Information and Communications Technologies for African Development
An Assessment of Progress and the Challenges Ahead

Information and Communications Technologies for African Development
An Assessment of Progress and the Challenges Ahead

Edited with Introduction by

Joseph O. Okpaku, Sr. Ph.D.
President & CEO, Telecom Africa Corporation

Preface by

José María Figueres
Chairman, UN ICT Task Force

A Publication of the United Nations ICT Task Force

Copyright © 2003 United Nations ICT Task Force All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, the reproduction or utilisation of this work or part of it in any form or by electronics, or other means now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying, and recording, and in any information storage, transmission or retrieval system, including CD-Rom, online or via the Internet, is forbidden without the written permission of the publishers. Book Production by Third Press Publishers, 222 Forest Avenue, New Rochelle, New York USA 10804 www.thirdpress.com Interior Design & Typesetting by Desktop Miracles, Stowe, Vermont The views expressed in this book are those of their individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the United Nations ICT Task Force, the United Nations itself, any of its organs or agencies, nor of any other organisations or institutions mentioned or discussed in this book, including the organisations to which the authors are affiliated. The United Nations ICT Task Force One United Nations Plaza New York, New York 10017
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I wish to acknowledge and thank Mr. Sarbuland Khan, the Director of the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Dr. Pekka Tarjanne, the Executive Director of the UN ICT Task Force and Dr. Sergei Kambalov, Deputy Executive Coordinator, and the Secretariat of the UN ICT Task Force, for the opportunity to put together this volume, which defines with clarity the way forward for the deployment of information and communications technology for Africa’s development. Thanks are also due to Nema Elsayed, Sireen Hajj and Begi Hersutanto, interns at the Task Force Secretariat, for their input, especially in assisting in compiling the Appendix on very short notice; and to Jim Eshinger, Senior Graphic Designer, Department of Public Information, United Nations, for indulging me in creating for this book a cover design, which attempts to capture at a glance, the various forces that Africa seeks to simultaneously master, and their graphic juxtaposition. The image of Africa rising above the clouds is how I see the pulse of our continent, and the spirit that is emerging from deep inside the people of Africa today. I also wish to thank all the contributors to this volume for the priviledge and pleasure of the opportunity to bring their ideas together under one cover, so that together we can provide an extraordinary compendium, which I am confident will serve a wide range of strategic and v

I have reserved particular acknowledgement.vi ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development intellectual purposes. and encouragement for their contributions. H. and especially to advance his Millennium Development Goals. Kofi Annan. Managing Director of the World Economic Forum and former President of the Republic of Costa Rica. Their graciousness in responding to our impossible deadline will always be remembered. . Chairman of the UN ICT Task Force. Carletta Burch for support and for their indefatigable efforts against all odds for the publication of this volume in a timely manner. to Ms. General Manager at Telecom Africa Corporation and Assistant Editor of our sister company. José María Figueres. Enrica Murmura of the UN ICT Task Force Secretariat. and Ms. Special thanks also to my friend. provides a refreshing input to the concerted response to the African challenge. the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his leadership and passion for placing ICT in the service of development. Permit me to add my vote of thanks to theirs. Third Press Publishers. E. Josephine Ofili. thanks and special gratitude to Ms. His passion for engaging the promise of ICT in aid of Africa’s development. assistance. Special thanks are due His Excellency. Mr. The individual contributors wish to acknowledge and thank all those who provided support. a passion which I have had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand in enlightened dialogue.

Annan. E . S R . O K PA K U . UN ICT Task Force Information And Communication Technologies: A Priority For Africa’s Development—A Statement by Kofi A. S R .CONTENTS Preface by José María Figueres. 23 Chapter Two Restoring Africa’s National Space ALPHA OU MAR KONARÉ 47 Chapter Three The Current Status of Information and Communications Technologies in Africa MIKE JENSEN 55 Chapter Four Information and Communications Technologies in the Service of Development: The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) H . O K PA K U . xi xv Introduction 1 Chapter One Background on Information and Communications Technologies for Development in Africa J O S E P H O . A B D O U L AY E W A D E 79 vii . Secretary-General of the United Nations Information and Communications Technologies as a Tool for African Self-Development: Towards a Re-Definition of Development J O S E P H O . Chairman.

Adapting and Advancing Appropriate Information Technologies C R O C K E R S N O W.M I S A 151 Chapter Ten Africa’s Digital Rights N I I N A R K U Q U AY N O R 175 Chapter Eleven Building the Digital Bridge—-Challenges. 203 Chapter Twelve Digital Bridge to Africa: The Digital Diaspora Network for Africa A K H TA R B A D S H A H AND 223 JUSTIN THUMLER Chapter Thirteen Tip-toeing Across the Digital Divide: African Entrepreneurs Applying.viii ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Chapter Five The United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force P E K K A TA R J A N N E 87 Chapter Six Information and Communication Technologies as an Instrument to Leverage the Millennium Development Goals SARBULAND KHAN 95 Chapter Seven The Role of Information and Communications Technologies in the African Development Agenda J O S E P H O . Opportunities and Strategies J O S E P H O . O K PA K U . S R . 105 Chapter Eight Regional Information and Communications Technologies Developments in Africa— The AISI Perspective K A R I M A B O U N E M R A B E N S O LT A N E 125 Chapter Nine Info-communication for Development in Africa: The African Connection Initiative EMMANUEL OLEKAMBAINEI AND M AV I S A M PA H S I N T I M . S R . J R . 241 . O K PA K U .

O K PA K U . S R .Contents ✦ ix Chapter Fourteen From Technology Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Technological Capabilities: Lessons from African ICT Firms GILLIAN M. MARCELLE 251 Chapter Fifteen Towards a Road Map for Information and Communications Technology Development in Africa J O S E P H O . 285 Appendix I Appendix II UN ICT Task Force Initiatives in Africa Shortlist of ICT for Development Initiatives in Africa 299 303 331 337 Notes on Contributors Index .

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Yet. jobs have been created. but also its future potential. as well as the way institutions and organisations do business.P R E FAC E José María Figueres Chairman. are in danger of falling further behind in this information age. have affected the lives and lifestyles of people across the globe. with their major technological leaps. given the broad spectrum of development xi . Least developed nations. in particular. have been largely bypassed by this revolution. United Nations ICT Task Force The information revolution has not only changed the world as we know it. and life for many people has improved. Nowhere is this digital divide more pronounced than in countries of the African continent. A majority of the world’s population. Africa is the most unconnected. and rural societies. in an increasingly connected world. businesses expanded. especially those who live in poverty. not all outcomes of the spread of information technologies have been positive. In their wake. Information and Communication Technologies. However. The gap between them and the rest of the world has expanded precisely as a result of the facilitating capacity of these technologies for those who have access to them.

ICTs offer a remarkable opportunity and set of tools for achieving substantive progress. the public. and civil society. In doing so. From its inauguration. called on its members and the global ICT community at large. technological and industrial development and the promotion of its vast material and intellectual resource and cultural heritage for global competitiveness.xii ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development challenges. His Excellency. has joined forces with leading African experts in the ICT field. and the strategies and scenarios for making it happen. in a concerted effort to respond to the Secretary-General’s clarion call. assisted by the United Nations system. famine and poverty while striving for socio-economic. most especially. what needs to be. A major part of this effort has involved taking stock of what is. and. Information and Communications Technology for African Development: An Assessment of Progress and the Challenges Ahead captures the essence of this intellectual process. the Task Force has taken its cue from the priorities and targets Africans have themselves established for their countries in this enormous undertaking. combining history. It is in recognition of this unique opportunity to support Africa’s drive for self-development that the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Mr. including fighting diseases. in Africa and abroad. in creating the United Nations ICT Task Force. African political leaders and their global counterparts. It brings together in one volume. for the good of all. regional and international development institutions. analyses. private and academic sectors. Kofi Annan. to mobilise all available resources through a holistic public/private partnership to deploy the full range of ICT capacities in pursuit of the UN Millennium Development Goals. the best thinking on the prospect and promise of ICT deployment for Africa’s development and the strategies for their accomplishment. the Task Force. This has engendered an exciting and highly productive and positive debate and dialogue aimed at ensuring maximum benefit from every bit of deployable resources. programmes and activities in a comprehensive compendium on the state of play on technology for development. strategies. .

not only those interested in ICT for development. dignity and equanimity. this book makes invaluable reading. with pride. and most especially. those interested in realizing Africa’s aspiration to rapidly take its rightful place in the comity of nations and peoples.Preface ✦ Figueres ✦ xiii For this reason. . I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone involved in African development.

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xv . The past year has been marked by a great surge in the United Nations effort to build international consensus around the central goals of sustainable development and poverty eradication. at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 30. the Secretary-General of the United Nations has seized the opportunity of the presence of key players and potential partners to advocate a global collective effort to deploy the versatile applications of Information and Communications Technologies in support of Africa’s development efforts. The Monterrey Conference and the Johannesburg Summit have laid out an internationally agreed agenda for action by all key partners—governments. Kofi A. Annan Secretary-General of the United Nations Information And Communication Technologies: A Priority For Africa’s Development On several occasions. multilateral institutions. One such address was to the Opening of the third meeting of the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force.A S TAT E M E N T B Y H. Following is the text of the statement. E. the private sector and civil society at large. 2002.

eventually. Information and communication technologies (ICT) can help us turn this potential into concrete opportunities that will help the poor work their way out of poverty while. But bridging the digital divide. benefiting the world community as a whole. . The challenge now is to translate them into reality. But investments will still be necessary. of course. Foreign investment has fallen sharply The telecom and information sectors—which have always been pioneers in exploring not only new technologies. There is a vast potential for investment growth in the developing countries. free access to the Internet. I am pleased that the Task Force has decided to place special emphasis. but also to create content that reflects the interests of that part of the world. at this meeting. ICT is a chance for Africa. But it is a powerful tool for economic growth and poverty eradication. which can facilitate the integration of African countries into the global market. It is not. By making the development of ICT one of the priorities of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. Nowhere are the needs more acute than in that part of the world. not only to ensure that people have the technical skills and the literacy level needed to use information technology facilities and service them. African leaders have shown that they are committed to seize the opportunities of the digital revolution. on ICT for development in Africa.xvi ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Great hopes have been raised. we should aim to provide cheap. but also new avenues of growth and investment— have themselves suffered a sharp and persistent decline. is a formidable task that requires not only leadership. Unfortunately. Growth has been uncertain and irregular in most regions. the past year has also witnessed deterioration in the world economy. fast and. but also a major commitment of resources. at the same time. With innovations such as wireless fidelity—commonly known as Wi-Fi—and other low-cost technologies and business models that are now being explored. in Africa and elsewhere. a magic formula that is going to solve all the problems.

who have laid the necessary groundwork for action in less than a year. I applaud the dedication and the commitment of the Chairman of the Task Force. Now is the time to think of partnerships and initiatives for concrete programmes and projects that will make a difference on the ground. it has already done a great deal of work to forge such coalitions. the process must engage all stakeholders: donors. adopted by the world community at the highest level. . And it is working effectively with other international initiatives— including the G–8 Dot Force—to define a shared agenda for action. civil society organisations. should help rally all stakeholders around a common agenda. Be assured that you can count on my full support and personal commitment to your success. education and the advancement of women. The Millennium Development Goals. the private sector. and of all its members. Indeed. if we are to succeed. Why not concentrate on a few key areas where specific information technology programmes and projects could be undertaken and then replicated? I am sure you have many ideas on how information technology can have an impact on development issues. ICT is a powerful instrument for speeding up the realisation of these goals.Information and Communication Techologies ✦ Annan ✦ xvii Clearly. and especially those in the developing world itself. governments. I look forward to the results of your discussions. and the Task Force can play an important role in building alliances for action. to health. from poverty eradication.

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Ph. The correlative responsibility and obligation of their leadership is to mastermind the strategies for such an effort.D. creating a context and environment most conducive to the maximum realisation of the goal. Okpaku. setting significant targets and the indicators for self-monitoring. Sr. and systematically quantifying and highlighting cumulative achievements for the purpose of periodic review and reinforcement. Telecom Africa Corporation Information and Communications Technologies as Tools for African Self-Development Towards a Re-Definition of Development Towards a New Definition of Development The quintessential dream of any group of peoples or nations is the pursuit of self-actualisation in a structure and context in which they are in full command of their destiny and own the means and processes by which they seek to attain that goal. defining and mobilising their combined talent and resources. 1 . in close consort with the people.INTRODUCTION Joseph O. This involves identifying. President and CEO.

the very process of problem solving. there is nothing to master. Societies without problems or challenges are. Because such material changes are. intellectually moribund. Without problems and challenges. development is a process. By this definition. to new vistas and new conditions. is what constitutes society’s challenge. Cast differently. there can be no development. undergoes substantial transformation in the relevant period in question. undertakes the process of developing a solution. The response to that challenge. therefore. unless they themselves are the prime actors in driving the process. ipso facto. attributes or the outcome of a process essentially masterminded by people and institutions outside of the subject society. The pace of such decline would depend on the residual intellectual reserve it had garnered from when last it was gainfully engaged in the process of its own . the mobilisation of resources and the galvanisation of a collective genius in an effort to propel society over the hill of challenge to the valley or plain fields of resolution beyond. if you will. because the necessary ingredient for it is absent. I would say that development is simply the process of problem solving or responding to new challenges with a view to mastering them. guaranteed to decline in a process of incurable atrophy. more rewarding or simply more exciting conditions. What this means is that if a group of people or institutions not directly involved in the problem to be solved. not the presumed beneficiaries of the end result. there is nothing to solve. not of those presumed to be the beneficiaries of the process. not be said to engage in a development process. almost by definition. problems constitute a key and necessary ingredient of development. In this light. at least in the context of this discourse. Without challenges. material or otherwise. the pursuit of the promise of new and better. Peoples and societies that do not engage in the process of problem solving can. is what I would call “development”. it is those who undertake the process who have achieved development. the compelling condition which the people seek to alter. they constitute the development of those who undertook the process. Without problems.2 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development The context of that dream. This holds true even if their condition.

philosophical. if they constitute the necessary ingredient of the development process. psychological or emotional gain or advancement from the process. Development. Whether the problem in question is material. All pursuit of knowledge has a fundamental . critical assets. watching the process of transformation to which they have lent their name. I am compelled to postulate that. would have been little more than spectators at the arena of development. artistic or seemingly esoteric. and the comparative condition of its immediate and global contexts. with little or no substantive intellectual. We can close the seeming gap by simply understanding that even the search for knowledge is fundamentally an effort at problem solving. Problems and their close relatives. which we call challenges. to the extent that much of what has taken place in the development process as it pertains to Africa. Problem Solving and the Search for Knowledge While I have postulated that innovation and development are a direct outcome of problem solving.ICT as Tools for African Self-Development ✦ Okpaku ✦ 3 transformation. critical. Innovation. “pure mathematics” and “applied mathematics”. but arise out of people seeking knowledge. has been masterminded and executed primarily outside the command and control of Africans. In this regard. the inventory of the results of such processes notwithstanding. which used to dominate the science curriculum in my school days. then become. it is only these non-Africans who can legitimately be said to have experienced development because it is they who have undertaken and undergone these processes of development. top amongst the most important assets in the development of any group of nations or peoples. strategic assets. there are those who argue that innovation and development need not focus on problem solving. Africans then. is simply a matter of specificity. were an attempt to make this distinction. observers on the sidelines of history. in their purest form. The distinction between the “pure sciences” and “applied sciences”.

