Hitting or Missing African UAS Objectives? An Evaluation of Universal Access and Service (UAS) Policy Guidelines for Developing Countries
Communications & Strategies, No. 86, 2nd Quarter 2012, pp. 121-141
21 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 15, 2012
Most African countries have historically lagged in telecommunications development. Recent modifications to universal access and service (UAS) policies have helped develop an environment capable of unprecedented mobile telecommunications growth. The World Bank Information for Development Program (InfoDev) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) developed "The ICT Regulation Toolkit" (ICTRT) to serve as a "best practice" guide for ICT policymakers in developing countries. The ICTRT recommends that developing countries include roll-out obligations in telecommunications licenses, develop a UAS fund to manage subsidies needed for investment, develop commercial rather than UAS policy solutions, take advantage of new technological efficiencies to achieve UAS objectives, include social factors in the design of UAS policies, and align UAS objectives with national social programs to foster co-achievement of long-term development goals. By conducting a critical analysis of Uganda's adoption of the ICTRT "best practice" guidelines, this paper contextualizes the impacts of policy transfer. The paper concludes with supply and demand-side UAS objectives that should be incorporated into the ICTRT.
Keywords: InfoDev/ITU ICT Regulation Toolkit, Mobile broadband, Mobile telecommunications, Universal access and service, Uganda, sub-Saharan Africa
JEL Classification: L5, L51, H70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation