Information and Communications Technology

CLDP conducts programs and initiatives that will increase affordable and secure access by the people of Afghanistan to communications technologies through private sector investment; ensure continuation of a free, open, and interoperable Internet through a multi-stakeholder governance process, and encourage a fair regulatory regime that gives opportunities to U.S businesses to compete fairly. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is an essential foundation for a country’s economy, necessary to the development of businesses of all size, education, healthcare, and a free society. With access to the Internet now widely available in most countries through 4G technologies and with 5G now being deployed, the issues are critical and current. Legal and regulatory frameworks affect the development of mobile and fixed broadband communications, Internet governance, cyber issues, and eCommerce.

Legislative and Regulatory Reform

CLDP supports governments’ efforts to enact or modify laws by offering expert analysis and discussion of drafts, often in the context of consultative sessions. CLDP’s staff or pro bono experts can offer direction and examples of international best practices by other countries in a region or globally. As an example, CLDP worked with international experts to help Afghanistan develop text for a law that would govern electronic signatures.

Within the broad rubric of Information and Communications Technology, the relevant laws, regulations, or policy statements can address topics including:

  • Organization and jurisdiction of an independent telecommunications regulator
  • Spectrum licensing and auctions
  • Governance of electronic Transactions/E-Signatures
  • Regulations governing open access, competition, pricing, data localization and many other matters
  • Continued availability of “over the top” communications or media services
  • Consumer Privacy
  • Social Media access and restrictions
  • Trans-border eCommerce
  • Cyber Crime or cybersecurity laws, including on 5G networks
  • Emergency telecommunications planning

Training

CLDP has at times provided training or other types of informational sessions to officials from partner governments on various matters. Such training can provide information to decisionmakers at all levels. For example, CLDP has provided training to both senior and mid-level officials from the Government of Pakistan on ICT regulatory approaches and new technologies.

Multi-Stakeholder Discussions

CLDP has supported participation a multi-stakeholder and symposia organized by other organizations internationally or regionally. For example, CLDP has supported individuals from government, non-government organizations, the technical community, and the private sector to attend the annual United Nations Internet Governance Forum, where they listen and speak at multiple workshops and interact with world experts on ICT topics. In so doing, CLDP organizes addition workshop programming and meetings on matters of particular importance to home countries of the supported participants. CLDP has also helped support national or regional Internet Governance Forums to bring the benefits of these activities to stakeholders who are not able to travel to the international events.

CLDP in Action

December 12, 2019

On December 12, in Manama, Bahrain, CLDP held a workshop focused on technology transfer for representatives from government, academia, and the startup community.