An evaluation of National information policy proposals of selected African countries-Botswana,Ethiopia,Malawi,Tanzania,Uganda,and Zambia

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Yumba, Dickson
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The role that information plays sa an essential ingredient in the socio-economic development process of any society is now accepted in the developed as well as developing countries.For information to be useful in this context it has to be systematically captured,recorded,processed and organised to ensure timely access to relevant and reliable information by decision makers,planners,managers,executives,researchers and people at the grassroots involved in diverse ways in development related activities in various sectors of the national economy.The information personnel in Africa while recognising the role of information in national development,are also aware of the deficiency and ineffectiveness of existing information systems and services on the continent.The lack of an overall national policy on information systems and services in most of the countries that could coordinate existing resources andsystems,and support the development of an appropriate and strong infrastracture,is seen to be one of the causes of the defeiciencies.Therefore,to correct the situation,national information policy proposals have been drafted in several countries during the past decade.This study is an attempt to review,analyse and assess the national information policy proposals of six countries-Botswana,Ethiopia,Tanzania,Uganda,and Zambia.A Series of analytical frameworks to compare the policy elements have been formulated.The common elements,differential elements and omissions thereof in relation to the checklist of the elements in the frameworks are highlighted.The study indicates deficiencies in preliminary preparations as well as omissions of some elements in the policy proposals,and comments on the likely consequences in implementing the policies.The thesis concludes with recommendations that may contribute to strengthening the current efforts toward formulation and implementation of national information policies in Africa.
National Information Policy , National Information Framework