Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Iraq's digital divide, neocolonialism, or development gap

Whatever your label for what plagues the Middle East, there is a desperate need for more research and funding for pilot projects in ICT deployment in not only Iraq, but most of the Middle East. For more, just read the 2003 Arab Human Development Report; there is one produced annually by leading Arabic scholars. Also, here is the abstract to my JOMC 223 final, for which I wrote about, surprise: ICTs in Iraq!

Since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in April 2003, access to diverse sources of information has significantly increased. In a span of three weeks, Iraqis witnessed the dethroning of their dictator. Through his regime’s demise, Iraq was transformed from one of the most insular backwaters of censorship and oppression to a land of mayhem and brigandry, albeit one where access to information and freedom of expression are virtually unregulated by the government. Gone are the days of government minders and shameless information ministers, but in their place has developed an atmosphere of chaotic jockeying for political clout as the national political body takes form. This paper seeks to emphasize the unprecedented circumstances under which the new Iraqi government, its people, and their U.S. occupiers find themselves. I argue that despite countless episodes of anarchic tragedy, the physical progress being made in Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) appears to be progressing at a pace relatively better than other aspects of the nation’s reconstruction. I detail “hard” areas of the ICT infrastructure reconstruction where progress is proceeding on a rapid, relatively massive scale, as well as areas of “soft” ICT development where Iraq, like many other emerging nations, will require thoughtful investment.

Read my essay here.


Blogger counterframe said...

Is this the end for Liberation Watch?

Great job on the paper. I wish I had taken as much care as you did with the footnotes. Very clean and clear presentation of ideas!

See you next semester. :-)


12/08/2004 07:33:00 PM  

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