills, there is a significant skills gap as it relates to meeting the ICT needs in Liberia. Technical human resource development in Liberia requires capacity building, training, and employment opportunities in ICT. There exists an urgent need for skill ICT personnel in Liberia, in all aspects of ICT adoption. The research shows that Liberia’s overall infrastructure and ICT skill pool is at minimal.

Chapter 4 looks at ICT opportunities for social and economic development for Liberia in the global economy. ICT advancement in Liberia will alter the way the Liberians interact with the developed world and the digital gap will be bridged or greatly reduce. There are benefits for Liberia in the global economy as a result of ICT advancement. ICT has proven to be an important development of the past decade. An assessment of the benefits of ICT adoption in the developing world from a macro-economic perspective has suggested meaningful benefits. Although Liberia is yet to yield immense benefit economically, the promise for economic and social development as a result of ICT exist and few Africa countries are gradually entering the global economy. It is undeniable that ICT can deliver essential gain, advantage and opportunities for Liberia’s enterprises, and hence the entire Liberian’s economy. A truly information-based economy and society as a result of ICT delivers the ability of e-government, e-learning, and e-commerce. In Liberia, e-government could create opportunities to increase the capacity of government, network and community creation, increase quality of service, cost reduction and efficiency gains. E-learning is a model of utilizing computer and web technologies to teach and learn. In today’s technological world, the Internet is a dominate component which can be utilized for education and learning programs in Liberia. Although the global information infrastructure offer new access to external learning resources, developing countries and LDC like Liberia need to devise effective strategies which incorporate new ICT-based learning tools into existing curricula. The research of the opportunities for Liberia in the global economy as a result of technological improvement shows that there are considerable benefits and opportunities for social and economic development.

Chapter 5 provides discussion and analysis of the GOL policy and strategy of ICT in Liberia. To tackle the constraints factors of ICT growth along with accessing the potential benefits of ICT relies on a national ICT policy and strategy. The Telecommunication Act of 2006 provides a vision as to Liberia’s ICT goals. It calls for the promotion and development of Liberia’s telecommunication infrastructure and market. The Act of 2006 stressed the need for the promotion of market liberalization, expansion of private sector, and open market with competition. Although there is not yet an official national ICT policy document by the current GOL, the process is underway for the development of E-Liberia vision 2010. The NTGL National Telecom policy and strategy represents the overall reflection of the GOL vision for the evolution and advancement of ICT in Liberia. The National Telecom policy and strategy called for the development of Liberia’s ICT infrastructure and market liberalization of the ICT market, expansion of the private sector and the necessitate to make ICT core in education, social and economic development. The current administration policy, E-Liberia vision 2010 when released is expected to address the core goals, objectives and visions of NTGL Telecom policy and strategy. The goals of the Telecommunication Act of 2006, which requires the overhaul of the telecommunication sector and call for the movement of Liberia to an information-based society and economy is the basis of the national ICT policy of president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration.

In this era of globalization and information driven societies and economies where information is vital to the daily processes and operations of governments, businesses, and society in general there exist a major gap between the developed countries and most developing countries and LDC. The existence of this gap have lead to the domination of the global economy by developed countries, hence most of the under privilege nations of the world have not yet benefited from globalization. In order to obtain any consequential sustainable economic growth from globalization, countries like Liberia needs to become more competitive in the global economy through the utilization of ICT. However, Liberia is lacking the advance ICT infrastructure, technical human resources capacity to gain any meaningful economic and social development promise of ICT and globalization. The national ICT policy must not only outline measures to attain ICT but the policy must be fully and successfully implemented. Liberia must strive to achieve a balance between global competitiveness and other development initiatives during this reconstruction period. The GOL must find the opportunity to examine new ways in which ICT can be expanded and enhance in the process of developing the human resource capacity and infrastructure needed to contribute to economic, political and social progress through globalization. The GOL have recognized the importance of ICT and openly expressed the desire for Liberia to become an information-based economy and society.

In order for Liberia to successfully transform itself to an information-knowledge based economy and society, there must be noteworthy investment, effort and commitment toward ICT deployment and utilization. Hence, the following recommendations provide a mechanism for achieving Liberia’s ICT goals:

  1. ICT ought to be a central part of Liberia’s reconstruction agenda, consequently E-Liberia vision 2010 should be all-inclusive in addressing the goals, visions and objectives set forth in both the NTGL National Telecom policy and strategy and the Telecommunication Act of 2006.
  2. The current administration must release as soon as possible it official ICT national policy document and incorporate it into the PRS in meaningful ways. The successful execution of the national ICT policy is a necessity.
  3. There needs to be improvement in ICT accessibility, affordability and delivery capacity. That means urgent and timely consideration is require for Liberia’s ICT infrastructure development.
  4. ICT incorporation in curriculum is essential to building the necessary human resource capacity for an information based economy and society. ICT content and curriculum at all levels of education should be a priority of the GOL.
  5. There have to be plan and strategy to connect to the submarine cable system, as this is the most viable option for improving ICT in Liberia.
  6. The GOL should be obliged to providing incentives for private entities investment in the ICT market, and reduce barrier to entry with the implementation of major market liberalization principles.
  7. The GOL must take the lead through investment in ICT, by developing e-government. Usage of ICT in government ought to increase. The development of government computer network and database management system should become a priority. The establishment of a uniform private network for the GOL and development and promotion governmental information database is the way to lead.
  8. The environment for Business-to-Consumer e-commerce and Business-to-Business e-commerce must be encourage to enhance Liberia’s economy. Critical apparatus for e-commerce ought to be deploy.
    The above recommendations are essential for Liberia’s progression toward an information-based society and economy driven by ICT. Hence the GOL, must ensure its national ICT policy and strategy fully deal with these and many others recommendations.

Thesis Keywords/Search Tags:
ICT, IT, Information Communication Technology, Information Technology, globalization, Liberia

This Thesis Abstract may be cited as follows:
Howard III, F. A.(2008). Information communication technology and Liberia with respect to globalization

Submission Details: Thesis Abstract submitted by Frank A. Howard III from Liberia on 12-Dec-2008 04:41.
Abstract has been viewed 9358 times (since 7 Mar 2010).

Frank A. Howard III Contact Details: Email: fahowardiii@aol.com

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