Culture Serving the Nation: Culture and Communication Are Two Elements of a Single Ministry That Is Pursuing a Strategy of Supporting the Arts and Building National Pride

Article excerpt

The Ministry of Culture and Communication is responsible for Posts and Telecommunications as well as implementing the Head of State's strategic objectives and government policies for promoting the country's cultural identity. The culture portfolio focuses on the arts, crafts, artisans and the creative industries that serve to promote Djibouti. The main development over the next five years is to increase telecoms penetration and expand the infrastructure throughout the whole territory.

Other objectives include the strengthening of the Regional Telecommunications Hub of Djibouti, the democratisation of access and use of ITC at the national level, and the fight against the digital divide.

Working within the Ministry, the Directorate of Posts and Telecommunications is undertaking a reassessment of policy pertaining to the ICT sector. It wants to enhance progress, define new objectives, develop an adequate strategy to achieve these goals, and formalise the action plan for an efficient implementation.

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Djibouti is one of the beneficiaries of the African Virtual University/African Development Bank/Nepad joint programme that initiated a teacher education programme six years ago. The programme revolves around the use of ICTs both in and across the curriculum, with a particular focus on mathematics and science education.

The use of ICTs across the teaching curriculum will greatly contribute to improving the quality and increase the number of teachers through flexible, affordable delivery using open, distance, and e-learning systems.

Furthermore, USAID's Djibouti Assistance to Education Project (also known in French as Assistance Internationale pour le Developpement de l'Education), is a three-year effort that was started in 2010 to improve student learning. The objective will be pursued through three separate but interlocking sets of interventions linked directly to the three intermediate results of increased access to basic education, improved quality of teaching and learning, and increased opportunities for girls' education. The SchoolNet and Cisco Academy initiatives fall under this project.

Through this project USAID donated computers, printers and UPS's to four schools in rural Djibouti. Djibouti Telecom, a partner in the project and the national telecommunications service provider, deployed local area networks and provided internet connectivity to four schools.

The Education Ministry has made capacity-building a priority for teachers in the use of ICT through the National Education and ICT project and the automation of the Education Ministry itself. At the secondary school level some schools, through donors and NGOs, have managed to equip computer labs and establish connectivity provided by the country's telecom company, Djibouti Telecom.

Celebrating Djibouti

Celebrating the country's pride, and recognising the individual contributors who act as Djibouti's cultural ambassadors, not only presents a positive statement to the outside world but reaffirms a strong sense of inclusiveness within the country amongst the general public, of belonging within a region and identifying with the city and its rich history. …