1. The Directorate of Liaison and Documentation
The liaison and documentation directorate is responsible to arranging the program and meetings for the minister of MCIT on a daily basis. Furthermore, this directorate establishes the communications of other directorates within MCIT to the ministries of Afghan government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and foreign Embassies. This directorate is also responsible for producing news bulletins and communications for the media about major development within MCIT. In addition, this directorate also prepares and produces a magazine which is called “Areka” (a word in Pashto and is translated as to connect) and is published on a monthly basis. This directorate also disseminate the information on the new development of Information, Communication Technology (ICT) to the Afghan people via of interviews, conferences and round tables discussions on TV’s and radio’s.
2. The General Directorate of Information Technology (IT)
The MCIT is the main national Ministry and the enabling arm of the Afghan government to promote, plan, coordinate and direct efforts in order to initiate and launch Information and Communication Technology (ICT) programs and projects which are aimed at economic development in the country.
The aim of IT General Directorate is to build the required Information Technology competencies in the country which are highly desirable in twenty first century. The major objectives of IT directorate are: the transformation to Electronic Government, the development of Software and hardware Industry, the building of the state of art infrastructure and development of a qualitative pool of human resource.
The IT General Directorate will be working on the national agenda to have a sound and sustainable IT base which will result in the socio economic development of the country and the attainment of the vision for a better Afghanistan. To that end, the General Directorate will work on various programs for IT penetration and promotion all across the country and develop the laws, policies and regulations to ensure the effectiveness of the IT industry and the government initiatives. The General Directorate will be the national focal point for the IT sector in the country.
MCIT has conducted tremendous amount of work in the fields of Information Technology (IT) and telecommunications during the last decade, however, because of technological development and the needs in the country it is desired to extend the applications of ICT to other sectors. Therefore, the IT Directorate has been promoted to a General Directorate within MCIT and further directorates have been created within this General Directorate. The newly created directorates within the General Directorate of IT are the E-Government, Information and Cyber Security, and Technology and Innovation. A centralized leadership for the various pillars of the Information Technology within the ministry is vital and would serve as a strong leadership to lead the ministerial and national agenda of IT in the right direction.
2.1. The Directorate of Technology and Innovation
The main objective of this directorate is to standardize the IT penetration within the government sectors and work on innovative technological solutions for transforming the government processes and bringing effective solutions to address the existing administrative and service delivery problems within the government organizations. This directorate will work on introducing the culture of research and development to be practiced prior to the initiation of any ICT based projects within the government sectors in order to have affective project implementations.
The technology industry and its penetration within the government, in particular, is boosting dramatically. The MCIT mandate is to promote ICT within the government and standardize the ICT practices, has felt the need to expand the ICT related activities within the ministry and to have a specialized directorate to work on IT standards which has been practiced around the world to bring advanced and affective ICT solutions to the Afghan government that will address the present and future needs in the country. In addition, this directorate will work with other government organizations to innovate and to bring technological innovative solutions to the problems and challenges that exist within various organizations. Another major role of this directorate is to establish Research and Development laboratory where every government organizations ICT related project has to be analyzed based on prior research to make sure the investment is worth in order to prevent the failure of projects. In the past, various projects have been initiated without any prior research and the results have been either a complete failure or a partial success. To that end, some organizations have not better utilized their budget or donor funds.
Furthermore, this directorate will work closely with the academia to form research bodies and establish a mechanism for developing the local human resource required for the sophisticated and advanced technology environments. The efforts will result in stronger relationship between the government, academia and private sector. To that end, the country in near future will have its own local Work Force to tackle the challenges of e-transformation of the government sector. Moreover, Afghanistan will be able to provide skilled labor and ICT based services to the region which will directly affect and boost the socio-economic growth of the country. In addition, the director will also work to establish strong relations with international organizations and IT industry to transfer the knowledge and best practices to the country. This will result in having a reliable and competitive ICT industry within the country.
2.2. The Directorate of E-Government
The MCIT has already initiated the E-government initiatives for Afghanistan to transform the government processes and services to the Afghan citizens with the best utilization of ICT tools. The ministry has worked on the E-Afghanistan program and has developed the short term and long term vision and strategy of e-government for the country. The E-government strategy implementation requires leadership and skilled team within the government to achieve the set goals and objectives. Hence, the ministry has established a new directorate which is responsible for the e-government initiatives in Afghanistan.
