Addis Ababa, 1 Feb (AIM) - Mozambican President Armando Guebuza said on Sunday that the country possesses all the conditions to make progress in information and communication technologies (ICTs), which he regarded as a key instrument for development.
Speaking to reporters in Addis Ababa, immediately before the start of the African Union summit, President Guebuza stressed that, in the near future, many more Mozambicans than at present will be making use of information technologies.
Later in the day President Guebuza spoke at a summit session devoted to the question of ICTs, and pointed to the Mozambican government's drive to expand and modernize the telecommunications infrastructure with the use of fibre optics in the communications between Maputo and all provincial capitals, and the inter-connection of the national and regional fibre optic networks.
He stressed that the government is committed to guaranteeing that ordinary citizens can gain access to ICTs. Thus the government's recent decision to introduce a third mobile phone operator "seeks to improve the current environment of competition in the sector, which will in turn contribute to increased telephone penetration, improved quality and diversity of telecommunication services, and to reducing their costs so that they become more accessible to the poorer strata of our society".
President Guebuza spoke of the role of the ICTs in electronic governance, and declared "We have been establishing communication and information systems directed at the fight against corruption, and to improve the availability of information of public interest".
He said that currently more than 150 state institutions are linked through the government's electronic network. This covers central and provincial institutions, and the network is now being extended to the districts
"The ICTs will allow our public institutions to carry out effective actions against red tape and corruption, to promote the good image of our country, and to improve the business environment and national competitiveness", claimed Guebuza.