Broadband to reach 80% African citizens by 2020
InformAfrica – At the recent inaugural Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Indaba, African ministers have set a target to deliver broadband service to reach up to 80% of African citizens by 2020.
The Indaba conference identified six critical sectors in driving Information and Communication Technology as a tool for development in education, health, infrastructure, agricultural business, trade, and extractive industries.
Hundreds of international delegates from Africa, Europe, Asia, South America; business people leading ICT companies and government representatives were some of the participants.
At the event which took place June 4th – 7th at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa communications minister Dina Pule in a closing statement said work was done to ensure the conference crafted a framework that will position Africa on a trajectory to sustainable development through technology.
The ministers also focused on the creation of a solid foundation for a truly connected future for Africa. “In this connected future, all of Africa’s major cities, towns and villages will be connected to affordable Internet, thereby facilitating the continent’s mass entry into the knowledge and information economy,” said Pule.
The indaba ICT event also set the target to support the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in their plans to support the updating of the International Telecommunications Regulations.
This they believe will help developing countries to benefit from the frameworks for interconnections and roaming in the telecom market.
“African experts should also increase participation in the ITU study groups which focuses on these issues to influence their outcomes.”
The minister added that a team is being set-up to monitor the progress in the implementation of the Indaba’s resolutions and give feedback at regular intervals. “We shall work with the existing continental and regional organisations to get the cooperation of the rest of the countries that were not present at this indaba,” Pule said.
She added that the work of the Indaba will also assist in identifying and closing the skills gap within African countries.
The greatest achievement of this approach would be to help Africa create its own technologies, instead of the continent just being a consumer.
“It is undeniable and it is very clear that delivering broadband to every citizen on the continent will accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals,” said Dina Pule – SA communications minister.
The ICT Indaba conference concluded with an emphasis on the common desire and commitment to eradicate the barriers of poverty through the promotion and use of enabling ICTs to build and foster a people-centered knowledge-based economy in Africa.
The main aim of the ICT Indaba is to reposition South Africa and the continent at large as a beacon of ICT excellence and achievement.