Information is defined on the Business dictionary website as, “raw data that (1)Has been verified to be accurate and timely, (2)Is specific and organized for a purpose, (3) Is presented within a context that gives it meaning and relevance, (4) and which leads to increase in understanding and decrease in uncertainty. The value of information lies solely in its ability to affect a behavior, decision, or outcome.”(www.businessdictionary.com). Information can be transferred via different media such as, books, serials, journals and ICT’s. In our diverse world, information is now thought of as a resource. Faster, smarter and more innovative means of its collection, storage and dissemination are being created every day. On the other hand, development is a multi-purpose and multi-disciplinary term. It can be defined as, “A multi dimensional process that involves the quantitative increase in wealth and qualitative changes in the economy through improved technology, better utilization of natural resources and better social division of labour.” (Lipalile page 10). Development today is used mostly to describe growth in an economic sense. However from the above definition it is apparent that development is not limited to the economy. Development can take place in different disciplines such as Politics, Science, Education, Culture, the list is endless. However this essay will focus on the role that information plays in the Information and Technologies (ICT's) sector. And how this in turn leads to National Development. ICT's are communication tools that aid in the collection, storage and most importantly the transfer of information. These tools include radio, television and most importantly the internet and telecommunications. This is as in recent times, ICT's have come to symbolize the internet and telecommunications exclusively. The reason behind this maybe that, "the global economy has entered a 'digital age' & information has become the primary resource for economic development" (Talero and Gandette page 11) Typically, National Development can be assessed by looking at two important factors. These are, a countries Political system and its Economic situation. Since both factors are inter-linked they will not be discussed separately. The answer to what role of information plays in national development is a paradox. To simplify the many ways in which information plays an impact, graphic examples are necessary.
In terms of the economy, I shall firstly discuss an important part of any countries economy. Which is the production of goods and provision of services. In this information is imperative. This is as production is a multi-stage process that takes a lot of stages and planning. From the procurement of raw materials, their transfer and processing into finished goods, the exchange of information (communication) has to take place between the various parties concerned with the different stages. Information ensures that production takes place in an efficient and orderly manner. ICT's have increased the speed & capacity of the amount of information that can be transferred in the production process. ICT's have also allowed for Zambia companies both large & small to expand. This expansion has taken place at an international level at an even faster rate than ever before. This is as ICT's, "Foster efficient supply chain management and diversification and improves the logistics of moving goods and services across national boarders. This creates opportunities for large and small firms to increase their scale range and tap into the global market for goods and services." (Grace, Kenny, Qiang page 15). This reduces on costs and time spent on production and thus resulting in an increase in profits. ICT’s are also a source of revenue in themselves. Although government has embraced the importance of information, its provision and ICT’s quite late. It is encouraging to see the steps that it has made to catch up with the rest of the...
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