4 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development motive or motivation. The opportunity for innovation and creativity is inherent in problem solving. in a generic manner. in some way. should your solution fail. The implications of this are potentially vast and inherently controversial. but my problem continues to fester and become more debilitating because I would have lost much precious time in the interim. protect that right of ownership as a way of protecting my right to develop. is more often than not conceptualised as a problem to be solved. And in taking over my problem and proffering a solution. I would argue. If I need my problems to stimulate or compel me to engage in a problem-solving process. you cause me two problems: you deprive me of the opportunity to be innovative. the . then the notion of the right of ownership of problems becomes a significant issue. which constitutes my development. therefore. then I must. therefore. and you leave me with the residual guilt of incompetence. would not be too far-fetched. not only do you blame me. For example. that having problems is desirable. I have argued elsewhere that the importance of the notion of the right of ownership of problems rests on the fact that innovation is derived from problem solving. The Right of Ownership of Problems If problems are critical strategic assets. This value inherent. without problems to solve. in problems is what problem-solvers see as opportunities. and that motive or motivation. One need only look at societies in their phases of quantum development to see the direct correlation between such development and the enormity of the problems and challenges they had to solve. There is no room to detail this argument here.1 The Value Inherent in Problems The deduction. If. except to state that the right of ownership becomes a fundamental right in the realm of intellectual property rights. you take over my problem. the response to which is the process of development.

suffice it to say that the challenge in such problem situations comes not from the fact of the existence of the problems. the conducive environment. and a shared feeling that nothing is really impossible. material. intellectual. It would include the potential impact of enabling or debilitating international treaties. historical. This last component. and information capacities. psychological. the very essence of a Renaissance is the legacy of a new spirit of problem-solving and the search for knowledge. self-confidence. It is not accidental that America and Americans often refer to their nation as “the land of opportunities”. The intellectual. political. families and communities. support systems nationally and within the regional. . “Response Capacity” as the Key to Self-Development But problems can overwhelm nations and societies much in the same way as they do individuals. This would include the level of faith. and the extent to which its environment is conducive to problem solving. biases and prejudices. controls or practices. diligence. extreme self-confidence. but the shortfall in the response capacity of the society to meet them. coherence and common purpose.ICT as Tools for African Self-Development ✦ Okpaku ✦ 5 United States of America would never have been able to achieve the great leaps of development it did in its hey day. knowledge. no problem cannot be solved with the right combination of intelligence. energy and creativity. would include internal synergy. social and cultural impact that all of this has on society is what gives Renaissance that quality of boundless outburst of talent. drive. ambition and such other intangible assets and resources that society can draw on. In fact. all of this with an abundance of joie de vivre. which can overwhelm society? Although there is not sufficient space to exhaustively answer this question here. How then do we position ourselves with regard to the potential trauma of problems. scientific excellence and relentless effort. and other capacities of specific relevance to the problems at hand. religious. and continental and global environments. Such response capacity would be the composite of society’s technological.

I included faith and self-confidence amongst the intangibles. This. Notions of Poverty and Wealth and their Impact on Self-Development The notions of poverty and wealth take on a very different meaning and configuration in this new definition of development. I humbly believe. and increasing the opportunities for the pursuit of self-actualisation. through undermining their self-confidence. is far more accurate in assisting us to understand the challenges of development. however inadvertent the process might be. take on a different outlook. The very use of “rich” and “poor” nations as the dichotomous delineation of the world’s peoples has an inherent debilitating effect of incapacitating the so-called “poor”. It affects the ability to fairly and accurately identify and quantify the resources and capacities of those on the receiving side of this dichotomy. which is a majority of the world’s population. These fall into what we might refer to in general as psychological response capacities. Furthermore.6 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development In this paradigm. our perception and conceptualisation of the development process. it holds much greater efficacy and prospects of realisation in a process which offers more respect and acknowledgement of the talents and resources of the concerned peoples. but also to make their fair contribution to the development of all society and mankind. This new definition. The fact is that the labels do tend to stick. even on matters that directly concern them or that any balanced assessment would have shown them to be the most . in turn. and with that comes the psychological impact on both those so labeled and those outside the category who observe or respond to them. has serious implications for how we prosecute the process of improving the quality of life for all the world’s peoples. it detracts from the authority of their opinion. and their permanent and continuous capacity to not only effect self-development. it suppresses or depresses their competitive capacity. of development assistance. In listing some of the components of a people’s response capacity for solving their problems earlier.

“First World” and “ Second World”. This would suggest that the very construct we use to define the development challenge and how we portray the subject society and its people are integral and important components of how we position the prospects of success. commitment. a modification was made into a tripartite system in which the “Third World” emerged. Before “rich” and “poor” nations. The troubling discomfort of the over-crowding of this new category led to a new device.ICT as Tools for African Self-Development ✦ Okpaku ✦ 7 competent about the nature of their life’s challenges. Development and African ICT Experts To the extent that the most critical resource combination required for self-development is a common shared vision backed up with selfconfidence. the dichotomy was “the haves” and “the havenots”. and when the evidence stacked up on the side of “Developing” became too unmanageable. the “Least Developed Countries”. and how best to solve them. The history of this is extensive. At the end of the day. for example. no matter how subtle the effect may be. because a vast . and the competencies and expertise required to address them. Overall. or LDCs. any structure or approach that undercuts that self-confidence or self-esteem of a people invariably militates against their ability to develop. Self-Confidence. The burden of this dichotomous delineation is not new. including the prosecution of their own lives and legacies. its challenges and opportunities. including “the connected” and “the unconnected”. and distorts the efficacious solutions to its problems. It is as certain as night follows day that new dichotomies are in the works. This issue calls for attention. “Developed” versus “Developing”. the “digitally what-have-yous” and the “digitally whathave-you-nots” . this flawed paradigm leaves a majority of the world’s people as outsiders to the prosecution of human progress. self-esteem. it produces a skewed perception of the world. and the determination to make it no matter how daunting the obstacles. The Information and Communications Technologies sector of the development industry already has a handful.

The content or substance of such systematic second-tier intervention would be the plethora of resources. we should have a reasonable . indeed the authority.8 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development number of highly qualified and capable Africans who would otherwise be key to the continent’s quantum development process remain outside the organised effort. but this should suffice. market opportunity. expert advice. skills transfer. and most relevant to our preoccupation here. which include funding.2 There are complex aspects of this issue. to mastermind Africa’s development. The Intrinsic Benefits of Development—Defining the Horizon Map It is axiomatic that before embarking on any major enterprise such as would require tenacity and possible sacrifice. or keeping out of it themselves because the definition and portrayal of Africa. knowledge and information. must be designed and managed internally by the society seeking to develop itself. investment. becomes the disposition of that regional or international context and the impact of its systematic and systemic intervention to jumpstart. As such. either kept out of it by default. then. above all. Development Assistance and the Dynamics of the Development Industry Development assistance. and the intellectual processes that drive them. enhance or advance the internal process of problem solving by the societies in question. the African condition and the African challenge are anathema to their self-perception. is suggested in the process by which the notion of “stakeholder” has entered the lexicon of development assistance. it is a second-tier phase of intervention in the problem solving process.3 The creeping recognition of this compelling need to re-arrange the pecking order is the right and responsibility. and self-esteem. and the exchange of. which. of necessity. not the primary or first-tier phase. what we otherwise call intellectual property. access to. shared intellectual property and.

the collective competitive capacity.ICT as Tools for African Self-Development ✦ Okpaku ✦ 9 idea of where we are going. above all. For good or for bad. By virtue of the vast . the potential benefits are diverse. and how to recognise both when we find them. range and quality of the amenities of life. This is the path development takes. or ICTs. such as improved infrastructure and utilities. which forms the ingredient for peace and stability. and more. They include new knowledge or new configurations of old knowledge. An important product of this process is renewed and increased self-esteem and self-confidence. new or increased awareness. They are the pipes and mechanisms through which knowledge and information are packaged and transmitted. new ideas. In engaging in the development process. new technologies or applications. their capacities. These outcomes resulting from engaging in the development process are what we essentially call intellectual property. what we are looking to achieve. a new level of equanimity. Besides the material impact on the extent. or even in-between. innovation. literary and cultural expression and output. Information and Communications Technologies for Development Central to all of these issues are knowledge and information. knowledge and information hold incredible potential for propelling the development process with reasonable promise of quantum achievement. in the broadest sense. increased income and the greater access which that brings. All of this contributes to vastly improving the collective quality of life of the people. artistic. and their extensive scope and versatility. both inherent and catalytic to other capacities. to be unbundled for deployment at the receiving end. a heightened enthusiasm and self-confidence for driving the process farther into new and unknown territories. The engine that drives the deployment of knowledge and information is what we collectively call Information and Communications Technologies. there are new or increased capacities resulting from the process of problem solving itself. and. one which is the way to creating domestic economic and political stability. which are very critical to creating the foundation for sustained and sustainable development.

Such a low-level target only sustains societies at that level and deprives the people of the true benefit and promise of ICTs.10 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development technologies and applications which have come to be (and are continuously being) developed through innovation. namely. would more than guarantee the quality of life for even the most deprived. they have become a utility. which is the opportunity and resource to undertake major development efforts which. and especially African policy makers. Africa’s existing capacity in ICT as represented by established skills and expertise is vast. that they have become fundamental to basic life. from research and development to industrialisation. activities and operations. their self-development capacity. from health services to entertainment. and essentially unquantified. ICTs have become so important to virtually all aspects of life. One result of this presumption of the absence of substantial existing African capacity is the incredibly disproportionate percentage of ICT initiatives for Africa aimed at relatively low-level targets. can imagine or dare to quantify. much more vast than the world. This deficit in accurate information on Africa’s knowledge capacity in ICT has led to serious under-estimation of the substantial capacity in the hands and knowledge bank of Africans. In its present form. that the major wealth and . It is this utility nature of information and communications technologies that makes them most critical to any strategy or configuration for Africa’s quantum development. as the forerunners at the forefront of that process cruise with confidence. the venue for substantial innovation and the development of its corresponding intellectual properties. in turn. In short. it is diffused and dispersed. actually at subsistence. purpose and focus towards the cutting edge. from education to systems of governance. It is at this cutting edge. Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Assessed in terms of its global reach. which is more than sufficient to form the core of Africa’s strategic response capacity to the challenge of problem-solving.

To a large extent. to end up on the side of the development industry. diagnosis and solution. begins to blur desirably. from the well-off to the most needy. the undesirable internal dichotomy within Africa. Masterminding Africa’s Development Africans in all spheres. mobilisation and deployment. on the one hand. through expertise and opportunity. including the following: • problem identification. Every single African ICT and development expert knows this. through “modernisation”. More often than not. Herein lies the strategic divide between African experts and the global development industry with respect to how to develop Africa. • needs assessment. with disastrous results. definition. between the middle and professional class. If we follow the continuum of the development process that I have outlined above. • resource identification. and the masses on the other. Such a model is not only more efficacious. especially the private sector. can make the most use of ICTs for the good of all. by default. concurrent with the assumption of responsibility for the entire society by those who. has been a threat to reaping the benefits of this tradition for contemporary African development. have in the past tended. The disruption of this model. nobody else seems to (or cares to) know. Sadly. wealth has a vertical structure in African society. The structure of family obligations in traditional Africa makes the pursuit of the collective advancement of the entire community a norm. African leaders and bureaucrats for a set of reasons too complex to analyse here. but is more truly representative of the norm in African society and culture. with most families consisting of the entire range.ICT as Tools for African Self-Development ✦ Okpaku ✦ 11 new capacities necessary for Africa’s irreversible transformation can be achieved. . but lead the strategic partnerships in all aspects of ICT development and deployment in Africa. must not just be equal players.

maintenance and management of infrastructure and their operation. and which create an advantage and competitive edge for Africa in the global industry and market. Towards an African Renaissance Only such a model will unleash. applications and software development. are cheaper. which I have advocated for many years. the building. better and more dedicated solutions that are more appropriate. utilise local materials and intellectual resources better. to free the talent and genius of its people to take flight into the far reaches of human possibilities in all spheres of existence. and more durable and robust. with sufficient thrust. and • the development of new technologies to provide more. technology development (especially research and development). It is the only level of popular mobilisation and self-expression capable of transforming Africa the way it must be.4 Crafting the engine of such a Renaissance will require a complete revision of the entire spectrum of social. strategy and policy. faster. economic. testing. systems design and integration. and hold them back from achieving the quality of life and global competitive capacity necessary to take their rightful place in modern society. content development. the critical mass of African genius necessary to initiate and propel the Renaissance.12 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • • • • • • • • concept development. This is the only model that can generate the massive levels of resourceful and innovative self-development energy and collective commitment to communal self-actualisation necessary to eradicate the constraints and disabilities that hamstring Africa and Africans. intellectual and . manufacturing. • the selection of appropriate technologies to meet each specific demand situation.

as tools for their definition and diffusion. At the end of the day. the way we live and the way we see the world and interact with it. in a system in which everyone. have a central and eminently recognised and acknowledged role to play in the development. We can then modernise that old legacy to take advantage of new ideas and means. even the youngest and the most frail. engaging it more vigorously with equal ownership. We will have to revise our educational policy and curriculum. social sciences and the humanities. as.5 This calls for a strategic paradigm shift in even the very way we govern ourselves. they will have to turn to their own Africans to build the partnership for self-development. Ironically. it is to Africa and African experts in particular. All we need to do.ICT as Tools for African Self-Development ✦ Okpaku ✦ 13 political development strategies. primarily. as much in science and technology as in the arts. replacing the discredited governance of millions by a handful. constructing such a new model Africa should not prove extraordinarily difficult. We will have to revise our visionary construct. is to assign our scholars and intellectuals (both academic and non-academic) to revisit our centuries-old culture and tradition and strip away the crusted layers created by years of disuse and the cultural and social hemorrhage of the colonial experience and its not-too-noble aftermath. We will have to support and promote our scholars. it all matters. The limelight of home is the light that matters. . such as the facilitation of information and communications technologies. in fact. that African leaders can count. right and responsibility for its sustenance and its future. when the chips are down. Home is where. intellectuals. with a more desirable and more mutually gratifying and sustainable governance of millions by millions. This may also require that our leaders regain confidence and reliance on their own African experts. experts. concern and support. For African experts are truly all we have. because it is little more than a return to the original structure of African society based on the pre-eminence of the extended family and its mutuality of care. protection and sustenance of all. as our first tier team with the right and responsibility of first call on our strategic and business opportunities at all levels and in all sectors.

