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

August 1, 2020 - April 30, 2021

Throughout the quarter, CLDP engaged with numerous experts to prepare and record eight separate sessions on trade topics, specifically designed for Afghanistan’s approximately 25 Commercial Attachés posted throughout the world. In May 2018, CLDP spent one week training the same group of Attachés in a comprehensive course designed for them prior to their departure. This updated training course is intended to provide more advanced training on relevant topics now that the Attachés have been serving in their posts for more than two years.  The topics for these presentations were identified based on consultations with the Attachés and relevant stakeholders in the last quarter. Topics include drafting international contracts, attracting foreign direct investment, negotiation strategies, and two sessions on working trade shows. The series of pre-recorded virtual presentations, including translated copies of the presentations, will be delivered on a rolling basis to the Attachés. In addition, future topics will be recorded and shared with the participants. These virtual recordings will be saved in an online repository, which will be available for any interested party to view, including the private sector. 

March 15, 2021 - May 24, 2021

CLDP in close collaboration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trained Bahrain Innovation and Technology Center (BITC) staff regarding filing patents in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).  This program was part of a CLDP/USPTO collaboration to conduct over 40 hours of intellectual property training for the BITC.  The program included training on how to obtain patents and copyrights in the US as well as other jurisdictions.  

CLDP in Action

February 24, 2021 - February 25, 2021

On February 24-25, CLDP conducted a workshop on FIDIC contracts for a delegation of Sri Lankan officials from the Attorney General’s office.