Sunday, November 30, 2003


These two papers should be widely known:

Strategic Approaches To Science And Technology In Development
By Robert Watson, Michael Crawford and Sara Farley, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3026, April 2003. (PDF, 62 pages)

From Knowledge To Wealth: Transforming Russian Science And Technology For A Modern Knowledge Economy
By Alfred Watkins, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 2974, February 2003. (PDF, 59 pages.)

I read two articles about biotechnology in Africa this weekend.

One was in Nature magazine’s November 20th edition (which is not available online without a subscription). The other was in the Washington Post.

The articles point out the debate going on. The world area dedicated to genetically modified crops is growing rapidly, albeit from a small base. On the other hand, most of those crops are grown in the United States and Argentina.

There is a fierce debate going on as to whether countries should grow such crops, especially the food crops, and as to whether the food from such crops is safe to eat.

I think that is OK, and I am a strong supporter of careful review and testing of recombinant organisms before releasing them to farmers or adding them to the diet. Some things are not OK. One is the level of superstitious argument that is encouraged. In my experience, there are people – especially in civil society – who have very little knowledge of the field but who feel capable of participating fully in the debate and even of advising countries on policy. Another thing that is not OK is arguing falsely, taking positions which are probably not true in order to advance one’s economic interests.

The articles seemed surprised to find that not enough money is being spent on biotech based research that would benefit the poor in developing nations. First, of course, development assistance is underfunded. Secondly, science is underfunded within the development assistance program. Then, one must recognize that poor people are not going to be as good a market for the products of this research as are the rich. Add to that the resistance to ever growing recombinant crops, even if they are successfully developed and demonstrated safe – why would people do the research?

I am surprised that people have not made the connection between:
· Zambia’s willingness to let people go hungry rather than allow the distribution of food from the United States, even though U.S. consumers were eating the stuff without any problems; and
· South Africa’s willingness to let people suffer and die from AIDS rather than use drugs that were available, and even arguing that AIDS was not caused by HIV.
Governments willing to let their citizens suffer and even die, arguing anti-scientific grounds for their actions – seems to me there is a common thread.

On the other hand, I also detect excessive optimism about biotech. It is 20 years since I was the project officer for a major study of the role of biotechnology for developing nations, and at that time I too was overly optimistic. But it takes a long time to move from a research idea to a socially or economically important set of applications. The dwarf varieties of rice that eventually were the basis of the green revolution were known in the 19th century, but the green revolution occurred in the late 20th century. Expecting results on the farm or in the market basket from biotechnology research after a decade is simply naïve.

We funded the first biotechnology projects in developing nations from USAID some 20 years ago. It was important to do so. The programs got scientific leaders thinking about regulation of biotechnology, and allowed a few leaders to continue working at the frontier of the field and maintaining their professional knowledge of the nature of biotechnology and the safety of its products. We hoped that they would be the gatekeepers for their societies. Too bad that less informed people have often taken that role.

The Post quotes Hans R. Herren, head of ICIPE, as saying: “I think it is wrong to sort of say that we need genetically modified crops to feed Africa. We need many other things first. You would need better agronomy, you need better fertilizer, you need better crop management. You have to make sure there are markets, there's storage, there are roads, there are trucks. Maybe in 15 or 20 years when we have solved all these other things, biotechnology will have something to contribute.” Of course Africa’s agricultural problems are not merely technological, and technological innovation is not going to be a priority in many countries until political, economic and other conditions improve.

But if we wait until these problems are solved until we start building biotechnology and biotech policy and regulatory capacity, agricultural technology will be still further behind.

At least people seem to accept the application of biotechnology within biomedical research and development!

Saturday, November 29, 2003


This network is supported by a number of donors, and since 2002 has been publishing a number of interesting policy studies. Here are some relating to ICT for Development.

Blueprint for Developing National ICT Policy in Africa
This paper begins with an overview, including discussion of The Digital Divide and its Socio-Economic Development Implications and a review of ‘ICT for Development’ Efforts on the World Scene. It then focuses on developing the African Information Society and Economy, mentioningtThe AISI and the DOI. The paper provides Guidelines to Facilitate the Process of Developing Integrated for Developing the Framework to Guide the Policy and Plan Development Process. I provides suggestions as to Identifying the Critical Success Factors. By Clement Dzidonu, ATPS Special Paper Series No. 5, 2002. (PDF, 36 pages.)
This is also available in French:

African Response to the Information Communication Technology Revolution (Case Study of the ICT Development in Nigeria)
This study reviews some of the ICT for Development initiatives in Africa, and discusses the Nigerian experience. By G. Olalere Ajayi, ATPS Special Paper Series No.8, March 2002. (PDF, 25 pages.)