H. Africa’s Millennium Goal must be the quantum transformation of our continent into a wholesome modern society. then Africa must focus on this window of opportunity for knowledge-based self-development.14 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Knowledge-Based Empowerment There is no better time to undertake this act of self-development than at a time like this when the globally ubiquitous nature of knowledge and its enabling information process and system have intrinsically weakened the approaches and created the basis for a more widely distributed and shared information and knowledge for the empowerment of the weak and poor. gratifying. is already creating the early makings of break-through and leap-frogging capacities. and for these reasons. we must take the Millennium Development Goals as set by the historic United Nations Millennium Summit convened under the leadership of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. with an eminently noble. Africa must act urgently. The increasing awareness that “knowledge is power”. Towards a Knowledge-Based African Renaissance In this context. and information (its creation. enriching and perpetually . smartly and strategically because. E. ownership and control) is the ingredient which fuels that power. as a baseline development targets. especially in some of the traditional societies. Kofi Annan. a proclamation that is proving to have truth and efficacy. The window of opportunity is short. if indeed knowledge is power. Mr. Because. this promise of a new and refreshing world of knowledge-based empowerment. informed and enlightened deliberateness. in spite of their enormous talent and resource. for a people for whom much of contemporary history has been a feat of human endurance. Africa must act swiftly. This growing freedom of choice of a path to self-actualisation. as far as Africa is concerned. with measured. relentless focus and determination. is beginning to gain strategic significance through the capacities of information and communications technologies.

so much so that many today are unable to craft a complete sentence. The mixture of tenses and numbers. their outright downside.ICT as Tools for African Self-Development ✦ Okpaku ✦ 15 reinforcing quality of life. but it would suffice to mention a couple of them here. In fact. If we succeed with the model I propose here. it seems that in seeking to adjust our language use to accommodate the limitations of computer and information technology. as failure is not an option for Africa. The Downside of Information and Communications Technologies In a slight shift of tone. the Millennium Development Goals should become beacons on the plains of our African achievements. in a dynamic not static mode. and the abbreviation of expressions. with the freedom to dream and the right of reasonable expectation that such dreams can indeed come true. intellectual and creative stability we have all so craved. which either create. Computer literacy has created literary illiteracy. are direct products of computer literacy. Such a successful African Renaissance will engender and consolidate the healthy and conducive political. innovation. for that matter. leisure and cultural wholesomeness. is its direct denudation of the proper use of language in our contemporary society. to build their lives and pursue their self-actualisation with relaxation. creativity. social. guiding us in our much greater and more equitable accomplishments. we have crushed . economic. it would almost be sacrilegious to suggest that ICTs have their limitations or. compel or reflect the abbreviation of thought or the attenuation of its clarity. for all its people. and with the enrichment of our culture and society for the benefit and enjoyment of all. For me. especially the Internet. the most hilarious (if not appalling) downside of the ubiquitous spread of ICT. butcher the language so devastatingly that we might simply have abandoned the use of language or resorted to the use of pure symbols. enabling Africa and Africans from all places and all works of life. for the African radar must be pointed one-dimensionally to see only success. which Africa must diligently strive to avoid. I have discussed these in detail in the past. and if they finally struggle through one. as we must.

Information and Communications Technologies for African Development: An Assessment of Progress and the Challenges Ahead. this volume could not find a better platform for congregating leading expert opinions under one umbrella.6 The Dialogue. are directly involved in the common mission of exploiting ICTs to address Africa’s handicap. enabling those who read this book to enjoy and utilise leading-edge analysis on the subject. the ownership of the process. and the enabling environment. reducing the ability of the most connected to understand the complexities of simple human conditions. I have argued in the past that we have now reached the point at which. The contributors to this volume consist of a distinguished array of leaders who. our reflective capacity has become inversely proportional to the degree of raw data. Under the auspices of the United Nations ICT Task Force. which attack our intellect. both internal and global. the Challenges and the Response This volume.16 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development spoken and written language as we squeezed it into this new and rather limited language mold. subjected to the deluge of undifferentiated data and information. in one way or the other. that its reflective capacity has become increasingly overwhelmed. it is a high-level analysis of the challenge. As such. has been conceived to capture the dialogue and debate on the promise of ICTs for Africa’s quantum development. the definition and configuration of the problems and challenges that call for solutions. thus freeing the continent . we have so inundated the human mind with what I would like to call “data and information junk”. A second and related downside of our information society is that we speak so much more and say so much less that we expend a lot more energy to accomplish equally much less communication and understanding. for maximum accomplishment. the Debate. In piling so much information and data on our senses because of our increased technological capacity to do so. and one that is designed to help advance the strategic paradigms as well as the actual process of development of Africa through the empowering capacities of these technologies.

The creation of the UN ICT Task Force is a worthy testament to the vision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. by virtue of its composition. as well as from civil society and academia. substantial capacity to provide leadership for the catalytic impetus to help harness the opportunities and positive benefits of information and communications technologies to drive Africa’s quantum development and self-development. strategy and programme necessary to get the best and the most effective and durable results from all combined effort and resource.ICT as Tools for African Self-Development ✦ Okpaku ✦ 17 and its people to unleash their genius not only for their self-development. This configuration allows for maximum collaboration. Kofi Annan. which draws together leaders from both the public and the private sectors. that “seizing the opportunities offered by the Digital Revolution is one of the most pressing challenges we face”. former President of the Republic of Mali. The high-level African representation amongst the contributors to this volume lends special and substantial relevance and authority to the dialogue captured in this book. brings together the key players in the sector and in the arena of targeted deployment for development. NEPAD’s governing body.7 The Task Force itself. a leading advocate of ICT for development and the Chairman of the eAfrica Commission of NEPAD. as much from the industrial nations as from their global counterparts. The group of contributors to this book represents global leaders (political. The contributors to this book include President Abdoulaye Wade of the Republic of Senegal. industry and intellectual) who hold between themselves. who is responsible for the Information and Communications Technologies aspects of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) on the Heads of State Implementation Committee. President Alpha Oumar Konaré. but for the advancement of the quality of human life and existence worldwide. Information and Communications Technologies for African Development: An Assessment of Progress and the Challenges Ahead reflects precisely that scope and versatility. synergy and consensus in achieving the coherence of policy. Mr. . including the peace and equanimity that money alone simply cannot buy.

Managing Director of the World Economic Forum. Chairman of Network Computer Systems (NCS). Nii Quaynor. and the guiding words of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Together. the Director of the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. which combines the industry and academic credentials quite typical of the overall African private sector. The African ICT private sector. E. the Executive Coordinator of the United Nations ICT Task Force and former Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). African regional institutions are represented in this book by contributions from Mavis Ampah Sintim-Misa and Emmanuel OleKambainei. who is a respected curator and virtual custodian of data and statistics on ICT in Africa. From the Task Force Secretariat. in a way. who sits on the Board of Directors of ICANN. we have contributions from Ambassador Sarbuland Khan. Kofi Annan. Pekka Tarjanne. the international body responsible for the management of the global Internet. Chairman of the UN ICT Task Force and former President of the Republic of Costa Rica. Together. H. they help set the political agenda in this volume. the continental institute set up by African Ministers of Communications to . is solidly represented by leading experts. that of the international development community. respectively the past Chief Executive Officer and the current Program Director of the African Connection Centre for Strategic Planning. also serve as an adviser to the UN ICT Task Force. they articulate the mission and vision of the Task Force and. besides being the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Telecom Africa Corporation and a founding member of the African Advisory Group on Information and Communications Technologies (AAGICT). Mike Jensen. one which has carried on its shoulders the main burden of the struggle for significant ICT development in Africa. himself. and myself who.18 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development José María Figueres. including Dr. the select group of African ICT experts from around the world who advise African Ministers of Information and Communications on high-level strategic and policy issues. and Dr.

Nii Quaynor. Partnership for the Knowledge-Based African Renaissance In the renewed bold effort to transform Africa. and ICT in Africa. Dr. and inspired by Africa’s renewed dream for a far better tomorrow masterminded in accordance with its own self-perception and worldview. the President of The Money Matters Institute. Because. Crocker Snow. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane are themselves members of the UN ICT Task Force. and Dr. partnerships. This volume also offers an appendix of on-going ICT initiatives with respect to Africa and provides invaluable sources of material for further exploration and reference. and the issues at the cutting edge of the subject.. local. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane. mutual access to each other’s market. partnerships built on mutual respect. not less so. The contributions of these esteemed personalities offer an exciting reading for all those who seek to know the key challenges to not only ICT for African development. a leading expert on ICT and gender issues. can and must play a critical role. it becomes much easier for others not only to join forces to assist . recognised mutual capacity and adherence to basic tenets of equitable globalisation (which I have defined elsewhere as fairness and equity. both of Digital Partners. regional and global. comparative competitive capacity. Such partnerships.ICT as Tools for African Self-Development ✦ Okpaku ✦ 19 serve as a platform for the development and collation of Africa’s strategies for the maximum exploitation of ICTs for Africa’s development. Director of the Development Information Services Division of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). represent the non-African ICT private and intellectual sectors. Akhtar Badshah and Justin Thumler. in the absence of which there must be dedicated affirmation action plans in place) become more important and efficacious. Gillian Marcelle from Trinidad and Tobago. but ICT for development in general. Dr. when a people know where they are going and take charge of their journey into tomorrow. and Dr. Gillian Marcelle. Jr. Dr. public and private.

WIPO Second International Conference on Electronic Commerce and Intellectual Property. N OT E S 1. civil society. space and freedom.. and people in general. the private sector seeking legitimate opportunity and profit in return for meaningful and sustainable contributions to Africa’s development and well-being. . 3. knowledge. See Joseph O. and what they can enable us to accomplish. I am sure. friends of Africa can afford. Okpaku. to configure and package our own unique. culture. to share with others. 4. all engaging in. Joseph O. November 1994. One recognises that this opinion could slightly rile some of the big players in the development industry. Number 9. Okpaku. Sr.20 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development them. Key to all of this will be Africa’s wisdom in crafting a fail-safe way to acquire. That is my personal dream for Africa. Ownership of Problems. donor and development agencies. not only knowledge and access to information. Volume 26. Intellectual Property and the Digital Divide—The Enabling Challenge of Solutions. and truly competitive global environment. But if Africa’s condition is as dire as everyone keeps saying it is.. Geneva. See Chapter Fifteen: Towards a Road Map for Information and Communications Technology Development in Africa. within the context of a fair and equitable. then risking some intellectual discomfort in the hope of finding the right formula for developing Africa once and for all is a nominal sacrifice which. there will be room for the active participation of global institutions. but also the mastery of information and communications technologies which drive them. September 19–21. 2. Futures. This will enable us and afford us the necessary resource tools. 2001. and engaging Africa in a dynamic. That is Africa’s dream. Creating a Desirable 21st Century Africa: The Role of Leadership and Governance. but also to possibly pick up their pack and join them in a common march of progress not only for Africa. rich and ever expanding information. experience and expertise. but also for all humanity. exciting and beneficial cooperative and collaborative common human pursuit of ever-increasing excellence. Sr. In this African-led and masterminded African future.

That experience may be worth revisiting. Nigeria still suffers from the loss of that major development phase fired by an enormous internal force fueled in part by Nigerians and other Africans abroad who rushed in from around the world in response to the opportunities offered under that decree. Nigeria’s highly acclaimed major development strides in the early 1970s was driven by a bold indigenous business decree. A Presentation to the Creating New Leaders for e-Culture Conference. 2001. Sr. 7. United Kingdom.. August 20–24. which saw the emergence of major indigenous industrial and trade initiatives at all levels. 6. Coventry. E-Culture. Okpaku.ICT as Tools for African Self-Development ✦ Okpaku ✦ 21 5. Human Culture and In-Between: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century Digital World. Much of what sustains Nigeria today after years of painful indecisiveness. comes from those heady days. New York. 17 June. 2002. . Comments by Kofi Annan while introducing President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal at the 101st Plenary meeting of the fifty-sixth Session of the UN General Assembly. Unfortunately. the country was forced under tremendous pressure to abandon that decree by international financial institutions when its later reckless spending compelled it to seek concessions to refinance its debt. See Joseph O.

.

Ph. the strategic development programme of the continental initiative. The NEPAD programme 23 . the NEPAD programme was formally adopted by the new continental organisation. Okpaku. Sr. in Durban.D. especially with respect to the UN ICT Task Force and its partners. 2002. the Heads of State of the G8 industrial countries endorsed the programme and Implementation Plan of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Canada on June 26–7. President and CEO. Alberta. Telecom Africa Corporation 1 Background on Information and Communications Technologies for Development in Africa Overview A number of events in the last several months have served to advance the focus on ICT Development and ICT for Development in Africa..CHAPTER Joseph O. At their 2002 Summit meeting held in Kananaskis. At the Summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) held a few weeks later in July 2002. with NEPAD as an organ of the AU. at which the African Union (AU) succeeded the OAU.

Article 5. and • Supporting entrepreneurship and human resource development of Africans within the ICT Sector. wherever possible. • Encouraging and supporting the development of public-private partnerships to fast-track the development of ICT infrastructure.4 of the G8 Africa Action Plan undertakes to assist Africa to create digital opportunities by: • Encouraging the Digital Opportunity Task Force (DOT Force) International e-Development Resources Network to focus on Africa. it undertakes to do so by: . with respect to ICT Development. regional and international telecommunications and ICT regulations and policies in order to create ICT-friendly environments. Article 5. each building. on African initiatives already underway. At the Kananaskis Summit. the G8 Heads of State also adopted their own parallel programme for support of Africa’s initiative. The G8 Africa Plan of Action. as the initiative is called. also places emphasis on support for ICT Development in Africa.” Specifically. and supporting other DOT Force initiatives that can help to create digital opportunities. and commits the member states to providing support for enhancing Africa’s ability to develop ICT capacity as well as to take advantage of the enabling capacity of information and communications technologies and applications in her drive for comprehensive development. Specifically. social and political development.5 of the Action Plan addresses the counterpart objective of promoting ICT for Development by committing the G8 countries to assisting Africa to “make more effective use of ICT in the context of promoting sustainable economic.24 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development includes a strong focus on the dual strategy of ICT Development and ICT for Development (See later). • Working towards the goal of universal access to ICT by working with African countries to improve national.

an initiative of the Global Digital Divide Task Force of the World Economic Forum. with the support of the UN ICT Task Force. and The Role of the United Nations in Supporting Efforts to Promote Digital Opportunity in Africa. a joint venture between the Markle Foundation and UNDP. in partnership with the UN ICT Task Force. are: • The Global Digital Opportunity Initiative. to commit a minimum of 20 percent of their . The CEO Charter for Development One of the key events at the Special Meeting was the launching of the CEO Charter for Development programme. Two initiatives emanating from the G8 DOT Force process.Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 25 • Supporting African initiatives to make best use of ICT to address education and health issues. The Global Digital Opportunity Initiative plans support for ICT development in twelve African countries. on June 18. transparency and accountability of government. The CEO Charter is based on the pledge of companies that sign up. which also has a support mechanism under the International Partners Group. and • Supporting African countries in increasing access to. and making the best use of. including the support of the development and implementation of national e-strategies and egovernance initiatives aimed at increased efficiency. on June 17. This included two informal panels (one each day) that focused on Digital Opportunity: The Role of PublicPrivate Partnerships. effectiveness. the Prime Minister of Mozambique signed the first agreement for such deployment in New York. and • The Partnership for Global Policy Participation. which are of particular importance to Africa. In March 2002. held a two-day meeting on ICT and Development on June 17–18. A few months later. ICT in support of governance. the United Nations General Assembly. 2002.

