World Bank assistance for Information & Communications Technology (ICT) in Uzbekistan

Доклады и выступления на Международном семинаре «Состояние и перспективы развития информационно-коммуникационных технологий в Узбекистане»

Выступление по теме: “Содействие развитию ИКТ и Интернета в Республике Узбекистан”

1. The World Bank’s first loan to Uzbekistan in 1993 – US$21 million for Institution Building & Technical Assistance (IBTA) — including several information & communication technology (ICT) components, such as computers for several government institution, namely the Central Bank of Uzbekistan (CBU), the State Property Committee (GKI), the Ministry of Macroeconomics & Statistics, and the Ministry of Labor. The loan also financed the creation of an inter-banking electronic payments system jointly with the CBU, thus dramatically decreasing the time required for inter-bank payment transfers and improving the efficiency of resource use, including the liquidity of the banking system. For example, the payments system is now able to guarantee payment to any point in the country within a few minutes, compared to one month or longer before.. A subsequent World Bank loan – for Financial Institution Building (FIBL) is helping to finance further development of this payments system.

2. In addition, the above-mentioned IB/TA project helped establish an internet provider «UzNET» to help provide government agencies and institutions dealing with international economic activities with access to the Internet. After this initial success, “ UzNET” has continued its activity on a self-financing basis.

3. Subsequently, the World Bank was actively involved in advising and financing measures to prevent possible Y2K-related problems in the year 2000, including a special US$200,000 grant to create a Y2K agency. At the same time, the IB/TA loan financed a US$25,000 consultancy to help design a contingency plan for the banking system in the event of Y2K-related problems in 2001.

4. More recently, a very important international initiative was launched, named the “Global Development Gateway Initiative’’. In which context Uzbekistan received a Development Gateway (DG) planning grant of US$50,000 in April, 2001. The implementing agency for this DG grant is the Center for Economic Research (CER). The DG’s vision is to facilitate creation of an enabling environment and development data base for and about developing countries, involving governments, the public and private sectors, international organizations and civil society. The DG, a special initiative of World Bank President James Wolfensohn, also promotes wider use of, and access to the Internet. Thus, an Uzbekistan E-Readiness and E-Needs Assessments was conducted, the portal website for a DG for Uzbekistan was created, and business plan prepared. An important feature of this work was partnership building activities, including fundraising.
5. Another World Bank initiative is the so-called Global Development Learning Network (GDLN). This unique partnership of public, private, and non-governmental organizations is a fully interactive, multi-channel network with a mandate to serve the developing world. GDLN partner organizations work together to take advantage of the most modern technologies, to build local capacity, share learning and knowledge, and develop a global community dedicated to fighting poverty.
6. GDLN Learning programs fall into three broad categories: Courses and Seminars, Development Dialogues, and Web-based Programs.

• Courses and Seminars combine two-way, multimedia videoconferencing sessions, complemented by print packages, CD-ROMs, interactive web communications, and/or face-to-face tutorials.
• Development Dialogues comprise short videoconferences to enable participants to work together to address pressing issues that call for a common international agenda, or require a local policy response.
• Web-based Programs are synchronous or asynchronous learning activities using the Internet for delivery.

GDLN partners conduct or participate in the above programs through so-called Distance Learning Centers (DLC), which have now been opened in more than forty countries.

7. Within the overall GDLN, a special regional initiative for Central Asia is now under preparation, based in the Bank’s newly established Central Asia Regional Office in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This will include creation of GDLN/DLC in Tashkent during 2003.

November 26, 2002

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