University Utara Malaysia                                                        Faculty of Information and               ...
ICT Policy in Yemen                                              Taufiq Hail Ghilan Al-Madhagy Author                     ...
gy. The coverage of these companies spread out into the scat-                4.3. Obstaclestered land of Yemen and busines...
educational and communication sector. In the following lines               deployed the fiber optical cables especially co...
[4]. Ministry of Planning and International   Lots of business correspondence is made now by the e-                      A...
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ICT policy development in yemen

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ICT in the Republic of Yemen still on its first steps and needs a lot to be done, this article talks about the history of the formation of ICT policy and what are the obstacles surrounded the development of ICT in Yemen.

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ICT policy development in yemen

  1. 1. University Utara Malaysia Faculty of Information and Communication Technology ICT Policy in Yemen ijkjkjTaufiq Hail Ghilan Al-Madhagy AuthorIT Policy and StrategySchool of computing, CAS UUM, Sintok, 06010,
  2. 2. ICT Policy in Yemen Taufiq Hail Ghilan Al-Madhagy Author IT Policy and Strategy STID6014 School of Computing, CAS UUM, Sintok 06010. Malaysia Given the information above, it is obvious that the Gov-1. INTRODUCTION ernment has intensified efforts to develop the country throughThe Republic of Yemen, as any county, has its own ICT poli- technical education and this is a clear indication of IT policycy that intends to accomplish through strategic plans. The suc- within the program of successive Governments.cessive Governments try to follow certain programs to reachthe desired goal in its timed plans, within 5 consecutive years. The Government through its strategic plans has invested inOn the other hand, the Government of Yemen does not an- various projects to automate the paper work of the Govern-nounce clearly and specifically its ICT policies in a well- ment and achieve more productive and rapid results in theorganized manner to be understood as a separate entity within mainstream of people’s daily life. Almost all Governmentits general national policy. The ICT projects took/have taken a sectors are using computers in their daily work to cater thegreat deal of the yearly budget of the country. increasingly demand of speeding up the Government transac-Here we try to highlight the major points of ICT policy and its tions which took long times in the past.applications in different areas and in a narrow scale to enable The Government, through its Ministries, has establishedus have an overview of the matter under interest. “Computer Departments” to develop information systems, implement network infrastructure, and maintain the different2. IT IMPORTANCE IN YEMEN computerized appliances and devices for the entity in which it The government has many responsibilities towards its exists. These practices are clear evidence that the Governmentpeople, from one hand, and towards the international commu- has an IT policy that is followed precisely to accomplish itsnity, from the other hand, to meet its obligation to develop the final and build a system that will be in line with the sur-rounding countries which have better living standards. The This initiative, also, has narrowed the gap of computer illi-main focus of the successive Governments is to solve the fol- teracy in the public sector and created new opportunities andlowing issues concerning Yemen’s development obstacles1: businesses for the private sector. Many computer institutions Lowering the poverty levels; have opened its doors to welcome the new trainees and to Expanding the social security concept; cover the need for computer illiteracy. Providing more opportunities for woman’s participation Another good example was the automation of transactions in community and expanding the scope of political pluralism in the custom authority through the establishment of IS appli- in the country; cation that connects the central location database at the capital Giving more attention to public health and women’s and the different custom ports. This project was established, rights; supervised, funded by the World Bank. Fighting against illiteracy and foster a generation armed with science and technical knowledge; and Giving more attention to technical education, vocational 3. PRIVATE AND GOVERNMENT SECTORS IT POLICY INVOLVE- training, and community colleges. MENT The private sector has been playing a vital role in develop- ing the telecom sector of Yemen. In 2000, two telecom opera- tors were working and a third telephone operator joined in1 2004, Ynet. Actually these operators used the GSM technolo- (Ministry of Planning and International Affairs,R.O.Y) [2]