In cooperation with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). a programme by which companies doing business in Africa commit themselves to support NEPAD’s objectives by observing a set of standard corporate citizenship criteria. This programme holds immense potential for driving ICT development support in Africa in a consistent and coherent way. The Task Force Digital Bridge to Africa Workshop On July 12. One of the outcomes of the Summit was the “Business Endorsement of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development” initiative. such as transparency and proper accounting principles. It also devoted its most recent African Economic Summit. Although a large number of over 250 companies have signed up for this programme. to promoting support for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) by the global private sector. WEF conducted a comprehensive initiative on e-readiness in the Southern African Region. the UN ICT Task Force convened the Digital Bridge to Africa Workshop with a view to mobilising African ICT expertise and resources abroad in support of Africa’s ICT development on the . is itself vigorously engaged in promoting ICT development in Africa in a variety of areas. expanded from its predecessor Southern African Economic Summit. as signing up does not involve any quantifiable commitment of resources (material or in kind) to Africa or the NEPAD process. 2002. a key partner to the UN ICT Task Force. The WEF-SADC e-Readiness Initiative The World Economic Forum (WEF).26 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development annual corporate citizenship and philanthropic budgets to support ICT Development in the developing world with a view to eliminating poverty. especially the support of the indigenous African private sector. government institutions and the African individual and institutional private sector. its value is difficult to assess at this juncture. the ultimate repository and arbiter of long-term durable industrial and competitive capacity-building and knowledge acquisition in Africa.

and “The money motive matters”. The Gateway Project In addition to these.Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 27 continent. African countries are beginning to take advantage of this opportunity.1 . “Learning (and adjusting) by doing”. It identified the key elements behind these success stories in terms of economic concepts such as “Demand drives supply”. “Ownership is essential”. the workshop consisted of a panel discussion and a working lunch. Uganda and Kenya). The Success Story Study With the support of the African Regional Network and the ECA. the Task Force has mobilised resources and windows of opportunity through its partnerships. the Task Force recently commissioned a Success Story Study in Africa to collect evidence of progress being made in the acquisition and capacity of ICT. and • The Social Venture Fund for Africa. followed by a concluding plenary session. the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP). resulted in the creation of three initiatives: • The Digital Diaspora Network-Africa (DDN-A). focused on micro enterprises and concluded that there have been some gains. The workshop. which was attended by some 130 participants including a large number of African ICT experts and entrepreneurs at home and abroad. and their deployment for self-improvement and socio-economic empowerment. The study. which involved field research in three African countries (Egypt. For example. in support of ICT development. the Gateway Project of the World Bank has provided a global database gateway and a window for ICT projects to respond to the needs of the Task Force. • AFRISHARE. Co-sponsored by UNIFEM. Digital Partners and Gruppo CERFE. It is also providing support through its network of country gateways.

28 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Other Initiatives Informal Sector and Civil Society Initiatives The informal sector, consisting primarily of NGOs, plays a significant role in advancing efforts at building ICT development in Africa. This sector realises the significance of using ICT technologies and applications for dealing with issues which have become traditionally associated with NGO efforts: namely, the eradication of poverty; the social, educational and political empowerment of the disadvantaged, especially women and children; education; preventive healthcare and the management of illness, especially HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases; and universal access to basic information and telecommunications services through innovative and affordable technologies. The energy and persistence, which is the hallmark of NGOs, contributes in no small way to the plethora of initiatives that are currently ongoing in Africa, including those now embraced by governments and the formal sector. It is significant that these NGOs are as much indigenous African organisations as regional or international groups. SMEs Given the size of the informal component of the African economic landscape, especially with over 70% of the population living in small and rural communities, and the unique adaptability of ICT applications to small and micro enterprises, it is no surprise that these enterprises have become increasingly active in the African ICT environment. Taking advantage of the online facilities of the Internet as well as the development of telecentres, individual and small groups of African entrepreneurs are setting up a slew of businesses, from online marketing of farm products, arts, crafts and clothing, to Internet cafes and telecentres. Street corner and marketplace pay-as-you-go phone services in cities like Abidjan, Dakar and Bamako, in which you pay a deposit and the number you desire is dialed for you (fixedline to fixedline, and mobile to mobile, for lowest tariffs), pay noble homage to the ingenuity of the African informal sector.

Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 29

Industry-Based Initiatives The ICT industry in Africa itself has gradually come to the realisation that its long-term profitability in the African market is intimately tied to the development of ICT capacity, not only in order to increase market demand, but also to promote economic and social development. This is the only way of increasing the buying power of the African population, which, in turn, will increase that portion of income that can be invested in broader ICT products and services. Examples of such industry-based initiatives include the following:
1. The SatCom Project

The SatCom Project was instituted by the telecommunications and satellite industry in Africa, as a partnership between indigenous and international players. At the SatCom Africa 2002 Conference held in Midrand, South Africa, in February 2002, the industry embraced the suggestion of PanAmSat that it commit bandwidth, equipment, expertise and other resources to support significant satellite-based projects. Created primarily by the conference organisers, Terrapin, Ltd., the Telecom Africa Corporation, RASCOM, Hughes Network Systems, WorldSpace, Sentech, UNISA, the Global VSAT Forum and Mike Jensen Consulting, amongst others, the SatCom Project is designed to: • Be continental in scope; • Make a concrete positive difference to ICT development in Africa; • Promote distance education, telemedicine, social, cultural and health development in Africa; • Involve all aspects of satellite technology, as well as exploit compatible non-satellite communications technologies and applications; • Avoid becoming a vehicle for dumping obsolete technologies, equipment and applications in Africa, a practice that would further impoverish Africa as a graveyard of technological obsolescence; • Promote research and development in pursuit of such solutions; • Promote human resource development, especially of Africans;

30 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • Involve African experts worldwide, using the facilitations of global network applications; • Promote knowledge of satellite communications in Africa, at both the technical and layman levels; • Promote partnerships amongst the players in the industry at large, and between Africa and the non-African sectors; • Engender, to the extent possible, enthusiastic support from officials and institutions with circumscribing authority to facilitate or smother the project; and • To be fun for all parties concerned.2
2. The Digital Factory

The Digital Factory is an initiative to create capacity in Africa for the development of software and applications at global standards to support the global ICT industry and market, as well as to meet indigenous continental demand. A private-sector initiative between Sun Microsystems, The Telecom Africa Corporation, the State of California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency, and other partners, the Digital Factory hopes to replicate the software development miracle of India, most notably in Bangalore. In the process of being detailed and fine-tuned, the Digital Factory will be continental, beginning with two or three countries and expanding thereafter. Digital Factory expects its software deliverables to be globally competitive in terms of quality and innovation. Its partners aim to greatly enhance the prospects of Africa’s ICT Development not only in terms of training and capacity-building, but also in providing market opportunities for such expertise through out-sourcing, subcontracting and direct contracting with industry partners, development agencies and international organisations.

Indigenous African Initiatives Of great importance in the ongoing drive for ICT Development in Africa is the active role of Africans and African institutions, public and private,

Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 31

in undertaking bold and innovative initiatives. The potential impact of such efforts is itself greatly enhanced by the intimate level of collaboration between both sectors, government and private, and between Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora. These initiatives cover a broad spectrum of areas, from policy and regulation, to industrialisation, infrastructure, software, content, development communications, and capacity building. Regulatory Matters On the regulatory side, national regulatory authorities have begun forming sub-regional groupings, such as the West African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (WATRA) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Southern Africa (TRASA). Taking advantage of common attendance at various forums, such as the African Regional Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on Information Society, in Bamako, Mali, in June 2002, African experts, officials and sector entrepreneurs are holding ad hoc meetings to pool their resources in pursuit of common interests. In this regard, moves are underway for the creation of an association of African Telecommunications Regulatory Authorities, with the support of the Bureau for Telecommunications Development (BDT) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Infrastructure There are several regional infrastructure initiatives being taken by Africans in the ICT sector.
1. The Sat–3/WASC/SAFE Undersea Optical Fibre Cable Network.

Shortly after the independence of South Africa, in a dramatic show of continental solidarity, cooperation and strategic common purpose, several African countries, in the euphoria of having achieved the most singular strategic objective of the OAU, joined forces to build a major undersea optical fibre cable to directly link many African countries to each other and to Europe and Asia, in partnership with global industry players. Led

32 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development by Telkom S.A., the 36 participants built the Sat–3/WASC/SAFE cable network. The 28,000 km cable, which cost $650 million USD, was launched in Dakar on May 27, 2002.
2. The RASCOM Satellite Project

RASCOM (the Regional African Satellite Communications Organisation), to which most African governments belong, is undertaking to build the RASCOM Satellite, in collaboration with Alcatel. Designed to have a footprint that will cover the entire continent, it is intended to support affordable access to ICT resources for Africans anywhere on the continent, especially rural populations.
3. The Comtel Project

Comtel is a regional project, undertaken by the member states of COMESA, to build an optical fibre grid to interlink their national networks. Policy and Strategy
1. The African Connection and the Ministerial Oversight Committee

The African Connection was created by the African Ministers of Communications during the ITU African Regional Conference in Johannesburg in 1998, to serve as an institutional framework for the coordination of telecommunications development ideas and capacity building, especially those with regional scope. The Ministerial Oversight Committee of African Ministers of Communications supervises the African Connection.3
2. The African Telecommunications Union (ATU)

The African Telecommunications Union, a reconstitution of the PanAfrican Telecommunications Union (PATU), is the de facto African regional telecommunications counterpart of the ITU. ATU, which also reports to the Ministerial Oversight Committee, serves as the organ for the systematic pursuit of telecommunications development in Africa.

Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 33 3. The African Advisory Group on ICT (AAG-ICT)

In the effort to mobilise Africa’s global expertise at the cutting edge for Africa’s ICT Development, the African Advisory Group on ICT has quietly played (and continues to play) a critical and indispensable role. The AAG-ICT is a group of 12 eminent African ICT experts from around the world who meet behind closed doors on an average of twice a year to provide confidential high-level advice to African Ministers of Information and Communications on strategic, policy and regulatory issues, with no holds barred. Created by the Minister of Communications of South Africa, Dr. Ivy Matsepe Casaburri, who also hosts it, the AAG usually meets one day ahead of the meeting of the Ministerial Oversight Committee, whose subsequent meeting is also attended by AAG members. The AAG also works in close liaison with the African Connection and the African Telecommunications Union, the heads of which two institutions also sit on the AAG. The Advisory Group expects to support the activities of NEPAD through intellectual support for the e-Africa Commission. This configuration, the result of persistent advocacy amongst African ICT experts that the continent take control of its sector challenges and build indigenous institutions, is most likely to prove to be the most strategic innovation in Africa’s response to the global challenge of ICT development. In addition to these, there are indigenous African initiatives aimed at building industrial as well as research and development capacity in Africa, allowing Africa’s expert capacity to spread around the world.

Key Issues with Potential Durable Impact on ICT Development in Africa Myriads of Initiatives An unintended and probably unanticipated challenge to the effective pursuit of ICT development in Africa is the plethora of initiatives,

34 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development which threaten to overwhelm Africa’s absorptive capacity. Numbers seem to take priority over significance in a response that is not inconsistent with the situation in other development efforts. In 1998, the Bureau for Telecom Development of the ITU convened a meeting in Rabat, Morocco, to try to coordinate and systematise some of these initiatives. Amongst those participating in this meeting, besides the ITU, were IDRC, Bellanet, UNDP and several African institutions, including CSIR and the Telecom Africa Corporation. While the partnership amongst the leading development initiatives, under the umbrella of the UN ICT Task Force, has forged a measure of coordination, the impact of this is yet to be felt. African Ownership A major part of this is the seemingly intractable challenge of creating an African-defined (even if not entirely African-led) agenda, with all the benefits of knowledge, experience in situ, compelling demands of internal self-actualisation and ownership with its implicit direct accountability and responsibility to the African peoples. Strategic Matters A further by-product of this challenge is the emerging possibility that there might be a genuine imbalance in the perception of critical (if not strategic) priorities in the urgent effort to build lasting and self-enhancing (read “sustainable”) ICT capacity in Africa. This capacity has direct impact on clear and measurable social, economic, cultural, intellectual and systemic transformation of Africa to become a comfortable partner in the global dispensation. Some issues that fall into this category include: • excessive emphasis on small, medium-scale and micro enterprises without industrialisation;

African initiatives. Quantifying and Qualifying Africa’s Existing Globally Diffused ICT Expertise It is scientifically impossible to undertake strategic African capacity building in the ICT sector without first determining the extent. to draw on Africa’s already vast human resource expertise to shape. development agencies. scope and quality of the expertise Africa already has and which it can deploy as its first line of attack in trying to achieve the quantum development. • investment in building indigenous capacity and the protection of such budding capacity versus embracing totally externally originated capacity in the context of liberalisation of the sector. which reflect the differences inherent in the perspectives of the African and the development partner. wherever it may be worldwide. but also to move in leaps and bounds to catch up with and join the ranks of global ICT development and capacity. • “realistic” versus “ambitious” efforts and expectations. and • such other disparities. international organisations and the global private sector. man and drive critical ICT initiatives throughout the continent. most initiatives that have been undertaken in this regard are subject to reasonable doubt. formulate. . This will supplement the administrative skills of decision makers with the technological expertise of Africans. are designed to create a critical database for strategic decision-making policy and access to African cutting edge expertise. In the absence of such comprehensive human resource assessment. This is necessary not only to bridge the handicap of a late start. such as The Global Human Resource Survey of African Male and Female Experts in ICT.Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 35 • a potentially bloated demand for a “conducive” policy and regulatory framework without defining the pre-eminent role and responsibility of the governed or the regulator. • the threat of further marginalising indigenous ICT sector entrepreneurs by the relentless thrust of globalisation. This anticipated database will enable African governments and their decision makers.

the continental African . which will link African scientific and technological research experts around the world and their global counterparts with interest in African ICT development in a secure global Intranet. but also to join the global community of research and development. advance the progress of effecting increased capacity in the mastery and use of Africa’s ICT ability. the quintessential element of technological advancement and wealth. This strategic capacity is seriously lacking in Africa. in the process. Engaging the UN ICT Task Force in Support of African ICT Development and NEPAD’s ICT Programme The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is the strategic platform of the newly created African Union. both in its own rights as well as a tool for development. When research initiatives are developed to the point of requiring in-lab physical research and experimentation. Africa’s ICT Challenge In all of this. such initiatives will be transferred from online to in-lab work through negotiations with the most appropriate physical laboratory in the world. hamstringing the continent’s ability not only to custom tailor generic technological innovations to meet its specific needs. which is the source of development of Intellectual Property.36 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Building Africa’s Research and Development Capacity in ICT Technology is not sustainable without continuous research and development activity at the cutting edge. African initiatives include The Telecom Africa Virtual Research Laboratory Project. the singular challenge is to devise effective strategies to bridge the gap between these often conflicting perceptions and priorities and.

