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Etisalat Afghanistan Sponsors Inauguration of National Information and Communication Council of Afghanistan (NICCA)

Kabul, May 28, 2007: The national Information and Communication council of ICT Afghanistan (NICCA) was inaugurated on Sunday.

According to Ahmad Zia Massod, first vice president and chairman of NICCA, the top priorities of NICCA will be to develop a strategic plan for information and communication technology (ICT), forming standard for hardware and software, coordination amongst government agencies, donor organization and private sectors in order to expand the opportunities of investment in the sector ICT.Ahmad Zia Masood added that establishing e-government was the top priority for NICCA.

“By implementing the above goals the ordinary afghan will be able to contact government agencies through email and other means of communication, devising of appropriate procedures for data security, integration, access, ensuring privacy protection and developing procedures to deal with emergency situation,” said Amir Zai Sangin, secretary of NICCA and the Minister of communication and information technology. “The council will change and reform the Information Technology codes” he added. Encouraging Investors to invent in the field of ICT is another goal of NICCA.

NICCA has 19 permanent and three temporary members, the permanent member include: The fist vice president, Ministry of Foreign affairs, Interior affairs, Finance, Higher Education, Education, National Economy, Communication and IT, Culture and Information and the Ministry of commerce as well as other permanent organization such as AISA and the National Association of ICT.

The Issue of Information and Communication Technology development will be included as one of the top priorities of the Agency for National Development Strategy (ANDS), Mr. Ahmad Zia said.

Currently only one percent of the afghan population has access to internet and more than 50 percent of them have access to telephone and mobile services, most of telephone services are provided by private communication companies.