Digital Divide

Dec 04, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will have to lobby to retain funding for its e-Sri Lanka initiative, as the World Bank draws up a lending program for Sri Lanka for the next three years, an official said. The World Bank currently supports the e-Sri Lanka project an initiative to improve access and use of ICT (information communications technology) by citizens, businesses and government with a 53 million dollar credit.

“We have received a request for additional funding for the ICT Agency (ICTA) e-Sri Lanka initiative,” Naoko Ishii, country director for Sri Lanka said on Friday.

“We are currently formulating the country assistance strategy for 2009-2012 and in that a second phase is not included.”

The World Bank funded project is implemented by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, a state agency.

The government of Sri Lanka will have to prioritise its development activities, Ishii says, to ensure continued funding for the ICT initiative for the next three years. The World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy is not yet finalized.

The five year e-Sri Lanka project was launched in 2004 to re-engineer government departments and develop ICT policy, improving ICT education and setting