• to lower the cost and improve reliability of service. 2. Agriculture and Market Access. • to develop and produce a pool of ICT-proficient youth and students . has established itself as a reference point in virtually all initiatives directed at Africa. Agenda Item 41. Education and Poverty Eradication. Transport and Energy. which was decided at a HighLevel Plenary Session on NEPAD. which consists of ICT. in its short life. Human Development. From an institutional structure point of view. Egypt. NEPAD has four main sectors. NEPAD enjoys high priority with the United Nations. and 4. as follows: 1. Senegal and South Africa) fielded questions for a couple of hours. with an adequate level of access for households. covering Health and Communicable Diseases. NEPAD’s ICT development objectives are articulated in the basic NEPAD Document. NEPAD. Private Capital Flows. which consist of Domestic Resource Mobilisation. Capital Flows. 3. They are: • to double teledensity to two lines per 100 people by the year 2005.Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 37 political and economic institution that succeeded the Organisation of African Union (OAU) and which mirrors other regional institutions. The session consisted of two plenary meetings and an informal panel discussion at which the five members of the Heads of State Implementation Committee of NEPAD (the Presidents of Nigeria. Water and Sanitation. ODA Reform. and Debt Reduction. • to achieve e-readiness for all countries in Africa. Algeria. Infrastructure. such as the European Union. Amongst the African items and events on the Agenda of the 57th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2002 was the final review and appraisal of the United Nations Agenda for the Development of Africa (UN-NADAF). An instrument of the African Union.

the e-Africa Commission. is also very new. Although NEPAD looms large on the African horizon and in the global picture. expertise. . based especially on Africa’s cultural legacy. 2000. To oversee this process. synergy and the strongest commitment of support institutions (both African and international). it is yet to develop both a comprehensive detailed agenda and to set up the administrative and expert capacity and establishment to fully manage its affairs. NEPAD’s de facto ICT organ for masterminding and managing its ICT priorities and programmes. which focused on “Development and International Co-operation in the 21st Century: The Role of Information Technology in the Context of a Knowledge-based Economy”.38 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development from which Africa can draw trainee ICT engineers. which embraces virtually all development challenges of Africa and its people5. place on the young institution. Given the overriding fact that NEPAD’s overall agenda covers an enormous scope. ICT is a major focus in the NEPAD agenda. former Head of State of the Republic of Mali and an ardent advocate of ICT for Development in Africa. The Commission is chaired by His Excellency President Alfa Oumar Konaré. This would enable it to successfully manage the process in such a manner as to fulfill the enormous expectations the African people. In particular.4 The e-Africa Commission Positioned within the Infrastructure Sector. and • to develop local-content software. NEPAD has called for the cooperation. programmers and software developers. and indeed the world. and therefore at the early stage of addressing its institutional and programmatic challenges. African leaders formed the e-Africa Commission to serve effectively as the ICT task force of NEPAD in pursuit of the NEPAD objectives listed above. President Konaré was also a keynote speaker at the ECOSOC meeting of July 5–7.

consisting of thirteen projects. for our purposes here. the e-Africa Commission is expected to seek similar support for its sector objectives. as outlined at the Dakar Conference. . infrastructure and financial services markets. create ICT private industries.” ICT/3: IT/Telecommunications Device Manufacturing Plant The objective of this project is to “develop activities around telecommunications-related industries. ICT/2: Telecommunications Law and Regulation Harmonisation Aims to “create a unified and opened economic zone through the integration of property. Senegal. NEPAD unveiled its ICT Programme as approved by the Heads of State Implementation Committee of NEPAD (the highest ruling body of the organisation) under the Chairmanship of Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo. 2002. on April 15–17. NEPAD’s ICT Projects Following is a synopsis of the original programme. NEPAD ICT Initiatives At the Conference on Financing NEPAD. improve IT equipment availability and produce ICT equipment more adapted to African needs and environment” in West Africa. ICT/1: Infrastructure Project This project aims to install 32 optical fibre inter-state links in West Africa. promote industrial sub-contracting activities. and hosted by Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade. held in Dakar.Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 39 Specifically. hoping to profit immensely from a global partnership programme in support of the ICT component of the NEPAD Implementation Plan.

environment.” ICT/8: E-Customer Africa ACEN. health. Dakar. is intended to be “a public/private communication and data transmission system designed to track customs transactions between African countries. It will allow (the) exchange of data between criminal justice agencies. as it is also called.” ICT/7: E-Justice Africa “E-Justice Africa is a system that will manage justice information in Africa. is “a Pan African cooperation tool to prevent and fight terrorism. PanAfrican Governmental Network This is a transcontinental “secure IP/Ipsec network designed exclusively for African Government communications (data and voice transmission). Senegal and Harare.” .” ICT/6: DATAFRICA “DATAFRICA aims at the creation of an electronic database to store various statistics in the field of economics. epidemiological analysis. geography. agriculture.” ICT/9: ACT-NET ACT-NET. It will collect. analyse and track information about terrorists. courts. population. ICT/5: PAG-NET. prophylaxis. medical care and prevention. suspected individuals and their activities. Zimbabwe. law enforcement and prosecutors.” ICT/10: Telemedicine This continental project (AHTIS) is intended as “a way of building highquality interoperable systems for health education. telemedicine operations. trading. Togo. or ACTIS. as it is also called.40 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development ICT/4: Support to ICT-related Facilities A transcontinental project to “provide support to maintain and upgrade existing ICT-related educational or industrial centres” in Lome. ICT and infrastructures.

Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 41 ICT/11: E-History Africa “E-History Africa is a program that will support and encourage (the) production and diffusion of African history on worldwide networks and digital media. Amongst the challenges before the e-Africa Commission. local food (and jewelry). especially . Having done that.” ICT/12: Africashop A transcontinental project. “Africashop is an electronic online store that aims to be a window to African art and culture.” It is a transcontinental project.” ICT/13: Africa Cybermarket “Africa Cybermarket is a commodity market that will allow electronic exchange of agricultural and sea products between African producers and the buyers. A review of these would indicate that the programmatic objectives of NEPAD are in the following areas: • • • • • • Infrastructure Content development Law. as it sets out to establish itself and to prosecute its objectives under the NEPAD programme. clothing. including telemedicine and distance education • Internet marketing This would essentially cover the full spectrum of the ICT industry. it would also have to define the role it has chosen to play in the different sub-sectors of ICT in Africa. would be building the institution itself. Policy and Regulatory Affairs Industrialisation E-Governance Online distance services. and the institutional capacity to manage these challenges in the continental and global context. It will offer arts and crafts.

The rationalisation of this last area will be crucial if the Commission is to get the buy-in of an enlightened and driven African private sector. is instructive.42 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development given the power of the global industry. Addressing the lunch reception in his honour on June 17. not only undermines the ability of Africa to build indigenous capacity. 3. he succinctly articulated the view that his government’s preference was for African governments to empower the African private sector so that they can form credible. during the UN General Assembly Special Meeting on Information and Communications for Development. placing them in the global context. which has been the configuration most advocated in much of ICT development strategies. or public/private African partnership. but also undermines its opportunity to compete globally. the Vice Chairman of the NEPAD Heads of State Implementation Committee and Head of its Infrastructure Sector. whether as mobilising financial and other resources in support of the African private sector. Rationalise its ICT objectives and priorities within this dual context. 2002. In this regard. In this regard. Develop a comprehensive picture of the current status of ICT development and initiatives on the continent. Mobilise Africa’s global human resource expertise as a core team to strengthen its extended strategic and institutional capacity. That sector already fears that the global private/African public sector partnership. fair and equitable partnerships . the position of President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal. or some other permutation of partnership possibilities. 4. or promoting global/domestic African partnership. Rationalise its role. the e-Africa Commission is likely to seek to: 1. a process which it has already begun by drawing on members of the African Advisory Group on ICT (the AAG-ICT). which also dominates the African regional market. 2.

The ultimate agent for such durability and sustainability will be a versatile. Through the mobilisation of support from the G8 industrial nations. expertise and clout of the UN ICT Task Force and its donor and private sector partners in many ways. on equitable terms. and the ICT objectives of NEPAD as executed through the e-Africa Commission. and indigenous African private sector. NEPAD. working in alliance with its global counterpart. or to provide discernable catalytic impact to drive subsequent initiatives. and the alignment of the vision of the African Union with the global vision of the United Nations. . and which have sound prospects of durability by becoming self-sustainable. especially given their explicit commitments in the G8 African Plan of Action. innovative. Adequate provisions would have to be made for affirmative action to build such competitive capacity from experience and knowledge gained from each collaboration. These include the following: 1. the e-Africa Commission is likely to concentrate on projects and initiatives which have the potential of maximum impact on ICT development in Africa. In all of this. In his opinion. building Africa’s indigenous private sector capacity using this strategy would definitely attract the African private sector to join forces with the Commission in pursuit of a common continental dream.Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 43 with their global counterparts. projects or programmes. provide a conducive platform for Task Force efforts in support of the ICT Development in Africa as a whole. The Role of the UN ICT Task Force in Support of NEPAD and related African ICT Development Activities The commitment of both NEPAD and the UN ICT Task Force to the goals of the UN Millennium Declaration. These are basic tenets of equitable globalisation. could benefit substantially from the extensive access. through the e-Africa Commission.

through all legitimate and conducive channels and agents. Any positive impact of initiatives undertaken by the Task Force and its partners. Through support of new initiatives. Through mobilisation of support. as much in material as in kind. to help mobilise Africans and others in the Diaspora in support of ICT initiatives on the continent. even if not in direct support of specific NEPAD objectives. 4. the ultimate essence of NEPAD. Through similar mobilisation of support from other industrial and evolving industrial nations outside the G8 membership. Conclusion Through these and other avenues. and in partnership with other institutions. 5. constitutes de facto support of NEPAD. through support for the World Economic Forum’s CEO Charter for Development and Business Endorsement for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development programmes to help mobilise the global private sector to provide comprehensive and dedicated support. especially those who are partners in the Task Force. from the global private sector. 7. within Africa’s own vision for self-actualisation and of The United Nation’s own terms of reference. Through its own on-going initiatives.44 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development 2. The Task Force can have durable positive impact on ICT Development in Africa. 6. such as the Digital Diaspora Network-Africa. talented and highly expert even if nascent. In particular. 3. to help support Africa’s own drive for selfdevelopment. . the United Nations ICT Task Force could help mobilise significant support. granted that the ultimate and overall objective of NEPAD is the transformation of the African ICT landscape. especially Africa’s private sector. promote and/or partner with NEPAD and its e-Africa Commission. Through mobilisation of support from donor and development agencies.

D. An Assessment of the Objectives. Johannesburg. Sr. See Joseph O. Ph. by partnering with the African public and private sector (continental and global) could help promote African ownership of the ICT development process in Africa. Jr. 5. the United Nations ICT Task Force. This will also greatly increase prospects for achieving a broadcast acquisition and integration of ICT applications in the everyday life of Africans. while preserving and enhancing the cultural attributes and priorities of Africa and its people. UNDP. 2. February 26–28. NEPAD Document. item 117.Background on ICT for Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 45 Above all. . See Chapter Thirteen. Capacity and Activities of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Strategies and Niche for UNDP Support. but also to compete effectively in the global marketplace. thus enriching the global human culture at large. Section B1 (ii) Bridging the Digital Divide: Investing in Information and Communications Technology. See Chapter Nine. A Consultancy Report by Joseph O. Galagher Estate. N OT E S 1. Furthermore. SatCom Africa 2002 Conference. Okpaku. by Crocker Snow. Tip-toeing Across the Digital Divide: African Entrepreneurs Applying. it could empower the African ICT private sector not only to meet the basic and emerging demands of ICT in Africa. 3. Info-communication for Development in Africa: The African Connection Initiative by Emmanuel OleKambainei.. Sr. Creating an Industry-sponsored Participatory Continental African Satellite Communications Project: The SatCom Project.. See ENABLING NEPAD. Objectives. New York. Okpaku. Adapting and Advancing Appropriate Information Technologies. 4.. Such cutting edge global competitive capacity is ultimately the only way to ensure durable sustainability of the process and the gains from all efforts of NEPAD and other initiatives involved in the global effort to effect a quantum development of ICT capacity in Africa. page 25. 2002.

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and Ambassador Wibisono for inviting me to this important session of ECOSOC. E. today. Alpha Oumar Konaré Former President of the Republic of Mali 2 Restoring Africa’s National Space1 First of all. the weak presence of 47 . I would like to thank the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Kofi Annan. Regarding the question of the New Information and Communications Technologies. the connection of the African continent to the worldwide network does not represent more than 2% of the total! Also. Mr. Furthermore. I wish to pay homage to the United Nations for its delicacy and perspicacity for having brought our continent. will be able to overcome its handicaps as well as other nations did in history. since it is certain that Africa. you could have found—I am sure—another speaker.CHAPTER H. somebody more representative of the extraordinary impact of this revolution in human progress. to a debate where—as it could be possible to think—we do not have a say in the matter. tomorrow. But this thinking would be contrary to a vision of the future. fighting against all pessimism existing in this domain. After all.

where the modernity of . simply because only they can hold images. we have measured the real significance of these topics compared to the other fields of human activity. we have spoken several times throughout the 1970s. During these years. and constantly kept alive by international aid. Africans have understood that national space at the end of the 20th century could become foreign to its indigenous people. when the space of the Southern countries was occupied by the satellites of the North. They discover democratic societies. We have been suffering this merciless domination for thirty years. trusting in the future. Africa appears as an old sick person. famine. and disease. For more than 30 years. everybody knows that the least movement in the most remote African village can be thoroughly dissected by the always-increasing sophisticated instruments. It was already a time of unilateral occupation of the world. without any possible compensation. in the same tribune of today. For those rare people whose interests and affairs are on the continent. we know that the control of these parameters is the prerequisite for modernity. Africa is unfortunately only present because of its ethnic conflicts. progress and freedom. They discover populations in good health. This is why.48 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Africa on the world scene does not mean that it is not aware of what is at stake. In particular. this represents a great injustice. Everybody knows the dramatic consequences of this. An Old Problem in New Terms I would like to recall that it is not the first time that the African community has had to face up to problems affecting such a delicate area as Information and Communications. without any possibility of debate. suffering continuous agony. pale and atonic. industrious. On the world scene. This is the only image of Africa that exists for Northern countries. to advocate a new world order in information. Today. to a point where everybody by now considers this alienation as a natural event. alienated and dominated even on their own land.

