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Azerbaijan: ICT Development Strategy Submitted to Gov't
Source: azernews.az
Source Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: Azerbaijan
Created: Nov 19, 2013

The Azerbaijan Communications and Information Technologies Ministry submitted a new strategy for the ICT development in 2013-2020 to the government.

The news was announced by Isfandiyar Aliyev, Head of Strategic Development Department at the Ministry on November 12.

Adoption of the new document is expected by the year-end, he said.

The new national strategy aims to increase the share of the ICT sector, and reveal organizational and economic mechanisms for implementing the upcoming projects.

The strategy will be accompanied by public programs. It includes the basis of the ICT sector funding, which contributes to the rational use of funds for the development of projects in various sectors, and increases the transparency and the goal of their use.

The national strategy also aims to solve the "digital divide" problem between the center and the regions of the country. Implementing the broadband infrastructure development and satellite systems will play an essential part in overcoming this gap.

The previous 2003-2012 strategy implementation, which defined the main objectives for previous years including transition to the information society, has been already completed.

A large number of state programs and laws, including the state program "Electronic Azerbaijan", that enabled a large number of events, were approved in the past.

The new program is aimed at creating e-government, developing methods of management by means of implementing modern information and communication technologies in state bodies, providing e-services, and taking comprehensive measures to provide simplified and free access to such services for citizens and organizations.

The e-government project, which mostly covers the public sector, is an integral part of the broad "Electronic Azerbaijan" project, which aims to reduce poverty and promote the population's prosperity.

2013 was declared the Year of ICT in Azerbaijan and the ICT University was established under a presidential order on February 2.

Some 142.6 million manats ($182 million) were invested in Azerbaijan's ICT and postal communication sectors in the first nine months of 2013.

During the mentioned period, fiber-optic cables with a total length of 673.3 kilometers were laid out in the country.

In the frame of a project on developing broadband internet in Azerbaijan (Fiber-to-the-Home) high-speed internet access is expected to cover all areas of Azerbaijan by 2017.

The ultimate goal of the project, which will cover a period of up to 2018, is to supply the entire country, including its distant rural areas, with high-speed internet with the range of 10-100 Mbit/s, and raise the number of high-speed internet users to 85 percent, which will allow Azerbaijan to reach the level of the developed countries by 2017.

Azerbaijan currently leads the way among the Commonwealth of Independent States in terms of internet penetration among individual users, and in terms of broadband internet penetration among individual users.

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