  3. 3. gy. The coverage of these companies spread out into the scat- 4.3. Obstaclestered land of Yemen and business challenges among them was Yemen has its own problems that lead to not benefitingso tough in order to satisfy the public demand. As a result of from communication systems’ services. These problems arethis rapid transform of telecom industry in Yemen, a fourth mainly concentrated in the following points4:telecom operator was established under the sponsorship of The countries difficult topography;Yemen Public Telecom Corporation using the CDM technolo- Scattered population groups with low density; andgy. This company took control of most public sector opera- Low level of distribution networks in cities and ruraltions, used the infrastructure of the government facilities and areas.that lead to its low prices and accordingly success in the com- Table 1Telephone Communication Indicators (urbanpetition of the promising local market. and rural) 2003-20055 Primarily, the Government’s policy is still insisting on the Indicator/Years 2003 2004 2005monopoly of being the only internet service providers in the Urban Callscounty, although the government media is announcing the Overall capacity of 1505192 1564349 157516opposite. communication net- 9 works Equipped capaci- 1161041 1243838 127578 It is important to indicate that in the 80s and 90s, the Te- ty(line) 2leYemen operator was working in Yemen which was a British Population 19131977 1972163 203052company invested in Yemen with its partner the Public Tele- 1 69com Corporation, a government Telecom representative. Number of operational 684884 898136 901385 In 2000, the cabinet took decree Numbered 16 on granting lineslicenses to ISPs and that was a right step in the path of devel- Number in operation 142680 113252 103249oping the information system in Yemen, but unfortunately this telephone linesdecision did not see the light and did not show in the horizon Number of major cen- 47 52 54 tralsyet.2 Number of subsidiary 208 222 223 centrals Vacant lines 476157 445702 3769304. ICT INFRASTRUCTURE BUILDING Rural calls 4.1. Expanding the landline infrastructure in cities Equipped capacity 101344 128385 240245 Operational lines 62593 96027 124921 The country population has increased rapidly and businesschallenges all over the world had lead to greater enforcementof developing an Information System in the developing coun- TABLE 1tries. The land-line numbers increased from 4.1 landlines per Reference from Minister of planning and international cooperation, Republic of Yemen.100 inhabitants in 2004 to 4.6 land lines in 20063. It is clearthat this lead to this expansion of Telecom infrastructure and 5. BUILDING PUBLIC AWARENESS AND IMPLEMENTATION OFcreated a great challenge in IT Industry. ICT POLICY 4.2. Inaugurate new wireless communication systems in 5.1. Strategies and measurements rural areas. Yemen is considered one of the developing countries and In addition to cities, the rural areas formed a new challenge the poorest country with the surrounding GCC6 the government to expand its services outside cities. The There is a great pressure from the US and Europe to develop itPublic Telecom Corporation, PTC, has inaugurated new rural and to establish security and education. As part of this influ-wireless analog communication systems to extend its services ence, the GCC countries funded many projects aiming to de-to a big sector of the community and try to compete with the velop the country’s infrastructure. Financing these projects hasprivate sector mobile operators. helped crucially in the implementation of ICT policy in the 4 (UN, 2007) 5 (UN, 2007) 62 (UN, 2007) Report about Yemen. Gulf Co-operative Council Countries, comprised of Arab3 (UN, 2007) Report about Yemen. Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar. [2]
  4. 4. educational and communication sector. In the following lines deployed the fiber optical cables especially connecting thewe explained these areas of interest that briefly describe and remote cities with the central communication point in the capi-define the implementation of the ICT policy in Yemen. tal Sana’a. 5.2. Projects implemented to achieve ICT Policy The internet usage started in Yemen in 1996 through two Through years of continuous efforts to implement the ICT service providers namely: TeleYemen and Public Telecom-policy in the country, the Government has invested in many munication Company (PTC), which are affiliated companiesprojects and in the following we focus on two major areas that of the Ministry of Telecom.are the key components of implementing ICT policy. The government of Yemen has invested YR 80 billion in addition to $31 million in the development of telecom infra- 5.2.1. Higher Education Sector structure and IT systems. The cell phones subscribers jumped A great step has been taken to raise the awareness of the from 153,000 in 1991 to 1.2 million subscribers in early 2006.importance of information technology in the Yemeni society Also, internet usage increased dramatically and the number ofby establishing the Yemen Center for Information Technology subscribers was 110,000 in 2006 compared to 3,800 subscrib-in Higher Education, YCIT-HE. This