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs): Poverty Alleviation and Universal Access Policies (A Review of the Current Status and Issues)
Abstract: “This paper provides a basic conceptual and practical foundation for discussing the role of information and communication technologies in the uplifting of poor communities. We commence by stating what we know to be true from several years of working in the telecommunications and information technology field in emerging markets and developing countries. We offer a structural way of addressing the issues related to an increasingly "digital divide", which we represent as two gaps to be bridged by different kinds of policies – both make up a Country’s Universal Access Strategy. We attempt to show what the minimum response of policy makers should be to the challenges they face, through some cases or illustrations from recent experience and analysis. We also report on rural telecommunications developments in Uganda, which promise an encouraging outcome as a potential model for other countries in Africa to consider.” By Andrew Dymond and Sonja Oestmann, ATPS Special Paper Series No.9, March 2002. (PDF, 20 pages.)

ICT Human Resource Development in Africa: Challenges, Strategies and Options
This paper briefly describes some of the experience in other countries, and then suggests criteria for ICT human resources development in Africa. By T.M. Waema, ATPS Special Paper Series No. 10, 2002. (PDF, 17 pages.)

Application of ICTs in Africa: Development of Knowledge workers in Centers of Learning
From the Abstract: “For any economy, organization or individual to be competitive, the application of information communication and technology (ICT) is critical. Recent debates on the digital divide and its impact on emerging markets appreciate that the growth and application of technology in all facets of life is inevitable. In Kenya today, gainful societies must embrace the information age to survive. The UNDP Human Development Report (2001) strongly supports technology as an essential ingredient in any development effort, and it proposes that subsequent interventions include technology of some kind. Employment in the private and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) requires an appropriate level of understanding of ICT, because of the growing use of the skill in conducting business. In the government, through the World Bank sponsored restructuring programme of the Department of Personnel Management, there is a move to outsource non-core support activities and employ better qualified individuals, empowered with essential skills. Development, as an individual or corporate, entrepreneur or employee, private or public body is becoming more dependent on the knowledge base of its units. The “knowledge worker” is rapidly replacing the labourer as basic activities are automated and consolidated by economies of scale because of globalization. Any economy, organization or government that misses this paradigm shift in human resource development will find it difficult to sustain growth and remain competitive. By John M. Waibochi, ATPS Special Paper Series No. 11, 2002. (PDF, 16 pages.)

Strengthening National Information and Communication Technology Policy in Africa: Governance, Equity and Institutional Issues
From the Introduction: “This paper provides a framework for a research agenda on governance of information communication technologies (ICTs) in Africa. It addresses the background, importance and developments in ICTs in general and the governance in particular. The paper also reviews events in Africa and elsewhere, highlighting the importance of governance of ICTs for growth and development in the continent.” By Melvin Ayogu, ATPS Special Paper Series No. 13, 2002. (PDF, 31 pages.)

I came across two papers prepared to inform the deliberations of the World Summit on the Information Society that seem to me to be important reading. I hope that WSIS helps develop support for building science and technology capacity in developing nations, and maintaining such capacity in transition nations. If so, these documents may be influential as to how such capacity building is to be accomplished.

Promoting The Application Of Science And Technology To Meet The Development Goals Contained In The Millennium Declaration
Four themes are covered: 1) Improving the policy environment for the application of science and technology to development; 2) Strengthening basic and applied research in developing countries and international scientific networking; 3) Strengthening technology support institutions and science advisory mechanisms; building human capacity; identifying new technologies and applications; and encouraging international collaboration to support research in neglected fields; and Promoting universal Internet access at affordable costs and building strategic partnerships in the field of science and technology for development and capacity building for competitiveness." Concept paper prepared by the CSTD Secretariat for the Panel on "Promoting the application of science and technology to meet the Millennium Development Goals," Tunis, Tunisia, 29-31 October 2003. (PDF, 22 pages.)