the managers of tomorrow. Colonialism and Racism We finally understood that one of the major handicaps of the international cooperation lies in the lack of communication and of reliable information regarding our societies. my country’s capital city. university professors and common people—two hundred personalities from the North and from the South—convened in Geneva. our cultures. Early Initiatives Furthermore. chosen as a representation of West African countries in this initiative. The right measure of the world significance of the Internet has been expressed through the decision to build a virtual world between Geneva and Bamako. and our reciprocal political objectives. two hundred personalities. because they do not know anything about colonisation. This creation meant for us basically two things: a new form of cooperation between the North and the South. The slave trade. of a revitalised integration among African countries. and the commencement. The Legacy of Slavery. to think together in global terms about Africa and the challenges of new communications technologies. They discover—above all—the young people of today. young people by now aware of the tiniest pulses of the world. the structure of our economies. . invited by President Guy Olivier Segond. once again. through the Internet. the debate on these technologies started several years ago.Restoring Africa’s National Space ✦ Konaré ✦ 49 institutions has nothing less in comparison with others. almost at the same time as in the Western countries. Actually. in Africa. I would like you to know that if. because they navigate the Internet. This is how the Anais Network was born. In 1976. a consultation network on ICT in Africa. it is due to the fact that the costs for new technologies and media are still out of our reach. young people free of complexes. Africa is the poor relative of the world in terms of connectivity. including politicians and businessmen. President of the State Council and of the Canton of Geneva and by myself.

realised an unprecedented revolution. in recent years. and the citizens to discuss these main questions. which has been so widely discussed in the last few years (and that does not seem to me to be an illusion). and to the possibility for African countries to together identify a problem and a barrier. where all participants . the very condition for our existence. which would be able to free all initiatives and to protect our environment. The Global Dialogue If. we chose four major areas where development seems to be the foundation of progress and all possible well-being: education. this was surely due to the vitality and fluidity of information. health. The rebirth of Africa. The Internet Revolution The Internet. obstacles and barriers collapsed. allowing Africa to be in the world without any detour or intermediary. despised and discriminated against. simply because this other.50 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development colonisation. Starting from Geneva. in this regard. When we invited the governments of six countries from the South and one from the North. we have participated in almost all world meetings on the ICT. And it is also thanks to the hundreds of African websites that the character and the potential qualities of the continent are now being more appreciated than in the past. come from an ignorance typical of the human dimension of the other. could never really express itself. can be reached through the development and constant renewal of human resources. racism and all forms of domination and exploitation in history. There is no doubt that Africa is better known in the last five years than in the last five hundred years. based on the superiority complex of one race. it is because of the creed of Geneva. The second value of the Anais Network for African countries themselves is as an instrument that could allow them to better grasp their common problems in order to evolve common solutions. democracy and environment. and through the construction of a truly democratic society.

presented ever since to the rest of the world as the only valuable knowledge. thanks to the ICT. with its focus on the question of knowledge and ICT. in a world globalised to death. The debate in Toronto did also raise the question of content that should be developed by Africa on the Internet and the electronic media. to business agents. to all citizens—it is their task to reveal their knowledge. The Global Knowledge Conference held in Toronto in 1997. for us. have kept the continent alive in spite of all the aggressions that we all know. is the essence of everything that is to be known. as codified by Western culture and. throughout the centuries. in which there is the escape. 736 . and that countries in the South were confined to an inactive scheme with the connivance of the North. organised in my country last February. gave us the opportunity of expressing our views on this issue. to judges. It is through our involvement in this debate on the world scene that will make it possible to develop our prolific differences and to refuse the assimilation of our values by a media-driven world eruption of sound and image. “Bamako 2000” As for the “Bamako 2000”. their know-howto-do and know-how-to-be Africans who. The question of world knowledge brings along that of the exhumation. so to speak. We said that development was a question of culture. Knowledge. including rational knowledge.Restoring Africa’s National Space ✦ Konaré ✦ 51 agreed that Africa had a great opportunity of finally having its voice heard on all major issues. This is the same position that we had the honour of supporting in our closing speech at the ECA (Economic Commission for Africa) Forum on Information Technologies. It poses the problem of the confinement of the means to a particular civilisation. unfortunately. But it is up to African university students. held in Addis Ababa. of the historical legacy of Africa. the salvation of the difference. for as long as this hypothesis was not recognised by everybody. which counted on the participation of four continents out of five.

sustainable development. lately. a kind of re-conquest of the African continent. A Collective Approach to Access Nobody has any doubt today about the revolutionary character of the Internet in the development process. You all understand that our commitment to Information and Communications Technology is mainly based upon the vigilance and maturity of Africans in this respect. in the prompt increasing interest of northern countries in the connection of Africa. and reforms advocating privatisation have been initiated everywhere in this important field.52 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development representatives from 48 countries. the rights of citizens and peoples. the collective access and the appropriations of the ICT. I am refering to the collective access and the appropriations of ICT. administration of decentralised communities. women in information society. health. There is such a movement in this direction that a great world competition is taking place. we can recognise. Also. and the ethical and legal challenges of the Internet. it was the greatest gathering in Africa on the topic of ICT. electronic commerce. The doctrine of a “new society of the planetary information” is just an idea serving a fooling market. in a word. the eternal debate on the objectives aimed at all innovative technologies. Addis Ababa. But among all possible analyses. But one of the questions just mentioned represents today a real problem and has been discussed in Toronto. media. It is. Regarding the subject of “Internet as the footbridge of development”. Bamako and. in New York at the Experts’ Meeting preparing this General Assembly of ECOSOC. the only valid question for us . the panelists presented the most recent applications of the Internet in the following domains: education. The Threat of a New Digital Conquest of Africa We are aware of the interest that 400 million African consumers represent for multinational companies.

at the “Bamako 2000”. until today. only ten years ago.Restoring Africa’s National Space ✦ Konaré ✦ 53 is that of the exploitation of our populations with respect to opportunities related to ICT. We will also install one Internet access point for the country’s natural resources map. a utopia? Is it something impossible? . had an economical structure similar to that of African countries today. We know that the United Nations. Mali’s Initiatives It is for this reason that today. devoted almost eighteen million dollars to strengthen connectivity in Africa. we announced the intention of the Government of Mali to link the 701 municipalities coming out from a long program of decentralisation of the country and to provide each of Mali’s municipalities an Internet access point in order to give to the State reliable demographic statistics and electoral lists for transparent elections. and they succeeded in a spectacular takeoff with a resolute policy with respect to connectivity. in addition to the fifteen million dollars of the Leland Initiative for which we are sincerely thankful to the United States. There will also be one Internet access point in each municipality for communication and better acquaintance amongst citizens. But it also arose that there are countries which. A glaring inequality among the different regions in the world came out from the experts’ report. the health system. and the ecological and cultural chart. and for the school. and for more efficiently positioning and increasing the value of their production. since these need a major connection effort. We also have to say that there is more pressure for installing cellular telephone networks than local infrastructures. Is the planned link of 701 municipalities of Mali to the Internet today. A United Nations Response This is why I strongly commend the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations for having convened this important meeting.

The burden that Africa drags upon its feet and that prevents it from taking off is debt. as the then President of the Republic of Mali. I revealed to the participants that the Internet link of 701 municipalities would have cost a maximum of 8 billion French Francs. it is in the interest for the entire world. It is one of the continents with the greatest natural resources in the world. N OT E S 1. it is only due to the burden of debt. always debt. the Northern as well as the Southern countries will find it to their mutual benefit. annually for its debt.54 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development ”Debt for Connectivity” I do not see another way of giving Africans a chance to enter the global information society than invoking international cooperation. . addressed the High-Level Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). more than the fifty percent of the population of Africa is under 25 years old. And as for human resources. Internet). E. And if the dream of the Government of Mali is still just a dream. It is not simply in the interest for Africa. The linking up of Africa to the world is not a luxury. since Mali pays almost 60 billion French Francs. which is impossible to find today. At “Bamako 2000”. 2000. as it seems to me. instant messages. or less than 7 million US dollars. This is why I take advantage of being in front of such an important tribune to propose to the international community the formula of “debt for connectivity”. H. Everybody knows here that Africa does not need to beg on the world scene. is—in the whole world—the only possible universe for solidarity and parity: the United Nations have always been the defender of the poorest. I am sure that. Alpha Oumar Konaré. On July 5. if every year just one percent of the total amount of debt of each African country is devolved for the creation or the amelioration of the telecommunication infrastructures (telephone. or approximately 10 million US dollars. That speech is presented here. as a special guest. which. electricity.

Hundreds of new local and community radio stations have been licensed. the digital divide is still at its most extreme in Africa.CHAPTER Mike Jensen 3 The Current Status of Information and Communications Technologies in Africa An Overview The use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) has grown relatively rapidly in most urban areas in Africa. Five years ago. only a handful of countries had local Internet access. However. where the use of ICTs is still at a very early stage of development compared to other regions of the world. more mobile cell phones were deployed on the continent than the number of fixed lines laid in the last century. now it is available in every capital city. In the same period. Of the approximately 816 million people in Africa in 2001. it is estimated that: 55 . and satellite TV is now also widely available.

3 3. 1 in 13 have a TV (62m). remains at the bottom of the list of developing regions in Internet usage.56 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • • • • • • • 1 in 4 have a radio (205m). 1 in 160 use the Internet (5m).4 0. along with South Asia.31 0.US) Latin America and the Caribbean East Asia and the Pacific Eastern Europe and CIS Arab States Sub-Saharan Africa South Asia World Source: NUA Publishing (www.5 1442 1684 374 3252 199 159 617 876 276 149 283 1 3 1 11 1 4 2 1 1 2 .5 0. Table 3–1: Internet Users as a percentage of the Total Population Region United States High-income OECD (excl.66 30.1 0. 1 in 40 have a fixed line (20m).9m).4 2000 54.46 14. 1 in 130 have a PC (5.9 0.2 2. and 1 in 400 have pay-TV(2m)1 Surveys show that sub-Saharan Africa.04 2.09 5. 1 in 35 have a mobile phone (24m).2 0.3 6.08 12.78 1.8 0.57 11.9 0.6 0. with South Asian Internet use growing more rapidly (see Table 3–1).4 6.7 Table 3–2: African Internet Statistics for 2002 Dialup Internet Subscribers International Population Outgoing Bandwidth in Millions in Kbps 2000 GDP/Capita Cities with in USD POPs 1999 (Points of Presence) Country Africa 1492535 Algeria 45000 Angola 16000 Benin 4500 Botswana 20000 Burkina Faso 4700 Burundi 300 Cameroon 7000 Cape Verde 2456 Central African Republic 700 Chad 900 1409100 12000 5126 2100 14000 256 512 9000 1024 64 64 769.ie) 1998 26.41 3.27 1207.2 3.31 6.48 7.3 28.8 0.nua.

65 1.R Congo Djibouti Egypt E.75 10.68 382 833 767 400 846 1195 668 161 103 5121 284 372 677 245 347 547 1000 6579 224 242 230 455 3661 1218 86 2051 161 551 9270 317 358 518 6995 209 169 2979 364 1388 244 324 2144 317 463 712 7 5 13 1 6 1 1 1 5 7 14 3 10 4 2 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 11 100 1 2 4 1 1 4 3 1 2 2 7 1 4 9 1 5 1 4 .17 1.13 29.6 0.08 113.2 49.31 28.4 9.5 0.63 44.78 12.66 2.08 4.14 10 0.98 0.01 2.71 1.06 2.29 0.3 0.15 27.53 1.34 20.16 7.88 1.69 2.55 8.1 4.36 10.95 32. Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Morocco Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Reunion Rwanda Sao Tome & Principe Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe 491 200 13000 4500 850 100000 200 2500 6500 5000 3000 15000 4000 250 35000 750 250 4000 10000 3500 6000 960 35000 80000 6000 15000 2000 60000 47000 2700 378 15000 3000 1000 250 750000 9000 5000 30000 1700 70000 10000 7000 25000 64 128 6000 1024 2048 535000 64 512 8200 16384 1024 4096 128 640 28000 784 128 2048 2750 2300 4096 384 4096 200000 2048 6144 384 15000 576 1300 64 48000 4098 512 768 342000 10000 256 12000 1536 75000 9250 5120 11000 0.67 5.57 10.87 18.66 10.58 59.The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 57 Dialup Internet Subscribers International Population Outgoing Bandwidth in Millions in Kbps 2000 GDP/Capita Cities with in USD POPs 1999 (Points of Presence) Country Comoros Congo Cote D’ivoire D.43 3.68 6.62 65.98 16.79 16.23 19.

most tax regimes still treat computers and cell phones as luxury items. resulting in barriers to the increased movement of people and goods. Congested border posts and visa requirements add to these difficulties. this is simply exacerbating the situation in Africa. Another systematic factor is that the road. However. while the majority of Africans are scattered in small communities spread-out across vast rural areas. Along with the very low pay scales in the African civil service. but is also being faced by the developed world where infrastructure demands have outpaced the supply of experienced staff.58 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development The divide between urban and rural areas is even greater. which make these almost exclusively imported items all the more expensive and even less obtainable by the majority. Rural areas in particular suffer with even more limited human resources. because experienced technicians. Very limited diffusion of the telecommunications networks into rural areas (often over 75 percent of the country’s telephone lines are concentrated in the capital city) and irregular or non-existent electricity supplies are a common feature and a major barrier to use of ICTs. Although there have been notable efforts in some countries to reduce duties on computers. communications equipment and peripherals are still often charged at higher rates. Furthermore. Most of the services and users are concentrated in the towns. rail and air transport networks are limited. this is a chronic problem for governments and NGOs who are continually losing their brightest and most experienced to the private sector. especially outside the major towns. from policy making down to end-user). but also for the increased economic and social activity which would be stimulated through greater use of ICTs. are able to find much higherpaying jobs in Europe and North America. This situation is not unique to Africa or other developing countries. even from the local private sector. . needed both to implement and support a pervasive ICT infrastructure. costly to use and often in poor condition. Perhaps an even greater problem is that the brain drain and generally low levels of education and literacy amongst the population have created a scarcity of skills and expertise (at all levels.

Algeria and Tunisia. limited opportunities (due largely to the historic pattern of monopolies and high levels of state control). many administrations are beginning to streamline their operations and improve internal efficiencies by adopting ICTs. In South Africa. Administrations.The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 59 Finally. This has allowed many people and organisations to improve management. exchange controls and inflation. scarce local capital. For example. colleagues and partners around the world. acutely needed for the ICT sector. now provide immediate global access to tenders via the web. especially in neighbouring countries. currency instability. these rather discouraging observations do not give the full picture. the government of Lesotho recently declared that all announcements for cabinet and committee meetings would be made only by e-mail. the results of blood tests are being transmitted to remote clinics that are off the telecom grid via mobile telephone text messages. such as those in South Africa. has suffered from the wellknown problems of small markets divided by arbitrary borders. As . The ICT landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years. and within the continent there are many pockets of significant developments: • One of the early and still most important impacts has been in the use of e-mail to reduce the cost and to increase the speed and duration of international communications. the general business climate for increased investment in Africa. obtain resources and generally achieve much better communications with their family. nontransparent and time-consuming procedures. friends. However. • Although the relatively low level of ICT penetration amongst the public in Africa has so far limited the use of ICTs for governance purposes. Health and education departments in many countries are beginning to electronically transmit operational MIS statistics such as disease occurrences and pupil registrations.

