July 17, 2008 By Wayne Hanson
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told government officials to learn computers or else. Russia's new Internet-savvy president is promoting IT as a driver of economic development and in a visit to a technology park today said that that a more advanced kind of electronic government will be developed in the Karelia region soon, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency. According to reports, Medvedev sees e-government as a way to increase transparency and help stop government corruption.
Medvedev was also quoted as saying that the country's government leaders must learn to use computers or they will be dismissed.
The Internet is not controlled by the government in Russia, and users hope that Medvedev will stop recent government initiatives to require registration of Web site owners.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.