Ethiopia strengthens its information and communication technology policies with UNCTAD support

03 November 2014

UNCTAD is assisting Ethiopia in the production of information economy statistics and a review of its e-commerce laws.

On 23-25 September 2014, UNCTAD delivered a workshop hosted by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) of Ethiopia in the capital Addis Ababa on the production of information economy statistics, which was attended by 20 participants from the national statistical office and the MCIT.

With the objective of increasing the availability and quality of data that can support national information and communication technology (ICT) policy making, Ethiopian stakeholders agreed during the workshop to join efforts to develop official information economy statistics and to include such statistics in the national statistical plan.

"At this time, national coordination of ICT statistics [in Ethiopia] is very important", one of the participants said.

Recognizing the importance of ICTs as tools for economic development and social inclusion, Ethiopia has put in place a National ICT Policy and Strategy and is drafting legislation to facilitate e-commerce. The (MCIT) of Ethiopia is being assisted in these endeavors by UNCTAD, which is reviewing Ethiopia's cyber-legislation and developing statistics to measure progress in the information economy.

In May 2014, UNCTAD reviewed drafts of the Ethiopian Electronic Transactions Proclamation (ETA), the Ethiopian Electronic Signature Act (ESA), the Ethiopian Computer Misuse Proclamation, and the Ethiopian Data Protection Proclamation. The government has expressed its appreciation to UNCTAD for having helped to incorporate new ideas, and reorganize and validate the documents. The drafts are currently under consultation and will be finalized with the Ministry of Justice.

UNCTAD's work on ICT and Law Reform is financed by the Government of Finland. The statistical workshop was supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), through a trust fund project building the capacity of developing countries to benefit from ICT.