With improved information systems they would be able to obtain much better market-related prices. which can provide much needed local communication services. sent over by satellite link where operators in Rabat edit them. Callers do not realise they are calling Mauritius or Togo. However.In Togo and Mauritius. . • The scalability of ICTs lends them to adoption by small and medium size enterprises. and negotiate for better prices on inputs.A local Internet service provider in Morocco has a contract to digitise the National Library of France’s paper archives. farmer and fishing organisations would be able to band together to sell their produce directly to distributors. they pick up the phone. ‘virtual security guards’ have found jobs using the Internet to monitor web cams in office parks on the East Coast of . dial a local number and are routed through to one of these countries where the operators there provide the support that they require. • Lack of timely information is well known to be the largest constraint on small-scale agricultural production and natural resource exploitation—a sector that provides livelihood for 70–80 percent of Africa’s population. thus far the potential for ICTs to impact this sector has not yet received much attention. . For example: . the vast information resources available via the Internet are becoming increasingly important tools in ensuring informed decision-making.60 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development greater numbers of public officials are now gaining low-cost access to the web. Local farmers or miners often cannot obtain up-to-date market information so that travelling traders can negotiate most favourable prices.In Cape Verde. Furthermore. They are scanned in France. Also. call centres now provide telephone support services for international companies with customers in Europe and North America. the ‘death of distance’ provided by the Internet has meant that there are even greater opportunities to be found in exploiting the larger information and communication-based economies of the developed countries.

Also. has only this year launched a national TV broadcaster. Ghana.The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 61 the US. Nevertheless. This would put 2002 ownership slightly over 200 million radio sets. the news and information output of these commercial stations is often either a re-broadcast of the national (state-controlled) broadcaster’s news. . especially those focusing on events outside of the capital. It is estimated that over 60 percent of the population of the sub-continent are reached by existing radio transmitter networks. Genuine community broadcasters are scarce. unfortunately there are rather too few of these examples.Many African craft makers are selling their wares on the World Wide Web. community broadcasting has been slow to take off in the region. such as PeopleLink. They notify local rapid response teams there if they see anything amiss. while national television coverage is largely confined to major towns. Some countries still do not have their own national television broadcaster. In 1997. is rarely broadcast. such as Botswana. . with a 4 percent per annum growth rate. Local news and current affairs. compared with only 62 million televisions. UNESCO estimated radio ownership in Africa at close to 170 million. South Africa and Uganda have seen notable numbers of new community radio licensees. However. Broadcasting Radio is still by far the most dominant mass medium in Africa. An increasing number of commercial stations are being established following liberalisation of the sector in many countries. largely because of the low level of penetration of the infrastructure and supporting environment necessary to effectively use ICTs in Africa. with ownership of radio sets being far higher than for any other electronic device. While these developments are encouraging. even a relatively well-developed country. supported by NGOs. or that of an international broadcaster or news agency.

A substantial increase in the rate of expansion and modernisation of fixed networks is taking place. SABC. launched Channel Africa. Mali.62 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Satellite-based broadcasting has in particular seen major activity on the continent in the last few years. south of Lusaka. most of the existing telecom infrastructure cannot reach the bulk of the population—50 percent of the available lines are concentrated in the capital cities. called DSTV. Burkina Faso. Also. including Cote d’Ivoire. Kenya. the situation is not quite as bad as it would appear due to the penetration of mobile networks. is off a very low base. Senegal and South Africa have so far signed up to provide content. Telecommunications Changes in the telecommunications sector in Africa have perhaps been even more marked than in broadcasting.2 However. which is also able to receive data services. This growth. In over 15 countries in Africa. the effective annual increase in lines is only 6 percent. along with the explosion of mobile networks. The number of main lines grew about 9 percent a year between 1995 and 2001. as of 2001. South African company MNet launched the world’s first digital direct-to-home subscriber satellite service. however. WorldSpace ultimately aims to make a suite of over 80 audio channels available to anyone on the continent who can afford the $50 for the special digital radio. and taking into account population growth. Ghana and Uganda. including the transmission of web pages. Subscribers have access to over 30 video channels and 40 audio programmes on C-band to the whole of Africa and on lower-cost KU-band to Southern Africa. is still only about one per 130 inhabitants in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). where subscribers have now surpassed . In 1995. over 70 percent of the lines are still located in the largest city. The US-based company WorldSpace launched a digital radio broadcasting satellite called AfriStar in late 1998. a new satellite-based news and entertainment channel aimed at the continent. the US and in Egypt. The overall fixed line teledensity. Last year South Africa’s public broadcaster. Broadcasters in Europe. where only about 10 percent of the population live.

A pager can also be tied to the system to immediately inform the subscriber that a message is waiting. However. Thus. from which they can retrieve their messages from any telephone. 75. the penetration of phone lines on the sub-continent is about 5 times worse than the ‘average’ low-income country.000 in the whole continent. the number of fixed lines increased from 12.2 percent of the world’s 1 billion telephone lines. domestic use has. The cost of renting a connection averages almost 20 percent of GDP per capita. Comparing this to all of the low-income countries (which house 50 percent of the world’s population and 10 percent of the telephone lines). North Africa had 11. it has only 0. Due to the low-cost and long range of the cellular base stations. and only 1 percent in high-income countries. On the other hand. until recently. In 2001. now provide a ‘virtual phone’ alternative. been largely confined to the small proportion of the population that can afford their own telephone. thus underlining the pent-up demand for basic voice services. the International Telecommunication Union reported about 350. the high cost of mobile usage (about USD$0. as compared to a world average of 9 percent.5 million to 21 million across Africa between 1995 and 2001. or about 1 for every 8.4 million of these and South Africa had another 5 million lines. Public Telephone Operators (PTOs) in countries.The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 63 fixed-line users in most countries. the number of public telephones is still much lower than elsewhere. an increasing number of operators in Africa are now passing over the responsibility for maintaining public telephones to the . such as Botswana and South Africa. Overall. while sub-Sahara Africa contains about 10 percent of the world’s population (626 million).6 million for the rest of the continent. Subscribers are issued their own unique phone number and pay a small rental for a voice mailbox.50/minute.3 Despite these high charges relative to income levels. many rural areas have also been covered. Even if telecom infrastructure is beginning to spread.500 people.000 in sub-Saharan Africa. compared to a world average of 1 to 500 and a highincome average of 1 to 200. on average) makes it too expensive for regular local calls or Internet access. leaving only 4.

More generally.000 commercially-run public phone bureaus. such as the ACCT (1995) survey. such as through Ku-Band VSAT and spread spectrum wireless (WiFi) links. But due to limited capacities for industry monitoring and the large numbers of machines smuggled in to avoid duties. the high cost of computer hardware is a major issue as this is often the largest component of their startup budgets. . often caused by the preponderance of many stand-alone computers in the same office with no use of Local Area Networks (LANs). which is much greater than in the more developed regions of the world. Some studies. This usually means that there is competition for the machine and a shared e-mail account. which has seen a rapid growth of public ‘phone shops’ and ‘telecentres’ in many countries. Some are now also serving needs for providing Internet access and other more advanced ICT services to the public. where there are over 10. Under-utilisation of existing computer resources is also common.5 million for 2001—an average of about 1 per 100 people. As a result.64 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development private sector. a growing number are being established in more remote locations. Often an office may have many machines. these figures are notoriously unreliable. ICT Hardware and Software Most recent estimates for the number of personal computers in Africa put the total at about 7.000 people and generating over 30 percent of the entire network’s revenues. making the average closer to 1 per 500 people. The best-known success story is in Senegal. Account should also be taken of the number of users sharing a single computer. indicate that official figures may be an overestimate by between 3 and 6 times. This situation is likely to become an even more critical bottleneck now that lowcost bandwidth is becoming increasingly available. employing over 15. but only one with a modem connected to the Internet. While most of these are in urban areas. which is not conducive to effective use of the Internet. increasing attention is being directed toward the use of recycled PCs.

46 0.9 22 293. or other low-cost Internet ‘appliances’.89 2.1 49.19 — 0.22 0.21 0.1 22.82 4.4 54.9 32 310 37.3 1.37 0.46 0.45 3.22 0.5 125 278 75 20 310 31.9 20 6650 6.04 10.44 0.5 11 22 — 150 728.8 15 — 27.33 3.86 .3 89.3 — 300 — 4771.8 55.44 100 86.2 6.7 610 58.04 20.39 0.27 0.5 55.9 0.65 0.84 5 0.51 3 1.9 0.56 0.6 9.17 — 1.71 1.37 — 0.56 6.92 0.6 1.2 9.29 2.48 0.42 1.1 43 193.6 20 101.85 0.39 — 25 — 15.04 0.3 10 11 8.45 0.47 4.47 0.68 3.92 — 46.04 7.69 — 1.27 0.99 — 0.94 16.16 0.4 62.92 9.29 0.93 0.61 0.26 0.5 150 3 2793.55 0.5 12 313.9 19 306.42 21.8 1.5 258.32 0.29 0.43 0.48 2.7 169.2 35 242.3 57.93 0.03 — 10.27 — 4.29 0.64 1.59 0.72 25.06 0.14 1.83 0.03 0.62 1.98 1 1.08 6.8 10 1193.4 6.98 3. set-top boxes.67 14.The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 65 thin clients.47 0.84 1.68 0.27 0.7 — 500 33 — 50 147.1 25.47 0.84 0.36 0. and Open Source (free) software for these situations.53 — 0.54 0.18 0.93 0.9 0. Table 3–3: Telecommunications Usage 2001 Country Year 2001 Fixed lines 000s Penetration % Population Mobile Users 000s Penetration % Population Public phones 000s Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central Africa Chad Comoros Congo Côte d’Ivoire Djibouti DR Congo Egypt Eq.32 0.95 2.09 0.7 45.54 2. Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea Bissau Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libya Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Morocco Mozambique 1880 80 59.3 150.

28 — 0.4 22.38 0.01 1. having had greatest impact at the top end of business and in wealthy families. fueled by their need for low-cost international communications. telecommunications infrastructure—and the skills to use them.87 3.4 253.92 2.43 0.95 5. as it requires the integration of many individual components of ICTs— computers.6 — 0.06 1.43 — 0.1 26. In Africa.11 5. the pattern of Internet diffusion has been similar to that of the mobile telephone networks.47 1. both the number of Internet users and the amount of international bandwidth are still growing strongly across the continent.4 0.5 5.31 — 178.33 6.14 0.72 0.08 13.3 6. primarily in the major urban areas.52 100 1.3 0.19 2.5 21.19 0.28 0.5 48.04 55.7 15 4969 453 32 148.23 346.8 1.57 0.4 21.16 19.35 1.04 4.59 0.7 23545. the non-profit sector—the academic institutions and the NGOs—pioneered the use of the Internet in the early 1990s.15 0.41 2.31 1.89 0.82 — 4.7 21210.73 0. Although not quite as widespread.4 237.02 0.03 10.3 328.42 3.7 500 268.49 0.83 0.7 98.2 63.47 — 11.27 3.2 5.22 0.41 1. Ironically.7 85. As the graph below shows.8 44.1 1056.45 26. It .86 3.2 21.67 The Internet The use of the Internet is a good indicator of the availability of ICTs.25 0.2 322.55 — 21 0.9 — 9197 105 66 427 95 389.8 330 — 65 — 390.66 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Country Year 2001 Fixed lines 000s Penetration % Population Mobile Users 000s Penetration % Population Public phones 000s Namibia Niger Nigeria Réunion Rwanda SaoTomé Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe TOTAL 117. the Internet preceded the mobile phone explosion.63 2.

such as the quantity of international traffic each country generates. Figure 3–1: Growth of Internet use in Africa 1800 1600 1400 Subs/ Kbps (000s) 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 98 99 00 01 02 Subscribers Bandwidth The rates of growth seen in the 1990s have slowed in most countries.5–2. along with the relatively high and rapidly growing use of public access services. About 1.000 for the remaining 49 subSaharan African countries. such as telecentres and cyber cafes. leaving about 500. mainly bolstered by growth in a few countries such as Nigeria.7 million.The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 67 was subsequently taken up by private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and most of the national telecom operators. Due to the large number of shared accounts. Although the number of dialup subscriber accounts is readily available.2 million. Of these subscribers.5 million of the users are outside North and . the number of dialup Internet subscribers was close to 1. this puts current estimates of the number of African Internet users at about 5 to 8 million. 20 percent up from 2001. these figures are only a partial gauge of the size of the Internet sector and should be looked at along with other factors. it is difficult to measure the total number of Internet users. As of mid–2002. North Africa and South Africa are responsible for about 1. because the bulk of the users who can afford a computer and telephone have already obtained connections. If we assume that each computer with an Internet or email connection supports a range of three to five users.

which averaged 174 percent in 2001. some countries have now instituted local call charges for all calls to the Internet regardless . or about 1 user for every 250 to 400 people. However. Figure 3–2: Countries with more than 10 000 Internet subscribers Other 47 nations Kenya Reunion Nigeria Tunisia Algeria Morocco Egypt South Africa Shared or public access and the use of corporate networks are continuing to grow at greater rates than the number of dialup users. and a North American and European average of about 1 user for every 2 persons. this is still slower growth than the rest of the world.68 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development South Africa. which is still expanding substantially—up over 100 percent. This compares with a world average of about 1 user for every 15 people. Although many African countries now have points of presence (POPs) in some of the secondary towns (about 280 different locations across the continent). most rural users have to make a costly long distance call to connect to the Internet. No studies have been made in Africa of the number of rural versus urban users. but it is safe to say that users in the cities and towns vastly outnumber rural users. from 700 Mbps of available outgoing bandwidth in 2001 to 1500 Mbps in 2002. This can be seen in the deployment of international Internet bandwidth. However.

The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 69

of distance, which greatly reduces costs for those in remote areas and greatly increases accessibility and the viability of Internet services provided by rural telecentres in these nations. Thus far, 19 countries have adopted this strategy. They are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Ethiopia, Gabon, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Interestingly, the Seychelles has gone a step further to encourage use, and tariffs for calls to the Internet are charged at a 50 percent lower rate than normal local voice calls. Currently, the average total cost of using a local dialup Internet account for 20 hours a month in Africa is about USD 60 per month (usage fees and local call telephone time included, but not telephone line rental). ISP subscription charges vary greatly (between USD 10 and USD 80 a month) and largely reflect the different levels of maturity of the markets, the varying tariff policies of the telecom operators, the different regulations on private wireless data services and access to international telecommunications bandwidth. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 20 hours of Internet access in the United States cost USD 22 per month in 2000, including telephone charges. Although European costs were higher (USD 33 in Germany, USD 39 across the European Union), these countries have per capita incomes that are at least 10 times greater than the African average. In fact, USD 60 per month is higher than the average African monthly salary. This limits individual use of the Internet, creating demand for public access facilities—the cost of a single account shared amongst all of the customers who would not otherwise be able to afford access. Similarly, due to the relatively small number of people who can afford a phone line, let alone a computer, telecentre services are already very much in demand in the urban areas. This is most evident in countries, such as Nigeria and Senegal, where telecom operators have relied on the private sector to provide public phone services. Also, in most other major urban areas across Africa, there is a rapidly growing number of kiosks, cybercafes, and other forms of public Internet access.

