By Lisa Kadango, MANA
Government says it is committed to continue embracing the cross cutting influence of ICT in Malawi to ensure maximum reaping of the digital dividends.
Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communication Technology, Mark Botomani said this in Lilongwe on Monday during the commemoration of Internet Governance Forum under the theme ‘One World One Internet and One Vision’.
He said Malawi, as a member state of the Southern Africa and Africa Union Internet Governance Forums, is geared to take ICT to another level as a priority area as an aspect of humankind and social and economic development.
Botomani explained that there are a number of reasons why issues of internet in the digital world particularly Malawi can change the business sector.
He added that in the digital age where citizens can undertake educational courses online, farmers access markets for their produce online as well as a pregnant woman getting advisory services without going in person is a sign of development that needs to be embraced.
“The now generation is an internet generation hence Government is committed to making sure that Malawi is not lagging behind to the global digital transformation agenda that is taking course,” he said.
Botomani revealed that issues of fake news, cyber bullying and cybercrimes have to be looked into so that all players in different sectors have to bang heads and come up with a solution to reduce the malpractice.
He further said that there are numerous reasons why as a country Malawi should take issues discussed at such forums seriously in order to tackle critical issues that would influence policy change in as far as the governance of the internet is concerned.
“There is need to improve internet governance and take these forums seriously both at regional and global level to voice our agenda in the multi stakeholder model of internet governance, and explore ideas and challenges affecting the citizens at grass root level,” stressed the Minister.
He said the gathering would help the country move forward in as far as development of internet and ICT in general is concerned.
In his remarks, National Coordinator for Malawi Internet Government, Bram Fudzulani emphasized the need to improve internet governance to create more opportunities in the country.
He also emphasized on the need to focus on contributions from all stakeholders on how the internet affects human rights issues and government on how it is able to provide services to the citizenry.
He said the platform is enough to allow contributions to focus on internet beyond boarders and how internet connects various people together and on how people can respect each other’s rights and expression of views on the internet.
He said it is very important to engage all stakeholders to contribute meaningfully to the transformation of digital world since internet is providing services to the citizens hence cannot be managed by only a single entity.
This year’s theme, ‘One World One Internet and One Vision’, which has been adopted from the global internet governance forum which took place in Berlin focusing on its connectivity beyond borders.
The meeting has drawn participants from government, private sector, civil society as well as those from academia.