July 18 2013
Swaziland’s ministry of information, communication and technology is discussing internet security and regulation at a workshop in Ezulweni on 18 and 19 July.
On July 18 presentations are being made on ‘internet topology and economics’, ‘internet governance, regulation and security’, and ‘regulatory best practices for economic growth’, amongst other topics.
In addition to presentations on regulations and security, the topic of how countries can use the internet to drive economic growth was discussed.
The expert presenter at the conference, Bill Woodcock, from non-profit research institute Packet Clearing House, said the best way to ensure global competitiveness – insofar as companies making money from interent businesses and therefore government’s collecting increased tax revenues – was to ensure young people receive quality education.
Woodcock said “government policy on education is the single most important driver” to ensure students have the tools and knowledge necessary to effectively prosper and make money in today’s internet-dominated world. A good education, which government has the responsibility of ensuring, leads to smarter and more motivated citizens, which in turn means these citizens are more likely to begin online businesses and make money. This money, made by the businesses, leads to greater tax revenue for the government which can be poured back into educating kids.
If countries are to truly benefit from the interent, students need to be taught about the internet and exposed to technical issues early on, so when they reach their mid-20s they are able to create and experiment with selling products and services online. In terms of online economics, these small internet start-up businesses is where true growth is created.
Running alongside a quality education, Woodcock said countries, if they wanted to get the most from the internet and their citizens, need to open up licensing.
“The number one problem in many African countries is the little number of mobile licenses,” he said. More licenses create more competiveness and therefore better service, lower prices, which in turn drives economic growth.
The conference continues today at the Royal Swazi Spa and Convention Centre, when interent security for the financial sector as well as implications for the law enforcement will be discussed.
For comments or queries, please contact:
MISA-Swaziland National Director