Since the concept of e-government in Afghanistan is new and requires huge amount of efforts to streamline the programs with the existing operations of the government organizations and to introduce major changes in various operations which are necessary to have a smooth transition from the existing culture to the e-government culture. Based on academic researches the e-government programs or projects in developing countries has been 50% failure, 30% partial success and only 20% complete success. The reason for the failure or partial success of these projects has various aspects to it and one of the major causes of it is no proper leadership and professional skill sets within the government to guide the e-transformation in right direction. Thus, for one single ICT directorate to work on various other ICT related activities along with the e-government program is troublesome and seems ineffective. Hence, it has been decided to better meet the needs of the country and create a new directorate under the name of e-government.
2.3. The Directorate of Information and Cyber Security
Cyber security is one of the most important elements of a comprehensive strategy for securing a nation. In today’s world, our dependence on technology is so great that any interruption to the continuity of cyber space would have enduring and devastating effects on our well-being. Each day there is a tremendous flow of sensitive information stored on computers that are attached to the internet and unfortunately, the average citizen and nearly all government officials have little understanding of the components of cyber space and the required security.
Afghanistan is moving forward to establish a strong and reliable e-Government which will ensure the efficiency and transparency in all governmental systems in the country. However, the major concern of all the sectors and the citizens of Afghanistan is the security and data privacy of the systems within the country. All across the world the reliability over internet and ICT based systems have resulted in a great shift towards the establishment of Information and Cyber Security infrastructure with the main aim of safe guarding critical information of the nation.
As Afghanistan has witnessed an increase in the internet penetration within the country and implementation of various E-Systems within the government organizations, thus, the MCIT has taken the next step to secure the country from the cyber threats and provide safe heaven to the country’s electronic data and information systems, by establishing the Information and Cyber Security directorate within the Ministry.
The establishment of Information and Cyber Security Directorate will ensure information systems security; a body which will actively work out and coordinate security strategies and measures for critical information infrastructures in the country in order to make sure that the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems within the government are in place.
3. Afghan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ATRA)
The regulatory environment within the telecommunications sector in Afghanistan has been developed rapidly over the last few years. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of Afghanistan (ATRA) within the framework of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) was established according to the Telecommunication Law in 2006. ATRA is responsible to regulate the affairs related to the telecommunications sector. The regulatory body functions in an independent, open, objective, transparent, and non-discriminatory manner within the legal framework in the country. ATRA is committed to implement international best practices and creating a fully transparent regulatory environment in the country. More information can be found at: www.atra.gov.af
4. Directorate of Afghan Telecom
Afghan Telecom Corporation has started its operations on April 2006 to provide unified telecommunication services throughout Afghanistan under the stewardship of Ministry of Communications & Information Technology.
Afghan Telecom adopted a challenging program aiming to transform its business from government system to the recognized commercial business standards. The company has developed clear strategies focusing on internal re-organization, re-skilling and development of its staff, enhancement of its internal processes and studying its customers' needs and requirements while continuing carrying out its national and social duties and responsibilities.
For information click here www.afghantelecom.af/
5. Directorate of Afghan Post
The Afghan post provides postal service’s within the country and outside world. We have many post offices in the capital and major cities around Afghanistan; however, as we do not have postal codes and proper address system in the country, we do have problems with delivery of certain items from time to time. The MCIT is in continuous discussions with other ministries to rectify the problems associated with the lack of post code and proper address system in the country. Every country has introduced their EMS service by different names, which are matched with quality and safety of the service. Accordingly, we nominated our EMS service by name of (Afghan Shaheen Post) it means safe, speedy, and secure. It was officially launched on 1st January 2008 in Afghanistan.
For more information click at: afghanpost.gov.af/
6. Directorate of Information Communications & Technology Institute (ICTI)
The Information and Communication Technology Institute is part of the ministry, responsible for the educating the youngster at bachelor level in communications and Information technology. Thus, most of the graduates are employed by MCIT, Cellular telephone companies, Internet Service Providers and other national and international organizations within the country. More information can be found at: icti.edu.af/en
7. Directorate of Planning
The Planning directorate or the Project & International Relations Directorate is a one of the key departments within the Ministry of Communication, which plan the projects within the MCIT and coordinate the activities of MCIT with other national and international organizations. Additional responsibility of this directorate is to plan the different projects within the MCIT.
8. Afghan Postal Regulatory Authority (APRA)
Afghanistan Postal Regulatory Authority (APRA) established as the policy making and monitoring agency of activities of government postal service institutions and private organizations to provide postal services in Afghanistan.
Directorate of Afghan Post Service and many more private provider postal services (DHL, TNT, FDX, Bakhtar Express Post and Move on Logistic) already has the license and operates in postal market of Afghanistan.
In order required measures to be taken, it is Therefore to the notice of citizens if there are any problems or complaints raised pertaining delivering services or they indicate that individuals or institutions are providing service illegally without license from APRA, are kindly requested refer the case to Directorate of APRA located in building of Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.