(LINA) – The acting Mission Director at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has affirmed that USAID will continue to support Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Liberia.
Rebekah Eubanks said it is critical for the Liberian Government and partners to work so as to build upon successes they have achieved together by positioning key personnel and devoting modest resources to keep core ICT systems operable.
The USAID official was speaking at the Monrovia City Hall recently at the graduation ceremony of 46 Chief Information Officers (CIO) from various government ministries and agencies.
She urged the graduates to utilize and maintain the innovative ICT coordination structures provided by Digital Liberia program so that they can achieve their intended goals.
Eubanks stressed that improving the ICT sector will go a long way in strengthening government communication with the Liberian public.
“We applaud the new ICT policy which calls for a role of government CIO in executive office. We also call upon all government partners to elevate the CIO and ICT staff within your respective institutions to support implementation of this policy and to commit to a government-wide ICT cost sharing practice,” Eubanks added.
She indicated that Ministries, Agencies and Commissions should include an ICT line item in their budget request, indicating that this is the best way to ensure the availability and security of mission critical ICT systems for the benefit of the Liberian people.
According to Eubanks, the Ebola virus outbreak exposed deep and systemic weakness in Liberia’s digital infrastructure which severely hindered the national response to the outbreak.
Director Eubanks emphasize that the lack of ICT infrastructure and government structures at the time depicted that health workers on the front line of the fight against Ebola could not receive their salaries on time, quickly access report on disease-related events or disseminate important messages to affected communities.
She cited that the Digital Liberia activity was purposefully designed to help Liberia take on and solve these challenges.
“USAID is supporting many new ICT systems to enable the government to coordinate on shared priorities and achieve efficiencies,” Eubanks noted.