04-801/A3-Carnegie Mellon University Africa - Carnegie Mellon University


ICT Policy for Social-Economic Transformation 

Course discipline:  ICT Policy  
Units: 6 
Lecture/Lab/Rep hours/week: Spring 
Pre-requisites: None 

Course description: 

The Pan Africa commitment nearly seven years ago to build ICT infrastructure has reached the final stages of completion with further commitments to build enhanced networks such as Rwanda’s LTE (4G) network to be completed over the next three years.  National visions to transform countries have been developed to leverage the power of ICT infrastructure through applications to support public and private sector socio-economic transformation. 
Further work by governments is required to support private sector investment – a key message from the seven heads of state at the TransformAfrica2013 summit in Kigali.  It is in this context that the ICT Policy course has been crafted to cover areas such as the relationship between regulatory governance and ICT policy, ICT policy, critical valuation of selected regional ICT policies, best practices for leveraging ICT for socio-economic transformation, and drafting frameworks for ICT policy including the need to understand challenges and factors for sustainable ICT policies.

Learning objectives:

1. Review regulatory governance in relation to ICT policy;  
2. Investigate ICT policies and regulation in selected African countries;
3. Analyze the relationship between ICT policy and socio-economic transformation;
4. Identify key aspects of the new global  telecom treaty signed at the WCIT-12 conference in Dubai including various positions on the following:
  • unsolicited bulk communications
  • cyber security
  • international content pricing
  • connectivity for land locked nations
  • mobile broadband development, and
  • migration IP networks and the associated issues;
5. Develop effective and sustainable frameworks for ICT policy


After completing this course, students should be able to:
  • Identify best practices for developing ICT policy for socio-economic advancement
  • Investigate ICT policies and regulation in African countries
  • Review the process for developing and implementing ICT policies 
  • Explain the relationship between effective ICT policy and progressive socio-economic development
  • Explain the challenges involved in developing and enforcing effective ICT policies in relation to the new global telecoms treaty signed at WCIT-2102 in Dubai
  • Compare challenges faced in selected countries and how they are being addressed
  • Develop an effective framework for ICT policy
  • Describe opportunities to influence ICT policy

Content details:

The course will cover the following topics:
  • Principles of ICT & Telecom Policy; 
  • Regulatory governance and its relationship to ICT policy; 
  • ICT & Telecom Policy benchmarks (from a select number of global and African case studies on ICT Policy including the recently documented ICT Policy for Rwanda); 
  • The relationship between ICT policy and socio-economic transformation; 
  • Challenges to investment balances with the need for sustainable ICT Policies;  
  • Brief analysis of global telecom issues and solutions that ICT policies can support; 
  • Internet Governance and ICT Policy; 
  • Policy Frameworks for Africa; 
  • Review and analysis of the recently ITU initiated Treaty signed by 89 Member States (2012), in Dubai including various positions on key topic areas such as unsolicited bulk communications, cyber security, international content pricing, connectivity for land locked nations, mobile broadband development, migration IP networks and the associated issues; and            
  • Crafting an ICT Policy (Student projects as teams). 

Students’ assessment:

Students will be assessed based on:
  • Class participation 
  • Analysis of case studies on policy for benchmarked countries (2-3 case studies)
  • Individual and/or group project 
  • Final Exam to test understanding of core principles of developing ICT Policy 

Faculty: Zain Khan