Background Paper of the Task Force on Science, Technology and Innovation of the Millennium Project
The Millennium Project was launched by the United Nations and the United Nations Development Program to recommend the best strategies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals set forth in the Millennium Assembly of the United Nations. Ten Task Forces were created under the project, including Task Force 10 on Science, Technology and Innovation. That Task Force, composed of well known leaders from many countries working in this field, produced this report dated April 18, 2003. (PDF, 57 pages.)

Monday, November 24, 2003


I seem to be in disagreement with some of my colleagues about the importance of standards, taxonomy and measurement as underlying requirements for the application of “Knowledge for Development”. Take for example the following organization:

The InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards
INCITS is, according to its website, "the primary U.S. focus of standardization in the field of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), encompassing storage, processing, transfer, display, management, organization, and retrieval of information. As such, INCITS also serves as ANSI's (American National Standards Institute's) Technical Advisory Group for ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1. JTC 1 is responsible for International standardization in the field of Information Technology." The website provides many resources relevant to ICT standards.

I assume that everyone interested in the topic of Knowledge for Development knows that the Internet is made possible by widely used standards that allow computers to connect to networks, and networks to interchange data. Without these standards and others of concern to INCITIS, we would not be seeing a World Summit on the Information Society, or even having a blog on Knowledge for Development.

Look at some of the other institutions involved in standards that are important resources for building knowledge economies in developing nations:

The American National Standards Institute

The Office of International Affairs of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology

The International Standards Organization

In may days as a health planner, I discovered that large numbers of people seeing a doctor on an outpatient basis never had their disease fully diagnosed. A lot of health problems clear up without medical help, and a lot are treated in a generic basis with requiring a detailed diagnosis. Moreover, different doctors may give different diagnoses for the same patient with the same presenting conditions. One of the most common diagnoses where I worked was GADEJO, or (cleaned up), “the desire to take off work”.

The situation was improving all those many years ago, and an important function of the World Health Organization was developing, maintaining and publishing the international classification of diseases, and harmonizing disease reporting systems among nations.

Now with the desire to create large scale health data bases, and to exchange medical records more consistently, a number of organizations are confronting the need for better classification systems. See for example:

The Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium
CDISC is an open, multidisciplinary, non-profit organization committed to the development of industry standards to support the electronic acquisition, exchange, submission and archiving of clinical trials data and metadata for medical and biopharmaceutical product development. The mission of CDISC is to lead the development of global, vendor-neutral, platform independent standards to improve data quality and accelerate product development in our industry.

This is the webpage of the Eudra Vigilance website that deals with MedDRA. MedDRA is the Medicinal Dictionary for Regulatory Activities. It has been developed as a clinically validated international medical terminology for regulatory authorities. MedDRA is also used in the regulated pharmaceutical industry for data entry, retrieval, evaluation and presentation during all phases of the regulatory process, from pre- to post- marketing phases. These processes include clinical studies, reports of spontaneous adverse reactions, events, regulatory submissions and regulated product information.

SNOMED Clinical Terms
SNOMED Clinical Terms® (SNOMED CT®) is a comprehensive and precise clinical reference terminology that health care providers, health care information technology suppliers, providers, payers, purchasers and institutional researchers can use to improve the comparability of data. It provides a common language that makes health care information accessible and usable, whenever and wherever it is needed, to improve health care across primary and specialty medicine settings internationally. Government entities and healthcare organizations in over 30 countries have adopted SNOMED CT since its release in January 2002.

Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC®)
The purpose of the LOINC database is to facilitate the exchange and pooling of results, such as blood hemoglobin, serum potassium, or vital signs, for clinical care, outcomes management, and research. Currently, most laboratories and other diagnostic services use HL7 to send their results electronically from their reporting systems to their care systems. However, most laboratories and other diagnostic care services identify tests in these messages by means of their internal and idiosyncratic code values. Thus, the care system cannot fully "understand" and properly file the results they receive unless they either adopt the producer's laboratory codes (which is impossible if they receive results from multiple sources), or invest in the work to map each result producer's code system to their internal code system. LOINC codes are universal identifiers for laboratory and other clinical observations that solve this problem.

