The developments in telecommunications and information technologies have improved and increased the connectivity between and within countries thereby removing barrier of time and spatial separation. This in turn has resulted in increased integration of markets, improved commerce and geo-political relations.
At global and regional level, a number of initiatives aimed at increasing the development and use of ICTs have been developed. The major drivers include the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, the Universal Postal Union, the African Union and its specialized agencies such as the African
Telecommunications Union, and the Pan African Postal Union, regional economic groupings such as the New Partnership for Africas Development, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the Southern Africa Development Community.
Zambia has participated in a number of global and regional events that are focusing on ICTs as a tool for sustainable growth and development. Among the notable ones being the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action from the World Summit on the Information Society and the NEPAD E-Africa Commission. Further the country is committed to the
Millelium Development Goals and it is envisaged that ICTs can be harnessed to the achievement of these goals namely:-
- The eradication of extreme poverty and hunger;
- Achievement of universal primary education;
- Promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women;
- Reduction of child mortality;
- Improvement of maternal health;
- To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
- Ensuring environmental sustainability; and
- Development of global partnership for the attainment of a more peaceful, just and prosperous world.
At the sub-regional level Zambia has been an active player in ICT initiatives under COMESA and SADC. This policy therefore is influenced by the policy frameworks and principles recommended by the two bodies among them the following:-
- Increasing market size through inte4gration and cross border trade with ICTs playing an integral part of the social and economic development of member states;
- Competition among market players in the ICT sector in member states;
- Conveying of regulatory authorities in telecommunications and broadcasting;
- Implementing independent and technology -neutral legal and regulatory frameworks;
- Independence of market players especially the regulatory functions;
- Private sector participation in the development of ICT products and services.