This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
130 SECTOR-BY-SECTOR OPPORTUNITIES


Nine out of 10 adult Kenyans subscribe to a mobile phone service, and 15 million people transfer around $7 billion a year using their phones; this represents around 20 percent of the national GDP that is transferred by phone in general


services. There are two broad avenues in which ICT can be used in banking – firstly, to improve communication and connectivity; and secondly, to improve infrastructure, implement reliable techniques to control risks, and help to connect people by allowing financial actors to reach geographically distant and diversified markets.


Breaking down cost barriers Yet to keep these positive developments moving in the right direction, the AU must tackle the web of important challenges that lie ahead. A top priority is the need to redirect greater investment toward infrastructure development, as Africa is still seen to be lagging behind in this regard. Infrastructure development is the key to breaking down high cost barriers and capitalizing on the potential of ICT. In broad terms, the AU’s AICTW aims to increase the awareness of all Africans of the ways in which they can profit from the development and broad range of ICTs. Two events have been at the centre of the AICTW initiative, starting with the Geneva phase of the WSIS process in December 2003, which set out the objectives and plan of action to attain an inclusive information society. The Tunis Commitment, adopted during the second phase, further enforced the engagements agreed in Geneva. Both phases see education as a central pillar for


everyone to acquire the necessary skills to benefit from an information society. This capacity-building is done through government, stakeholders and partnerships, which must channel ICT skills through education and teaching programmes aimed at removing ICT illiteracy. Another vital cornerstone to the AU’s AICTW initiative is


the African Regional Action Plan on Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE), a preparatory conference before the Tunis meeting, which was held in Accra, Ghana, in February 2005. The Action Plan aims to build a region that fully benefits from ICT services by the year 2015 by building a specifically


INVEST IN AFRICA 2011


African approach to ICT, through various commitments including the development of telecoms backbones and exchange points, the expansion of infrastructure (especially in rural areas), establishing a regulatory environment and a universal access service. This plan was agreed in different forums, including the AU Summit – it was adopted by the Executive Council of the AU in Khartoum, 2006.


The ARAPKE objectives address 10 important obstacles to making ICT a motor for African development:  efforts towards bridging the digital divide;  promotion of the right of all to have equal access to ICT services and to experience all the advantages derived from using them;  developing, maintaining and stimulating people’s curiosity, interest and enjoyment in technologies;  promoting the acquisition of appropriate technological skills, concepts, principles, methods and vocabulary;  boosting security and trust in the sectors that rely on the use of information networks;  encouraging people to develop informed opinions about their technological services and to be able to support them by reasonable arguments;  leveraging ICT as a tool for creating an informed African society;  promoting greater ICT awareness among African governments, community and stakeholders;  using technologies in a variety of subject areas and contexts;  attracting more and new investments to the African technology market, especially the ICT market.


These developments and policies demonstrate the AU’s


focus on harnessing ICT’s potential for the continent. Efforts need to be extended to remaining African countries, so that they can benefit from the knowledge economy. n


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164  |  Page 165  |  Page 166  |  Page 167  |  Page 168