Health Level Seven
Health Level Seven is one of several American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) operating in the healthcare arena. Most SDOs produce standards (sometimes called specifications or protocols) for a particular healthcare domain such as pharmacy, medical devices, imaging or insurance (claims processing) transactions. Health Level Seven’s domain is clinical and administrative data. Its mission is: "To provide standards for the exchange, management and integration of data that support clinical patient care and the management, delivery and evaluation of healthcare services. Specifically, to create flexible, cost effective approaches, standards, guidelines, methodologies, and related services for interoperability between healthcare information systems."

Thus in the health field, there is a major effort under way to standardize definitions of terms, and to find ways to assure the quality of information produced using these terms. These efforts will make epidemiological statistics a lot more meaningful – as health systems increasingly report their information according to defined standards, with increasingly carefully planned categories of reporting.

I would be willing to bet that similar efforts are under way in many fields. And in many fields as a result statistics will become much better sources of knowledge that can be applied for social and economic development and for the reduction of poverty.

I would also note that it is not always easy to evaluate whether or not a thing observed is an instance of a given category of things. Perhaps a table is easy to identify as a table, but to identify a contaminated food item as an instance of a particular kind of contamination, or to identify a polluted piece of soil as an example of a specific kind of pollution event may not be so easy. One important resource that could be used to help developing countries carry out such determinations is:

AOAC International
“As the ‘Association of Analytical Communities,’ AOAC INTERNATIONAL is committed to be a proactive, worldwide provider and facilitator in the development, use, and harmonization of validated analytical methods and laboratory quality assurance programs and services. AOAC also serves as the primary resource for timely knowledge exchange, networking, and high-quality laboratory information for its members.”

The point is that it is important to have good, widely accepted taxonomies. It is important to have clear means of classifying items according to these taxonomies. And it is important to have the scientific and technological capacity to use these means well. Without such infrastructure, “knowledge for development” approaches will be crippled. And consequently, it is important that the resources available to develop this infrastructure be recognized by people in developing nations, and their importance appreciated.

Thursday, November 20, 2003


From a recent e-mail from the NSF:

“According to the National Science Foundation's (NSF) figures
derived from the 1990 Census estimates of foreign-born workers in
1999 holding bachelor's degrees represented 11 percent of the
total population in S&E-classified occupations. Foreign-born
individuals with master's degrees held 19 percent of the S&E
occupations held by master's recipients overall. Foreign-born
Ph.D.s represented 29 percent of those positions.

“The 2000 Census figures, however, allowed for the first time a
sampling that takes into account foreign workers holding degrees
obtained in countries outside the United States. When factored
in, the estimated proportions of foreign-born workers in S&E
occupations in 1999 rose between six and 10 percent per category.
Foreign-born workers with bachelor's degrees actually represented
17 percent of the total in S&E positions held by people with
bachelor's degrees. The foreign-born proportion went up to 29
percent among those with master's degrees, and 38 percent among
doctorate holders. NSF analysts point out that during the 1990s,
there was a large influx of foreign-born scientists and engineers
across most fields.”

“NSB members also reported that from 2001 to 2002, H-1B visas for
foreign workers in science, engineering and technology-related
fields declined sharply from about 166,000 to around 74,000.”

The World Summit on the Information Society is to have its first meeting in Geneva, December 10-12, 2003. (The second meeting will be in Tunis in 2005.)

There have been national meetings and regional meetings in preparation for this event, as well as a seemingly endless series of “PrepComs”. Thousands of people are expected to descend on Geneva, and something like 110 parallel events are planned during WSIS I.

I am told that while there has not been much press coverage of WSIS in the North, there is a lot in the South. This may reflect the high hopes for the outcomes of WSIS in the South, and the concern for limiting the damage in the North.

WSIS was conceived as providing for an open dialog among governments, businesses, and civil society organizations. Perhaps as a result of better understanding among these organizations, it is rumored that many NGO leaders feel disillusioned because of their lack of success in influencing the draft Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. International business firms are in all likelihood avoiding public controversy, and focusing on influencing the policies of the OECD governments.

Governments are discovering how great are the differences among them in areas such as:
· openness of cyberspace, the importance of human rights,
· the control and amount of donor assistance in the field of ICT,
· the relative importance of intellectual property versus public domain,
· the importance of the commons in cyberspace,
· global governance of the Internet.

