Statement by Hon Patricia Kaliati,
Minister of Information and Tourism, M. P.
On behalf of His Exellency Dr. Bingu wa
Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi
Mr. President of the Summit,
And Distinguished Delegates
On behalf of the President of the
Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika,
the people of Malawi and on my own behalf, I convey
heartfelt greetings to the President and people of
Tunisia from the Warm heart of Africa, Malawi.
I wish at the outset to express my
gratitude to the Secretary General of the International
Telecommunication Union and his entire executive for holding
the World Summit on Information Society.
I applaud the Government and People of
Tunisia for hosting this summit, and for the hospitality
accorded to me and my delegation since our arrival.
History will never lose sight of this
great event held on the soils of Africa. I am glad and proud
that I have the opportunity to be personally associated with
this great event.
It is indeed now time to focus on
action, to implement the plans and produce solutions
using ICTs to address the many problems facing us, hunger,
disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation just to
mention a few.
It is my hope that this summit will set
an agenda that will ensure least developed countries,
including Malawi, leapfrogs the digital divide.
The presence of Malawi’s delegation at
this summit is a clear testimony of our determination to
join other members of the global family marching towards the
global Information Society.
We are proud of our modest achievements
in the implementation of WSIS Plan of Action. We have
integrated ICT into our development strategies. We have
formulated our National ICT and Rural Telecommunications for
Development Policies. Our communication sector is fully
liberalized, duty on computers and computer peripherals has
been removed, in order to attract investors, extend services
to rural areas, and alleviate poverty.
With regards to the connectivity agenda
The liberalized communication sector has
resulted into an increase in the number of information and
communication service providers.
Fixed telephone network covers 80% of
Malawi, a nation-wide fibre-optic broadband network is under
development, a government wide area network is also being
developed as a communication backbone for e-government.
Institutions of higher learning are connected through VSAT
On improving access to ICTs
Radio and Television are the most basic,
affordable and simpler form of ICTs accessed
by many Malawians. Computers and internet access are
covering limited part of the country. It is our wish that
every citizen should have access to ICT enabled services for
On ICTs in Education
Malawi recognizes that ICTs in education
is a very important strategy to build sustainable ICT human
resource capacity and increase people’s literacy levels
through e-learning. We have started adopting the e-education
curriculum at secondary and tertiary levels of education to
enhance ICT knowledge and competence of our youth. ICTs are
also being utilized to enhance administration and management
of the education institutions.
We are grateful and appreciative for the
continued support we have enjoyed in building our human
capacity in ICT development and utilization from our
cooperating partners since WSIS 2003. With assistance from
cooperating partners, we have trained some of – and we
continue to train our Public servants in ICT skills. We are
looking forward to greater cooperation.
On development of ICT applications and
Malawi has developed a number of
applications under its e-government initiative to improve
delivery of public services such as processing of passports
and driving licences.
More applications are being developed
including border control and national identification
applications. The private sector is also improving
e-business, especially in the e-banking area.
There is still more to be done to
maximize benefits of ICTs through development of relevant
applications and content. This would include recognition of
local languages, diverse cultures and needs of various
stakeholders such as women, children and youth.
Least developed countries, including
Malawi, are facing challenges in the development and
utilization of ICTs. The greatest challenges are limited
financial resources and ICT human resource capacity. Other
Limited private sector
investment in the ICT sector, both local and
Inadequate and unreliable
basic infrastructure such as power especially in
the rural areas
High cost of ICT
infrastructure and services
It is my hope, therefore, that the
arrangements agreed at this summit will offer least
developed countries solutions to address these challenges.
Lastly, I would like to commend the
United Nations for recognizing ICT for development as a
I thank you for your attention.
Long Live United Nations. Long Live ITU.
Long live information society