Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A posting from April 2001

Dear Colleagues

I wrote the following in April, 2001 ... when I was already trying to get attention to the issue of failed relief and development sector performance. This posting was about the sad fact that the relief and development policy framework did not work at all well for developing countries. Not much has changed in the years since them!

Peter Burgess
TO: DIGOPP Working Group
From: Peter Burgess
Date: Mon Apr 16 2001 - 08:04:28 EDT

Dear Members of the DIGOPP Working Group,

I hope I am not too late! I hope this modest input on a priority for G8 action can still be put forward.

Simply put, it is for the G8 governments to encourage developing country government and the international ODA leadership to allow technology to be applied in its most cost-effective form. This means ending the legal and regulatory protection of high cost legacy organizations, whether public state enterprises or newly privatized corporate organizations.

This means an end to the concept of maximizing government revenue from sale of licenses.

The goal should be expressed in terms of availability of access to ICT, the cost of ICT and the prices of ICT. Building technology infrastructure should be encouraged, and even subsidized by government, and certainly not be constrained by onerous law and regulation.

The aim of policy, law and regulation should be to allow the market to make Internet access and communications technology as low cost and as affordably priced in developing countries as it is in the G8 countries.

The same aim should pervade not only the developing country enabling environment of law and regulation, but also be applied within the international business community, the official international trade environment and among the ODA institutions.

Peter Burgess
President and CEO
AfriFund Management Limited

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