Donor agencies are staffed by human beings who seek job security and increased responsibility, and are no doubt vying among themselves for control of this field of development, while seeking to survive in their intra-governmental power struggles, and seeking to satisfice their domestic constituencies in civil society, the business community, the political arena, and the academic sphere.

From my distant viewpoint, I think there has been a huge amount of work done in preparation for WSIS. Many websites have been developed, papers written, meetings planned, and travel arrangements made.

Conflict is to be expected, but it would be a shame if the conflict became the story. WSIS does recognize that new tools for international development and the reduction of poverty have become available. It signals an opportunity for people to rethink policies and to change the emphasis on capacity building in development. It provides an opportunity for people to exchange views, and come to better mutual understanding. I hope those opportunities are fully utilized!

Saturday, November 15, 2003


According to this article, “the number of American students of college age or older studying abroad has more than doubled, from 71,154 in the 1991-92 school year to 154,168 in 2000-01. That is only a small percentage of the 9 million full-time undergraduates in America, but it is an important trend.”

My calculator says those studying abroad are equal to 1.7 percent of the number of U.S. undergraduate college students. If one assumed that “junior year abroad” was the standard, then one might expect one-quarter of all undergraduate students to be studying abroad.

However, the number studying abroad should include graduate students as well. I would certainly hope that a large portion of doctoral students study abroad, and masters students in many fields would also benefit.

It seems to be that 154 thousand students abroad is so low a number as to be almost a crisis level. The world’s greatest economic and political power certainly needs international experience. Part of that experience is obtained by immigration. On the other hand, the frequency of international study in the past was even lower than today, and we should be playing catch-up.

Moreover, most knowledge creation is occurring outside the borders of the United States. Gone are the post World War II days in which two-thirds or more of scientific activity worldwide occurred in the United States. While modern communications have improved our ability to obtain knowledge from abroad, much knowledge is tacit, best obtained in face-to-face interaction (or shoulder-to-shoulder interaction in the lab). Graduate education abroad is again an important source of scientific, technological, and academic knowledge for the U.S.

Friday, November 14, 2003


I have been building a website with resources for monitoring and evaluation. It was designed to support the programs of the Development Gateway, but I think many others might find it useful. It emphasizes monitoring and evaluation of ICT projects in a development context. Give it a try.

Thursday, November 13, 2003


The Partnership for Public Service provides a site on “The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government”.

The U.S. Agency for International Development ranks 22 out of 28 agencies rated. The study included survey responses from more than 100,000 feds on their satisfaction with their jobs. Four related questions ascertained that the USAID folk are not too happy with their organization as a place to work!

The Foundation Center has published a new report on international grantmaking by U.S. foundations.

Some of the findings are:
· International giving grew faster than overall giving through 2001;
· International funding accounted for 15 percent of overall foundation grant dollars in 2001;
· Health programs received the largest share of international grant dollars in the 2001 sample;
· U.S.-based programs garnered a larger share of all international giving;
· Estimated international giving in 2002 by all U.S. foundations declined faster than estimated overall foundation giving.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


Check out the new edition of Developments. It focuses on science in development, with an article on “Digital Development”.

While you are at it, you might check out an article in the New York Times that deals with the complex role of science in an information society.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


My colleague Shashank Ohja and I were chatting about a recent project in which an Asian country had contracted for the implementation of an ICT project from a nearby country. I casually repeated a comment standard in the “development community” for several decades that I would prefer a project that built capacity in the country with the project. Shashank rightly said that that the country should find the best deal it could, getting the best benefit to cost return on its investment.

Of course he was right. The whole theory of international commerce is built on this approach. All countries should do better specializing in the goods and services in which they have comparative advantage, trading them for other goods and services produced in countries according to their own comparative advantages. Why should ICT goods and services be any different? Surely developing countries should often trade the things they produce obeying their own comparative advantage for ICT goods and services produced abroad.

No one would suggest that the Sahelian countries should seek to compete with Intel in the production of silicon chips, nor with Microsoft in the production of software. Since ICT services, including software development and consulting, are increasingly tradable, why should not countries with a comparative advantage in these services also specialize and export? Why should not developing countries with comparative advantages in other products trade those products for chips, Microsoft software, and other services?

