Report of the National Scan-ICT Workshop – Mauritius
23 January 2006, Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, Port Louis
Scan-ICT is an initiative launched by the United Nations Economic Commission (UNECA) for Africa to make available quality data on ICT activities in Africa. Mauritius is participating in the Scan-ICT programme through the Central Statistics Office.
In this context a workshop of all ICT stakeholders was organised by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in collaboration with the UNECA on 23 January 2006 at the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel to launch the Scan-ICT process in the country.
2. Objectives of the Workshop
The main objectives of the workshop were:
· to inform ICT stakeholders on the Scan-ICT framework and seek their participation in the process
· to create awareness on the need for measuring ICT for development at the national, regional and international level
· to share information and knowledge on ICT data collection
· to adopt a working methodology for implementing Scan-ICT
· to identify ICT indicators for Mauritius to be used in the Scan-ICT
· to put in place the necessary institutional arrangements for the implementation of the project
3. Attendance and Participation
Two resource persons from the UNECA, Mr. Makane Faye, Senior Regional Advisor, ICTs and Mr. Afework Temtime, Information Officer attended the workshop.
The Honourable Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunications, was present at the opening ceremony and delivered the opening speech.
Around 25 participants drawn from the Central Statistics Office, concerned ministries and government departments, private sector and civil society organizations were present at the workshop.
4. Contents of Workshop
The workshop consisted of an opening session as well as sessions dedicated to presentations and discussions on Scan-ICT. Detailed programme
4.1 Opening session
The presentations made by UNECA focused on the Scan-ICT regional project, the framework for its methodology and the need for ICT indicators.
Mr. Vijay Mauree from the National Computer Board made a presentation on the national e-Strategy and its linkages to Scan-ICT.
The CSO presentations were on the current situation of ICT Indicators in Mauritius, the proposed Scan-ICT methodology as well plans for analysis and dissemination.
The discussions were centered on the definition of the ICT sector used by the CSO, the problems faced during data collection, the identification of ICT indicators appropriate for Mauritius and the methodology for implementing Scan-ICT in Mauritius. More details are given below:
Definition of the ICT sector
Currently, the definition being used is based on that of the OECD as recommended by the UNECA. Some participants expressed the need to review this definition to better suit the local context.
Identification of ICT indicators
Economy-related ICT indicators, namely on Value Added, investment and expenditure were identified as priority indicators.
Suggestions were made to disaggregate the indicators for businesses and, basic infrastructure and access. The need for composite indicators that will shed light on the overall ICT situation in the country was also stressed.
Role of stakeholders
It came out that the Central Statistics Office as well as all stakeholders in the field of ICT, i.e. the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (including organizations falling its aegis), service providers, the Board of Investment and the private sector among others should be fully involved in the process.
4.4 Plans and way forward
Following the discussions held during the workshop, the following course of action was adopted:
- A high-level task force on ICT indicators consisting of representatives from CSO, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (including organizations falling its aegis), service providers, the Board of Investment and the private sector among others should be set up. The task force is to come up with a list of ICT indicators specific to Mauritius. It would also look into the ways and means of producing these indicators including the resources needed. The task force could be split into working groups, with each one addressing specific themes in the ICT sector.
- Where possible, data will be collected through CSO’s established household and business surveys and from secondary sources for compiling some of the ICT indicators.
- Technical assistance for compiling ICT indicators will be sought, mainly on those related to the economy such as on Value Added, investment and expenditure.
Further, the following activities will be carried out during the year 2006:
- A Scan-ICT methodological report describing the priority theme areas, the selected indicators specific for Mauritius and the data collection methodology. This report was initially scheduled for February 2006 but given that it will be based on inputs from the task force, its publication will be rescheduled depending on the time frame adopted by the task force.
- A Scan country profile which includes a database of available ICT indicators and an analysis on ICT use and impact within the context of the national ICT policy. The time frame is February to June 2006.
- A national Scan website, as part of the CSO website, with relevant information on ICT, including links to other Scan websites. This is scheduled to start in February 2006 with regular updates as and when relevant information is available.