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Sudan Report

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Title: Sudan Report


1
Ministry of science Technology
Sudan Report On ST Presented to UN Commission
on ST for Development Seven Session of
CSTD Vienna 27-29/10/2004 By Prof. El Tayed Idirs
Eise Ministery of Science and Technology
2
1 Introduction
Like many of the industrially developing
countries, the Sudan has become deeply alert over
the past few years to the significance of the
Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)
and to the Digital Divide that is growing with
the industrially developed countries. Thus, the
Sudan developed a national policy and strategy to
cultivate the uses of ICT and to bridge this
divide by stimulating a national ICT sector,
encouraging and facilitating the uses of ICT
services nation-wide, and attracting global
investors and partners in some ambitious
nation-wide projects.
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This paper briefly cites some of the Sudan's
current operational services and ongoing
projects, and the outline of future plans for an
extensive geographic spread and exploitation of
the uses of ICT In comparison to other sectors,
the ICT industries requires low capital
investment and has a wide impact. Human
resources are the most valued asset for ICT
industries. The industrially developing
countries with a high percentage of ICT
professionally educated and trained youth are
known to have started effectively bridging the
Digital Gap because ICT can be established in
relatively fewer years compared to decades for
other technologies. To aid with understanding
this paper, it is relevant to point out that the
Sudan views that the ICT industry can be divided
into these four fields
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2- Informatics and Telecommunications Status in
Sudan
2-1 Overview
The Sudanese market has a vast potential for
varied and wide uses of an informatics industry.
The Sudanese market is characterized by the
following A promising informatics market with
considerable demand capacity. An extensive
modern communication infrastructure that has
begun to support other modern and distinctive
support technologies in the fields of information
services, education, health and other needs of
the information society.
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Progressive increase in electricity
production. Wide TV and radio broadcasting
coverage in almost all the country.
Reorientation of the Education system that is
providing large numbers of specialized graduates
including those in the ICT field poised to be
trained and directed to contribute in launching
an informatics industry and its applications.
Determined political will to give ICT a major
priority as charged to the newly established
Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), and
the establishment of the National Information
Center (NIC) as the ICT policymaking centre.
The emergence and gradual strengthening of a
Private sector in the ICT field consultancy,
technology and applications. Major recent, and
expected, changes aimed at pushing forward with
Economic Development, such as
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  • ? Economic policies that reduce inflation rates
    and increased GNP and relative improvement in
    living standard.
  • The establishing of the Khartoum Stock exchange
    that led to the creation of new job opportunities
    in the market and the boost to the economy.
  • ? Development projects such as oil prospecting,
    production and exporting, major energy and
    irrigation schemes (Hamadab Dam, Kajbar
    Reservoir, Roseires Dam) national tarmacked roads
    (West Salvation Road, North line Road, Challenge
    Road, Peace Road) beside regional airports.

