“The Biggest Problem is that People are Not Informed About the Importance of ICT”

What e-content means in Burundi:?

A: E-content in Burundi almost does not exist. We can only find some web sites and the large majority of them only showcase their content and are not really interactive.

What is the current status of e-content in your country, including national e-content development across all the sectors of the industry?

What I can say is that e-content in Burundi is at a very early stage of development. There are very few web sites which exist. Some ICT applications can be found being used and created in corporate businesses for the sake of efficiency. In other words, enterprise computing is common, but the common man in Burundi may not even know the word ‘e-content’.

Which e-content area is best developed in your country?

The most developed area in Burundi with regard to e-content is e-biz. That means the applications made in order to manage enterprises. There are some initiatives in the area of e-inclusion as well, where people can learn how to use office software, but all the other domains are almost non-existent.

Which sectors in your country are the leaders in e-content development?

The business and private sector is the most aggressive in developing e-content. The second sector would be civil society.

Please describe the progress of e-content development in your country.

The progress of the development of e-content in Burundi has been extremely slow. If you look at the timeline, you can see that in 1997, first Internet Service Provider, CBINET (www.cbinf.com), was set up. In 2000, the second ISP, USAN (www.usan-bu.net), was established. In 2001, Base International (www.baseint.net), a private start-up web services was set up.

Please list the major initiatives which have influenced and spurred the development of e-content in your country.

The biggest initiative which has influenced the development of e-content in Burundi is the creation of Base International in 2001 which is essentially a private company that offers web services.

What have been the major bottlenecks in the development of e-content in your country?

The major bottlenecks in the path of the development of e-content are:
» The lack of computer training in a majority of the schools in Burundi;
» The high cost of computers in Burundi due to the taxes applied on computing equipment;
» The lack of basic infrastructure like electricity and telephone lines.

In developed countries ICT has become part of daily life and e-content development is primarily left to the initiatives of individuals or organizations. On the other hand, in less developed countries, the development of e-content is largely dependent on ICT infrastructure. Please give a detailed analysis of the situation in your country..

In Burundi, the biggest problem is that people are not informed about the importance of ICT. In addition to this, the ICT infrastructure is limited. Even if someone develops an individual initiative, he doesn’t get any sustainance.

How would you describe the ICT scenario in your country? Please describe it in terms of infrastructure, penetration, acceptance and policies.

Developing basic infrastructure like electricity and telephone lines, introducing computer training in schools, abolishing all taxes on material and computer services, etc. would help to develop the ICT scenario in the country.

How do you see the future of e-content development in your country?

In order to quickly develop e-content in Burundi, computer training must be introduced in schools. The Internet connection bandwidth must be enlarged and new phone lines and electricity lines must be installed in all the parts of Burundi.

As an expert in your country, what would be the five most important pillars of e-content development?

» Popularizing of information on ICT;
» Introducing computing in schools;
» Abolishing all taxes on computer materials and services.

Taking these steps would help to ensure that the common man in Burundi has access to ICT.

Please explain which is the most preferred medium for e-content development: Print, TV, the Internet, Radio, Mobile/Wireless or a combination of some of these?

The Radio is the most popular medium in Burundi.

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