The government aims to raise Sri Lanka’s information technology and communication (ITC) literacy rate to 75 per cent by 2016.
Speaking at the 13th FutureGov Forum, held in Colombo recently, Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, said the country’s ICT level had risen from 5 per cent in 2004 to 30 per cent today, thanks to a Presidential directive to bring ICT to the average Sri Lankan citizen, especially in rural areas.
Mr. Weeratunga said ICT was a spur to growth and socio-economic development. He cited a rural telecentre network, Nenasala, and a school computer lab network as helping to bridge the rural-urban divide.
He said ICT was a passport for employment opportunities, and the government was duty-bound to make rural communities ICT literate.
“The peace that has dawned in our motherland has enabled us to think of innovations that would improve the quality of life of those living in rural areas, hitherto not much noticed by policymakers,” Mr. Weeratunga said.
ICT could also be used to boost national competitiveness and involve citizens as partners in governance.
The e-Sri Lanka project was launched in 2005 by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), with World Bank assistance.
Sri Lanka received three awards for its modernisation efforts at the recent FutureGov Awards.