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2-2 Current Projects Overview
The Sudan has a number of major developments and
pilot applications and projects that confirm its
fertile ground for the ICT industry, products and
applications. These examples may be cited a. A
Sudan banks network, promoted by Banks Union,
which include the introduction of smart cards
services. b. Electronic Public Library Project
developed and promoted by Sudan Telecommunication
Company (SUDATEL). c. In collaboration with
SUDATEL, the Ministry of Higher Education has
successfully connected 8 Sudanese universities,
in the capital and 5 remotecities, with an
information network for routine messaging and as
a first-phase of distance learning projects. d.
"Data Cloud" network based on a Frame Relay
technology developed, launched and managed by
SUDATEL, is used by many public and private
institutions to support their daily work and
their management systems and services.
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e. The Examination Results of the Sudan Secondary
School Certificate are available online starting
with the 2000 examinations. f. A Pilot Sudan
TeleHealth Network is designed, approved and
being established to link five General Hospitals
in five states with the Khartoum University
Hospital for TeleMedicine consultations and for
educational courses and conferences including
the uses of teleconferencing. g. A Computerman
Collage is experimenting with the development of
geographic information systems (GIS), in
anticipation of its broader uses in various
sectors and throughout the country. h. The
Traffic Police is experimenting with a network
based Car License Service based on a locally
developed database accessed over a Wide Area
Network. i. Sudan Internet Society (NGO) a newly
born NGO society that has been founded in
2001.Due to the rapid growth of Internet services
in Sudan, and an increasing need for a forefront,
supportive body emerged. The Society is to serve
the Sudanese community and provide leadership in
addressing key issues about the roles and uses of
Internet. "To lead and support the Sudanese
community in making best use of the Internet
contributing
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The Internet Society of Sudan is dedicated to
identifying and surfacing the potential effective
and efficient applications of the Internet
throughout the Sudanese community. It is to
provide support and information on all Internet
related-issues in Sudan to enable individuals,
businesses, professionals, and organizations
achieve their goals more effectively. j. Sudanese
Computer Society (SCS) It is a newly born Non
Governmental Organization (NGO) society, founded
in 2000.One of its main objectives is to develop
IT in Sudan and remove computer illiteracy. Since
it is recently that Sudan society started to deal
with IT in its different fields, SCS is taking
the role of society awareness in this field and
spreading knowledge among individuals. Hence SCS
made a scientific and professional categorization
such as system programmers, software programmers,
system analysts,…etc., for those working in this
field, so as to distinguish between them and
their roles in IT development.
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2.3 Networking Telecommunications
infrastructure
The last ten years (1993 - 2002) have witnessed a
radical change in the telecommunication
infrastructure in the Sudan. SUDATEL, the Sudan
telecommunications operator, succeeded during
these years to modernize, implement and operate
hundreds of telephone exchanges, thousands of
kilometers of fiber optics cables and thousands
of international telephones and data links. This
is coupled with SUDATEL's provision of services
including dedicated communication lines, Data
Network services, private Local Area Networks and
special-purpose Wide Area Networks. The
significance of these developments is reflected
in the Growth of Traffic over the period 1994
2002, shown in the table below and measured in
"million minutes"
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Growth of Traffic (million minutes)
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The main developments in the Sudan networking
and telecommunications infrastructure may be
summarized as follows Implementing a fiber
optics backbone (of about 6000 kms to-date)
linking the main cities of the country. An SDH
system is operating over the backbone with enough
capacity to meet the growing traffic requirements
of data, voice and video. Additional capacities
are available to secure the near term
requirements. Installing more than 200 digital
exchanges of different sizes, with a total of
more 800,000 digital lines in about 19 cities and
villages.
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Implementing six rural networks in different
parts of the country with a total capacity of
5000 lines. Implementing a digital microwave
system to complement the fiber optics backbone in
32 routes. Sudans Mobile Telephone Company
(MOBITEL) is operating a GSM 900 system since
1997, with over 400,000 subscribers at present.
Expanding the Sudan domestics satellite system
(SUDOSAT) to cover 35 cities, not covered with
the fiber optics backbone, to extend the
provision of voice and data services.
Installing a VSAT network to provide 38 villages
with voice communications. A new USAT network
comprising of 1000 terminals is under active
implementation .
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Upgrading the international gateway, operating
through INTELSAT, to a capacity of about 524
channels and 14 MBps to provide international
connectivity and access to full Internet
services. Upgrading the regional gateway,
operating through ARABsat to a capacity of more
than 400 channels to provide regional
connectivity with Middle Eastern countries.
Providing Internet services to the public and
private sectors through five Internet Service
providers (ISP) and an up-link capacity of 39
Mbps and a down link capacity of 90 Mbps.
Implementing a data network, a "Data Cloud", to
provide data services to 14 sites around the
country at data transmission rates between 9.6
KBps and 2 MBps. Conducting a feasibility study
for launching a satellite dedicated for the Sudan
to be ready to provide the additional bandwidth
required to connect the future data networks and
to provide the required capacities for example
to accommodate the additional public and private
TV and radio broadcasting networks .
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3- FUTURE PLANS
Six programmes are currently in place following
endorsement by the Cabinet and the legislative
body. These programmes were conceived by the
Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and
specifically aimed at meeting stated requirements
and at bridging gaps and deficiencies that impede
progress of the country in the applications of
ICT
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Second programme The National Information
Network

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Third Programme Infrastructure Industry

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Fourth Programme The software Industry

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Fifth programme Information Content

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Sixth program The Information Services

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Summary of (MOST) Plan
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5- Recommendations
First Telecommunications infrastructure
To build national and regional
telecommunications networks that can support
information technologies by satisfying its
ever-increasing requirements for capacities to
pass information in great volume and high speed,
it is recommended that African Countries
Review their development plans to ensure that
sufficient priority is given to investment in
telecommunications. Continue their genuine
efforts to build, upgrade and modernize their
telecommunications networks to make them ready
for the information technology age.
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Allocate enough financial resources for the
development of the telecommunications sector.
Request that international organizations
concerned give more favorable consideration to
support expansion of Africas telecommunications.
Encouraged manufacturers and operators of
telecommunications to develop systems, which will
enable the satisfaction of needs of more remote
areas low cost. Start, from now, building their
earth stations and terrestrial facilities to
operate with RASCOM satellite to avoid having a
satellite in orbit with no ground segment.
Consider pooling equipment purchases to get the
advantage of whole sale.
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When purchasing equipment, ensure that the
contract includes communications on the supply of
spare parts, training, commissioning, post
installation maintenance. Review their
training needs and resources and prepare
systematic training plans to qualify their
engineers and technicians, and that international
organizations be requested to help in that
issue. Consider the possibilities for local
regional manufacturing of telecommunications
equipment. This can superecede with approaching
industrial countries to consider the scope of
cooperation with African countries in that
respect. Develop Geographic information systems
(GIS) and remote sensing applications.
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Second Information and Informatics
  • To promote and enhance information and
    information and informatics boost in the
    continent a plan of action and certain policies
    should be implemented as follows
  • Institutional, Legislative, Legal and
    organizational policies
  • Formulating or developing existing laws
    concerning informatics industry and services.
  • Liberalization of information and communication
    sector, a free market policy, and promotion of
    investment on non- monopoly bases.