Still, I feel there is a set of core ICT competencies that should exist in a country, and that it would be bad policy to seek to import those competencies from others. All countries need gatekeeping competencies, to identify ICT needs and select appropriate products from domestic or international sources. Some services are still not tradable, and the capacity is needed at home to provide those services. Countries would be expected to have a comparative advantage in adapting technology produced to international standards in order for it to meet the needs of their own institutions; the capacity to do so should be built and maintained.

This seems to me to be a tricky area, needing more work to define the specific areas in which capacity should be built, and those in which countries should trade for needed ICT goods and services.

The number of mobile phones in the world has apparently surpassed the number of fixed line phones. I think the rapid growth of mobile connectivity has generally been seen as reducing the digital divide. I wonder the degree to which this is so.

Surely there are many people (in developing countries) who have obtained telephone service for the first time using a cell phone. Indeed there are clearly people using wireless in rural areas that have not yet been wired.

Yet I see many people adding a cell phone to their collection of communication devices that already includes one or more fixed line phones in their offices, fixed lines to their homes, and cable and DSL connections. Indeed I would guess that far more mobile phones are acquired by those who are already connected, than by the disconnected.

Thus it seems quite possible that the major effect of the introduction of mobile phones has been to add to the connectivity of the already connected – complementing home and office phone services with personal phone services. The effect of connecting the unwired, important as it undoubtedly is, may well be less extensive than the effect of adding to the connectivity of the wired.

And thus, the mobile may be more adding to the digital divide than bridging it.

The Development Gateway, in collaboration with two German donors has announced a €100,000 prize for leadership in the field of ICT for Development. The first prize will be awarded next year (May?), nominations are open, and information is available on the Development Gateway website.

I hope this prize will be different than some of the others I have seen, not naming names. I have seen prizes go for what I can only consider the cuteness of the project, or the likelihood that the project will attract media attention and attention from the general public.

As I see it, the key element of the Petersberg Prize will be to acknowledge a major success in the reduction of poverty through ICT. In India, for example, the four billion dollar e-government program that I mentioned in a previous posting is likely to benefit millions of people. The ten billion dollar a year that the Indian ICT industry has injected into the countries economy will have endless repercussions, similarly benefiting millions.

There are likely to be key elements contributing to such successes. Thus changes in national government policy and the example of successful e-government efforts in Andra Pradesh and other sites – now being scaled up nationwide – contributed to the e-government interest and support. The liberalization of business policies seem clearly to have contributed to the rapid growth of ICT and knowledge businesses (and I was told that the liberalization often started with ICT and then moved to other sectors.

In turn, leadership by an organization or individual was often critical to getting these key elements in place.

I hope that by recognizing such leadership, attention can be directed to the key elements that lead to major successes, and that as a result similar successes will occur in many countries.

I spent last week on a flying trip to Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. I had never before been to Bangalore nor Mumbai.

I can affirm that there are lots of ICT and knowledge based businesses in these cities. The facilities I saw were beautiful. Not only were there impressive building facades and gardens surrounding the facilities, but the interiors were luxurious, clean and functional. Computers were working, conference rooms fully equipped. (Indeed I saw a conference room in the Ministry of Information Technology equipped with GIS and communication technology that I hadn’t realized existed anywhere.) No wonder Indian-American ICT executives are returning to India in significant numbers, providing leadership to build its ICT industrial capacity.

I was told that the GDP of Bangalore was increasing at 30 percent a year, and while I recognize the problems of measuring this rate of increase, I certainly believe the place is booming. The city is extending up into the air and out into the surrounding countryside, driven by the growth of its ICT and knowledge industries.

I had a chance to see a university program, a government R&D lab program, and to visit a software company. People and progress in each were quite impressive. These folks appear to be able to hold their own professionally against competition from anywhere in the world, and to work at salaries only a fraction of those in the U.S. and Europe.

The industry has grown in size by an order of magnitude in the last decade, and seems in full course to continue rapid growth.

I was also impressed by the apparent resolve of the Indian government to develop e-government solutions. I was told that expenses this year on e-government will be equivalent to one billion U.S. dollars, and that a three billion dollar investment is planned for the next three years.

In a week no one becomes an expert on a country and its ICT industry, but this was a great visit.

I thank all the people who made it possible, and the folk who met me with such hospitality.