authority has been estab- ers in 1991.These figures show the huge demand for fasterlished to enable services of information technology in Yemen internet connection that lead to the investment of ADSL andUniversities for the staff, students, academic and management ISDN technologies.staff to automate. This great step is on the right path as it willproduce generations of IT-Based graduates to be injected into The tariffs started high but now are relatively less comparedthe society and will, as a result, educate the whole society in to the early phase of usage. It was one of the major ICT poli-IT. cies of the successive Governments, and the Ministry of Tele- com specifically, to reduce the internet and international calls During April 18th – 22nd, 2004 a conference was held in tariffs for the public to make it accessible and handy for everyAden, the economic city of Yemen, with the contribution of citizen in the country. On the other hand, the cost of interna-all Yemeni Universities, Ministry of Higher Education and tional calls is still yet high compared to other surroundingScientific Research, and the private sector to draw a map of countries.higher education National ICT policy in Yemen. Above all, the speed of internet and the quality service de- This policy has been approved and developed under super- livered to users in all sectors, the private and public, are poorvision of TUDelft University in Holland and produced a Na- and suffers from intermittent service.8tional Master ICT plan for higher education projects in Ye-men. One of its priorities was the establishment of YCIT-HE The government of Yemen through its affiliated ministries,which will run and supervise ICT projects like: a) Yemen the Ministry of Telecommunication and Ministry of Culture,Higher Education Management Information System, Library enact several policies for controlling the internet cafes and theInformation System, and project of E-learning system, project use of internet contents. In general, the pornography sites,of the National Education and Research Network, and other gambling and dating sites, and drug related sites are blocked. 9projects. In addition to that and as part of the country’s ICT policy, This project was a milestone in the higher education sector the barriers between internet users in Cafes are removed tothat started strongly but encountered by financial issues which restrict any kind of privacy surfing to the internet. Due to theslowed down the achievement of projects.7 nature of the tribal and closed society, these policies found its This was one of the initiatives that the government aimed to way in the application of these policies.foster the implementation of ICT policy in Yemen and to raisethe awareness of ICT usage in Yemen. In any case, the internet has made a major change in some habits of the tribal society and made the young generation 5.2.2. Telecommunication Sector cross the boundaries to learn, to see, to observe what people of As part of the Government ICT policy, the Government has the other side of the planet are doing.invested in years a lot to upgrade its infrastructure and widely7 8 (Yemen Center for Information Technology in Higher (Wikiperdia Encyclopedia Inc.) 9Education, 2007) (Wikiperdia Encyclopedia Inc.) [3]
  5. 5. [4]. Ministry of Planning and International Lots of business correspondence is made now by the e- Affairs,R.O.Y. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2012,mail, although in the late nineties the business sector avoided from http://www.mpic-yemen.orG:to dig in using other means than Fax and mail as an officialand formal way of business process. http://www.mpic- nt&view=article&id=37&Itemid=206. SUMMARY To summarize, the ICT policy in Yemen is moving towards [5]. The Impact of ICT Infrastructure on Malaysianachieving its goals and objectives slowly to fulfill its obliga- Trade. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2012, fromtions towards its people and the international community. UKM Artical1:Many projects have been implemented in different sectors; butunfortunately the desired results are not really met. The tech- evolves rapidly and the train of advancement does not I/PERKEM2011-2-5A4.pdfwait or allow for such slow steps to be walked through. Thegovernment should undertake to move further steps to achieve [6]. UN. (2007). Retrieved September 28, 2012,the ICT policy in a quick manner and to be in line with the rest fromof the world at least in not having monopoly of the internet in era of high tech, open space for all, and the globalization. 0Profiles/2007/English/Yemen-07-E.pdf BIBLIOGRAPHY [1]. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2012, from [7]. Wikiperdia Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2012, from l/rm9/english/Chapter5.pdf n [2]. (2007). Retrieved Octiber 10, 2012, from Yemen [8]. Wikiperdia Encyclopedia Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved Center for Information Technology in Higher October 10, 2012, from Education: n [3]. Cyberjaya. (n.d.). Retrieved October 3, 2012, from logical_features [4]