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  • Promoting of using e-commerce in holding
    operations, purchase and electronic banking
    services.
  • Harmonizing legislations for protecting and
    guaranteeing intellectual property rights in the
    field of informatics industry and services.
  • Mobilizing resources for developing informatics
    industry and use of applications through certain
    approaches as education, health, government
    administration, and electronic trade. etc.
  • Formulating laws on cyber crime.
  • (B) Capacity building and human resources
    development
  • Initiating and assist in execution of national
    programmes for training of cadres in advances
    informatics industries, these programmes should
    be of feigned objectives concerning quality and
    quantity and to be executed in time limit of the
    strategy.
  • Disseminating computer and informatics literacy
    among all students in secondary and university
    levels within the strategy time schedule.

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  • Development of infrastructure
  • Modernizing infrastructure, specially
    communication network and informatics,
    reducing cost of use of transmitting information,
    disseminating modern services particularly mobile
    and satellite telephones, expanding smart
    networks services, increasing use of Internet
    nad other electronic services.
  • Establishing a mechanism to guarantee
    adequate flow public and private investment for
    modernizing communication and information
    infrastructure.
  • Establishing a mechanism to guarantee adequate
    flow public and private investment for
    modernizing communication and information
    infrastructure.
  • Encouraging private sector companies to create
    information networks that allow accredited
    economic communication using satellite television
    networks and radio technologies in disseminating
    information.
  • Persuading more Internet services providers (ISP)
    to provide services through telephone, e-mail,
    web nets and other media at favorable rates to be
    accessed by citizens.

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  • Scientific and research policies
  • Associating scientific and applied research to
    the needs of economy and society and coordinating
    between research and development institutions and
    end users of outputs in both public and private
    sectors for directing it to satisfy urgent
    requirements of service, economy, and industrial
    institutions specially in the field of
    information.
  • Allocating a portion of the revenue of economic
    institutions, information and communication
    companies for research and development in their
    specialization as a security of finance sources
    required in this field.
  • Investing packages in local languages in the
    context of information technology research
    programmes.

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  • Financial Policies
  • Allotment of good loans by banks and finance
    institution for government departments and
    information networks and training institutes.
  • Attracting investment of local and private
    sectors.
  • Encouraging partnership and alliances necessary
    for flow of knowledge for development and
    mobilizing resources in this regards.
  • Attracting international cooperation and foreign
    aid specially Overseas Development Aid (ODA) to
    support the implementation of information
    technologies in the continent to enhancing
    sustainable development.

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  • Economic policies
  • Reducing of custom tariff and direct and indirect
    taxes on informatics technology and on all
    digital and multimedia products and installation.
  • Exemption from profit tax within the strategy
    time limit for activities in the digital and
    information industry at institutional and
    individual levels.
  • Encouraging loans by bank and financial
    institutions for establishment and rehabilitation
    informatics industry and training at marginal
    interest rates.
  • Establishment of a revolving fund for financing
    the building of information networks in which
    private and public sectors contribute.
  • Tax exemption at considerable rates for
    institutions, departments and corporations that
    create networks for distance medicine and
    learning, e-government and other applications.

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  • Commercial policies
  • Removing trade barriers and reducing customs on
    informatics commodities (apparatus, equipment and
    software).
  • Use of e-commerce by individuals, institutions,
    companies and government and ensure dynamics,
    fairness and flexibility of tax systems to
    guarantee matching with technical and commercial
    developments.
  • Education and cultural policy
  • Providing learning of information technology from
    early school stages up to the final stages.
  • Training and preparing teachers to use
    informatics in teaching, learning, knowledge
    acquisition and providing necessary equipment.

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  • Developing mathematics, communication and
    information technology in universities specially
    in faculties of computer, engineering, science
    and commerce and attracting students to these
    specializations in university and graduate
    studies.
  • Encouraging continuous and distance education on
    the Internet and other media for upgrading
    capacity of personnel in the government and
    private sectors.
  • Formulating training programmes for present
    manpower to bridge the generation gap.
  • Teaching networks security subjects in different
    education levels for defining risks and
    precautions of using informatics technology,
    beside identifying means and tools of protecting
    information networks from interference, hackers,
    sabotage whether security, economical or
    military, and damage of the nation cultural
    traditions

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  • Promoting cultural heritage and national
    traditions to be disseminated and preserved
    employing modern information technologies.
  • Industrial policies
  • Creating companies for manufacturing computer
    components and software.
  • Supporting small and medium size enterprises
    besides private sector companies working in this
    field.
  • Encouraging international software companies to
    establish branches in the country.

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The End
World summit on the Information Society
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