ictQATAR, the country’s ICT policy and regulatory body, has released a five-year ICT plan that aims to “create a knowledge-based economy that will drive sustainable development and societal benefits for all”.
The National ICT Plan 2015’s measureable goals are to:
- Double the ICT sector’s contribution to the national GDP to US$3 billion
- Double the workforce to 40,000
- Achieve ubiquitous high-speed broadband access for households and businesses (95 per cent)
- Achieve mass ICT and internet adoption by all segments of society (90 per cent)
- Achieve wide accessibility and effectiveness of all key government services (160 online services)
The National ICT Plan wants to have Qatar benefiting from ICT solutions in key aspects of its society and economy by 2015. The country will also be using communications technology to become further integrated into the global economy.
To meet all these goals, ictQATAR has developed a “comprehensive, strategic framework” organised into five strategic thrusts that are aligned with the government’s broader national goals as articulated in Qatar’s National Vision 2030 released in 2008.
These five thrusts will involving improving connectivity with deployment of an advanced, secure infrastructure, boosting capacity by enhancing digital literary and developing skills to enable innovation; fostering economic development by creating an environment for an innovative and vibrant ICT industry; enhancing public service delivery; and advancing societal benefits by leveraging on ICT.
Each thrust is broken down into specific programmes, giving the National ICT Plan 2015 a total of 11 programmes—ICT infrastructure, modernising the legal and regulatory framework, cyber safety and security, digital inclusion, ICT human capital, innovation and entrepreneurship, digital content, second generation i-government, e-education, e-health and internet & society.
This new plan will build on Qatar’s first ICT masterplan created in 2005 which has increased investment in the ICT market to US$2.1 billion in 2010, gave Qatar a mobile penetration rate of 167 per cent, and increased broadband usage from 41 per cent of households in 2008 to 70 per cent in 2010.
Speaking of the plan, Hessa Al-Jaber, ictQATAR’s Secretary General, said: “Everyone in Qatar should feel greatly empowered by the progress we have made. I am confident we are well on our way to even more incredible advancements.”