Hon. Zotawon D. Titus
Professional Profile of Zotawon D. Titus:
Zotawon D. Titus is a public policy practitioner who has served his nation in various capacities. He was appointed Deputy Minister for Technical Services (ICT and Telecommunications) at the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications in September 2012. He had previously served as Assistant Minister for Telecommunications from May 2006 to June 2010 and was granted a two-year study leave under the Australia-Liberia governments bilateral scholarship program in July (2010) to do graduate study in public policy. Knowledge acquired under the program has enabled him to more robustly contribute to Liberia public sector reform through the formulation of various policy instruments. The instruments are tailored with the objective of helping to accelerate the expansion of voice and data services nationwide and to enhance sector governance.
Zotawon, a seasoned public policy practitioner with over a decade-long experience in Liberia’s ICT sector began his career as Special Assistant to the Minister at the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications in 2001. Also a researcher, Zotawon has immensely contributed evidence-based perspectives to solving policy issues. His passion lies in advancing strategies to accelerate access to services beyond ‘boundary’. He believes that the redistribution of wealth through appropriate policy frameworks to raise the living standard of the poor and the inclusion, in a genuine way, of the voices of those whom policy decisions affect will improve the quality of governance for the good of society. Zotawon began his public career as a free-lance journalist and a political activist. As a public servant, these values have played key roles in shaping his contributions to governance.
Zotawon earned Master’s degree in Public Policy (MPP) from the Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia in 2012 and was the Postgraduate Student Representative to the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences from 2011 to 2012. He also earned Graduate Certificate in Public Policy (GCPP) with focus on formulating sustainable regulatory framework from Flinders in 2010. He studied Economics for his Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree from the University of Liberia in 2003 and completed secondary education at the Sanniquellie Central High School in 1987. Zotawon also acquired specialized skills in formulating policies that address contemporary issues such as Regulatory and Privatization Issues in Telecommunications and the principles of e-government from the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) in Washington DC, USA.
Contribution to ICT Sector Governance:
- Member of the Committee that drafted the 2007 Telecom Act – this is a telecom-specific law that guarantees the telecom sector liberalization in Liberia
- Lead actor in drafting the 2010 National ICT and Telecommunication Policy. This policy articulates government’s priority to develop the ICT sector over a 5-year period; it also provides a governance framework outlining the respective roles of all stakeholders;
- Lead actor in formulating the 2012 Policy Directive on Co-location and Tower Safety. This directive provides rationale for operators to co-share infrastructure and requires that the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, the regulatory authority, to ensure that towers protruding the sky carry beacons to prevent potential plane collision
- Lead actor in formulating the 2013 Policy Directive on Digital Migration – this directive outlines strategies and elevates the urgency for Liberia not to miss out on the digital switch-over deadline of June 2015 for broadcast television as agreed by all ITU members
- Lead actor in formulating the 2014 Policy Directive on National Universal Access Program Strategy. This directive seeks to subsidize the provision of voice and data services beyond market failure to ensure access and affordability to users residing outside market areas;
- Supervised and contributed to formulating the 2014 Policy Directive on National Emergency Number for Children. The directive seeks to create a child-friendly environment using 116 as a toll-free number against child labor, child trafficking and other forms of child abuses
- Supervised and contributed to formulating the 2015 Policy Directive on the use of the dot.gov.lr domain across government for Ministries, Agencies and Commissions. This directive seeks to make this second level domain an official platform for communication across government to avoid the use of free web-based mail such as yahoo and gmail.com.
- Help to drive the long-term development of the ICT sector by identifying and proposing policy tools that are responsive, inclusive and predictable
- Has represented the Government of Liberia on telecommunications and ICT policy matters nationally as well as in ECOWAS ICT Working group and at conferences abroad.
Publications and Papers:
- Examining Transparency in Liberia’s Pre and Post Civil War Electoral Process, the Australian Review of African Studies, Vol. 34, No. 1, (2013)
- Assessing Liberia’s Communication Sector: Successes, Challenges and Lessons Learned, 8th International Conference, Consortium for International Management, Policy & Development (CIMPAD) in Collaboration with the University of Liberia, Monrovia (2011);
- The Liberia Telecommunications Sector Reform: the Essence, Process and their Outcomes (2010)
- Impacts of De-monopolization of Communication Programs as a Catalyst for Improving Political and Social Development in Liberia”, (forthcoming);
- Assessing Liberia’s Single-digit Unemployment Rate from 2009 - 2012: the Assumptions, Implications and Reality (forthcoming);
- Using Accountability, Transparency and Performance as Tools to Examine Public Sector Reform in Liberia from 2006 - 2013 (forthcoming)
To help create an enabling environment towards accelerating strategies to make ICT services accessible, affordable and responsive to the needs of diverse end users.
Zotawon Titus is married to Minnie Wungko-Titus and is a father of one with many dependents.