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.

Upcoming Programs

July 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020

Most of Iraq’s hydrocarbons are located in the province of Basrah. In spite of these mineral resources, unemployment is high in the province. To increase the likelihood that university graduates will be hired, since the summer of 2019, CLDP, in close cooperation with the University of Houston/Petroleum Technology Initiative (PTI), has been conducting a program to equip students from four Basrah universities with the skills sought by International Oil Companies (IOC) that operate in the province. A key skill required from new hires by the IOCs is competence in project management. To this end, PTI, under a contract with CLDP developed and taught in Houston in August 2019, a two-week course on “Project Management in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production”. This course was taught to delegations from four Basrah universities: Basrah University, Southern Technical University, Basrah University for Oil and Gas, Basrah Oil Training institute. Each university was supposed to send one professor and three students to Houston. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond their control, three of the professors were unable to attend the two-week course in Houston, a course that was very well-received by the lone professor and by all the students. Therefore, at CLDP’s request, PTI will now develop an online version of this course, to be used by the universities of the professors who could not go to Houston in August 2019. This development will take place in July and August 2020. 

July 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020

In July, August, and September 2020, CLDP, in collaboration with USTR and the University of Missouri, will provide virtual business fundamental courses to 20 Salvadoran textile representatives. CLDP has partnered with a textile and apparel expert who will conduct group sessions, as well as tailored sessions depending on the needs and businesses of the selected representatives. Lessons will cover business plan development and implementation, mentorship opportunities, local business resources, and personnel management. Furthermore, the sessions will give the Salvadoran textiles representatives the opportunity to begin developing comprehensive plans to effectively disseminate the knowledge they acquire during this program broadly across the industry with other textile professionals in El Salvador. Participants, who represent the Salvadoran private sector, key government agencies, and academia, will continue to engage their U.S. counterparts in this project for the remainder of the CLDP programming throughout 2021. This project is a part of CLDP’s and USTR’s capacity-building program to improve regional prosperity by fostering human and institutional capacity to improve the competitiveness of the Salvadoran textile industry.

CLDP in Action

July 30, 2020

As part of an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Commerce’s Office of Russia, Europe, and Eurasia (ORUE)CLDP participated in a video meeting with Javlon Vakhabov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United States on June 25, 2020, to discuss Uzbekistan’s Strategy for the Development of Agriculture in 2020-2030.