How technology can transform Africa
New opportunities will emerge for people to collaborate, innovate and participate in ways that positively impact their lives and in turn the world. Mobile broadband in particular has huge potential for Africa, with its large and young population, vast landmass and limited infrastructure.
For ICT to truly achieve its potential, it is imperative that governments and policy-makers methodically collaborate with private industry to create the right type of ecosystem. We particularly need to put in place well-defined national broadband plans and forums where partnerships among stakeholders are explored and enhanced. Policy must be inclusive and provide a clear vision that favourably positions Africans as global citizens.
This is a worthy goal being taken on by private industry. However, it fails to take into account technology’s significant potential to drive long-term inclusive and sustainable social and economic development on the continent. As such, on its own it will not deliver the outcomes required to put the African continent on a path to prosperity.
Universal broadband access connects people to information and services. Achieving universal access will bring about opportunities to create and deliver goods and services at lower fiscal and environmental costs than traditional methods.