70 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development
Figure 3–3: Countries with more than 5Mbps International Bandwidth
Sudan Zimbabwe Tanzania Botswana Nigeria Gabon Kenya Senegal Tunisia Algeria Morocco South Africa Egypt 0 200 400
10 11 12 14 15 16 28 60 75 83 136 398 535

Country

600

Bandwidths (Kbps) (000s)

In response to the high cost of Internet services and the slow speed of web access, and also because of the overriding importance of electronic mail, lower-cost email-only services are continuing to attract subscribers. Due to the relatively high cost of local electronic mailbox services from African ISPs, a large proportion of African email users use the free Web-based services such as Hotmail, Yahoo, or Excite, most of which are in the United States. These services can be more costly and slower than using standard e-mail software, because extra online time is needed to maintain the connection to the remote site. Unfortunately for the ISPs, these services can also use up scarce international bandwidth. In response to these issues and the growing use of shared accounts, some African ISPs, such as AfricaOnline and MailAfrica, have set up their own low-cost web-based email services. In the area of Internet-based content and applications, the African web-space continues to expand, albeit at a rather slow rate, and there are still rather too few relevant applications for the average African user. Almost all countries now have some form of local or internationally hosted web server, unofficially or officially representing the country with varying degrees of comprehensiveness.

The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 71

Although there are a few notable official general government websites, such as those of Angola, Egypt, Gabon, Lesotho, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, and Zambia, there is as yet little discernible government use of the Internet for existing administrative purposes. Web presence is higher in some sectors, particularly those involved in tourism and foreign investment, and these often have more mature sites that are aimed at developing an international market presence, although these are of little interest for most potential users. Outside South Africa, there are generally few organisations that are using the web to deliver significant quantities of information or to carry out transactions with their user-base. Although large numbers of organisations now have a “brochure” website with basic descriptive and contact information, very few actually use the Internet for real business activities. This is explained by the limited number of local people that have access to the Internet (and thus the limited importance of a web presence to the institution), the lack of credit cards, the limited skills available for digitising and coding pages, and the high costs of local webhosting services. Perhaps of interest to those in rural areas with little access to timely information, the African news media are now relatively well represented on the web. In 1999, the Columbia University African Studies Department identified over 120 different newspapers and news magazines that were available on the Internet, of which over 60 percent were published in about half of the countries (23) on the subcontinent. Those most well represented in this area are again those with more advanced Internet sectors—Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. There are also efforts to develop local content and host daily newspapers by the ISP AfricaOnline, which has offices in eight countries. Universal smart card and e-commerce policies are also gaining attention in a number of countries. Mauritius and South Africa are looking at a single smart card that will allow the public to hold their driver’s license, small amounts of funds that can be used for small transactions, and their health and other social security information. Harmonisation

72 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development of e-commerce policies is also on the agenda in a number of countries, so that, for example, electronic evidence is upheld in court and can be used for ensuring that e-commerce is correctly carried out. The Outlook for the Future Efforts to promote more universal access to ICTs in Africa have been discussed among high-level policymakers since the early 1990s. Official recognition was given to the issue in 1996 when the Conference of African Ministers of Social and Economic Planning requested the UN Economic Commission for Africa to set up a “high-level working group” to chart Africa’s path onto the global information highways. An expert group developed a framework document entitled the African Information Society Initiative (AISI), which was adopted by all of Africa’s Planning Ministers (see Chapter Eight). AISI called for the formulation and development of a National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) plan that would be driven by national development priorities in every African country. AISI also proposed cooperation among African countries to share experiences. Since then, Communications Ministers from over 40 African countries have provided high-level endorsement for AISI, along with specific telecommunications development policies encapsulated in their common vision document, African Connection, which was published in 2001 (http://www.africanconnection.org). Most countries have begun the process for developing NICI plans, and 16 countries have already finalised their strategies.4 High in the area of priorities in many of these plans is improvement of access to ICTs in rural areas through the use of telecentres that exploit the convergence of technologies to provide cost-effective services in under-serviced and remote locations. The impact of much of these efforts will depend largely on the extent of improvements to the telecommunication infrastructure on which use of ICTs depends. Liberalisation of the telecommunication

The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 73

sector and the introduction of competition are seen as key to driving down prices and increasing the quality of service. However, while some countries have begun to open up their markets, there is a general sense that not enough is being done. While there is a variety of efforts underway to restructure national telecom operations and build better national and international infrastructures, many of these lack a cohesive approach built on a clear understanding of the dynamics and impact of the fast-paced and constantly changing communications technologies environment. Models of infrastructure provision are likely to be quite different to those employed in developed countries because of the generally low income levels, limited formal business activity and the much greater importance of the rural population, where up to 70–80 percent of the people may live outside urban areas. In addressing the low-income factor, innovative models may be necessary, which focus on shared infrastructure, public access facilities and the use of intermediaries to interact with the public who may not have functional literacy, let alone be computer literate. The high costs of connectivity in remote areas will hopefully be addressed by the large number of low-cost two-way Ku-band VSAT satellite-based data services that have been launched this year by companies, such as Afsat and Web-Sat. These services will be a major boom to rural users, making use of the new high-powered satellite footprints now covering Africa, similar to services currently available in the United States and Europe. Costs are about USD 1500–3000 for the VSAT equipment and USD 200–400 per month for “better than dialup” speeds (i.e. 56 Kbps outgoing and 200–400 Kbps incoming). These are expected to see rapid uptake wherever regulations allow. Unfortunately, most countries in Africa either charge excessively high license fees or do not allow these services at all, as they compete with the state-run telecom operator. The African Union and their programme, the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), supported by the international

74 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development community, are addressing many of the systemic issues. This multifaceted effort is aimed at accelerating Africa’s development and should as a result help to create an environment more conducive to the rapid adoption of ICTs.
Table 3–4: Continental Connectivity Indicators
Country Countries with only one Public Access ISP Countries with Local Dialup Internet Access Nationwide Countries with Advanced Data Services

Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Cape Verde Central African Republic Congo Djibouti Egypt Ethiopia Gabon Ghana Kenya Malawi Mali Mauritius Mauritania Morocco Namibia Niger Senegal South Africa Seychelles Tchad Togo Tunisia Uganda Zimbabwe

✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘ ✘

Countries with local Internet Exchange (peering) points (IXs): 1. Egypt—Cairo (IDSC) http://www.idsc.gov.eg 2. Kenya—Nairobi (KIXP) http://www.kixp.net 3. South Africa—Cape Town (CINX), Johannesburg (JINX) http://www.ispa.org.za/ http://www3.frd.ac.za/mrtg/jinx/summary.html

The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 75 Figure 3–4: Low cost local dialup

Secondary City Access National Access

76 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Figure 3–5: African Internet Bandwidth Per Capita and Marine Fibre Cables To USA .

Computer Aid UK http://www.digitalpartnership. 10.html 14. 12 January 2001. http://www.html 4. World Telecommunication Development Report. African Internet Map http://www. ITU Rural Connectivity & Telecentres http://www. UNECA. ITU.org/africa/ partial. May 2002 http://www. The Information Society and Development. African Connection http://www. 2002.ca/acacia/divide . Human Development Report 2001.org 11.exe/ nici_status. Agence de Cooperation Culturelle et Technique (ACCT).itu.cidif.unesco. I. 12.0h.org/webworld/news/2001/ 010713_cookbook.html 2. Survey of ICT Resources.bellanet.africanconnection. http://www. World ComputerExchange http://www.shtml 13.int/ITU-D-Rural 5.undp.org/ reports/DOT_Force_Report_V_5.The Current Status of ICT in Africa ✦ Jensen ✦ 77 Further References 1. A Review Vol.ca/acacia/studies/ir-gaps.uneca. http://inforoutes. 2002. 2001.sn. European Commission. Partnership for ICTs in Africa (PICTA) http://www. Continental Connectivity Indicators http://www3. The G8 Dot Force Report.org .org. Africa’s Information Society Initiative (AISI) Documents (ECA) http://www.org/partners/aisi/more/index. UNDP.org 15.wordcomputerexchange. Bridging the Gaps in Internet Development in Africa—Report (IDRC).idrc.bellanet. May 2001 http://www.org 9.org 7. Prince of Wales IBLF Digital Partnership.apc.htm/map 8. 1995.htm 3.idrc.dotforce.computeraid. http://www. http://www.org/ partners/picta 6. UNESCO The Telecentre Cookbook for Africa: Recipes for SelfSustainability.org/disd/_vti_bin/shtml.

Egypt. Mozambique. Gambia.8 to $20 a month. It should be noted that there is a large variation between countries in the charges for installation. $6 a month to rent and $0. Cape Verde. Cote d’Ivoire. 3. . Mauritania. Tunisia. But installation charges are above $200 in some countries (Egypt. Mauritania. ITU. (www. The average business connection in Africa costs over $100 to install. 4. Burkina Faso. line rentals range from $0.11 per 3-minute local call. Niger and Togo). Senegal. ITU World Telecommunication Development Report 2002. UNESCO. Benin.uneca. May 2002. Morocco. Jensen. Rwanda.org). Mauritius.60 an hour to over $5 an hour. line rental and call tariffs. South Africa.78 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development N OT E S 1. Sudan. 2. Seychelles. UNECA. and call charges vary by a factor of 10—from $0. Benin.

my heartfelt gratitude for the great honour bestowed on Senegal by the President of the General Assembly’s kind decision to invite me as the keynote speaker of the General Assembly Meeting on Information and Communications Technologies for Development. I feel all the more flattered because this invitation comes from a man of vision and commitment whose outstanding qualities as a seasoned 79 . there is no question that they have all of the necessary intellectual resources to meet the challenge of an information and communication society. — P R E S I D E N T A B D O U L AY E W A D E Let me first express.CHAPTER His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade President of the Republic of Senegal1 4 Information and Communications Technologies in the Service of Development The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) If Africans had the same favourable conditions as other peoples. once again.

agriculture. are the reason why the New Partnership for the Development of Africa—which was adopted last July at Lusaka. education. and market access. rather than the State. NEPAD has chosen eight priority sectors: infrastructure. . namely. I am fully aware of the timeliness and the relevance of our Meeting. heavy reliance on the private sector. SecretaryGeneral. your achievements. as well as to President José María Figueres. which is suffering from the effects of the “digital divide”. As the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) coordinator for this extremely significant aspect of our development strategy. at the thirty-sixth summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). dedicated parliamentarian and bright academic. Mr. Sir. which today are decisive for the progress of nations. for the decisive role they have played in the establishment and development of the study group on information and communications technologies. and finally. former Head of State of Costa Rica and an outstanding figure in the development of digital technology in his country. the environment. Indeed.80 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development statesman. Mr. The initiative of holding this meeting came from the South. That is why I am particularly honoured by this invitation to address the community of nations as the keynote speaker on this subject. President. good governance. I should like to thank you most warmly. and entitled “The New African Initiative”—has made this sector one of its principal priorities. I should like to recall that NEPAD is based on several fundamental pillars. energy. Kofi Annan. are no surprise to me. you belong to a proud nation of true achievers who have been able. and our. for your commendable initiative. the region as a basis for development. to leapfrog decades of underdevelopment to become one of the top economies in the world. health care. The tremendous stakes involved in new information and communications technologies. have greatly benefited the work of the General Assembly during this session. with the diversification of agricultural products. new information and communications technologies. within a generation. I should like also to pay a sincere tribute to your. As an eminent citizen of the Republic of Korea.

requests the support of the international community. Hewlett-Packard. in the conclusions and resolutions of Dakar. the establishment of a global fund for information and communications technologies to assist Africa in overcoming the digital divide that separates it from the developed world. which links Europe. Indeed. far from being inevitable. the creation of industrial units for the production of information and telecommunications equipment. Africa’s backwardness in this area.ICT in the Service of Development ✦ Wade ✦ 81 Backing our appeal. And why not hold digital African conferences? Other measures include harmonising the regulatory framework for the telecommunications sector. since this system . is now being implemented in Senegal. Tiscali and other titans in the new technologies sector all were heavily represented last April in Dakar at the Conference on Partnership with the Private Sector for Africa’s Development. the entirely new system of underwater fibre-optic communication. in particular through the production of CD-ROMs on the history of Africa. These include the establishment of Internet networks. as I am gratified to note. Moreover. and they made clear their desire to assist Africa in its fascinating new technological adventure. which is particularly important to me. which I launched in Senegal this past May 28. at least in each of the regions. or indeed. Microsoft. is now being dealt with and is on the way to being eliminated.000 kilometres. I should. therefore. like to recall here a few practical measures for which Africa. to facilitate foreign investment and the digitalisation of Africa’s cultural heritage. shows that our continent is indeed well on its way towards digital emancipation. Another measure is the establishment of a pan-African “e-store” for trade and exchange in African products—crafts in particular—and to make e-trade the driving force for economic growth. Cisco. Efforts to this end are now being made to bring about this new planetary citizenship— the digital revolution. Africa and Asia over 28. for the struggle is well under way. thereby making possible the transmission of audio and visual information among the Governments of the region. This project. those of the entire continent. and finally.

several months. and they too started from circumstances similar to ours. this is a project that was launched by the public authorities but that has become a private one. to the global network. therefore. many African countries depend on certain European capitals to communicate even among themselves.82 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development allows Africa to be connected. the spread of digital technology and the development of information technology solutions. It is designed to host major companies working in the area of new technologies and the future start-ups of outstanding young Africans who wish to be active participants in the new economy. For its part. This technological marvel—which we inaugurated recently. with full autonomy and at a lesser cost. Doctors in Dakar assessed . The time has come for Africa to make full use of its human resources by taking advantage of the enormous potential of e-business. As you are aware. which was repeated last week. involving the private sector in Senegal and the American private sector. Here again. and which was implemented in a relatively short time. Asian countries have succeeded in this. I am. if Africans had the same favourable conditions as other peoples. reduced costs and the linkage of users to the rest of the world. which NEPAD is striving to promote through private partnerships. thanks to the involvement of companies from the South and the North—represents a specific example of new technology projects. there is no question that they have all of the necessary intellectual resources to meet the challenge of an information and communications society. convinced that this can be achieved very quickly. It is on the basis of this belief that I have decided to embark firmly on a bold policy of development of new information and communications technology in Senegal. Indeed. It ensures autonomy. I recently launched a large-scale project—Cyberville—a technological park on the outskirts of Dakar with a highly competitive telecommunications infrastructure. Senegal has had a successful initial experiment with distance medicine. The use of underwater digital cable de facto eliminates expensive travel through major urban centres outside the continent.

Again. real-time and carefully chosen Western university programmes via satellite. For these people. Indeed. But such democracy. as their degrees will be absolutely identical—not just “equivalent”—to those issued by universities affiliated with the programme. represents a genuine social and cultural revolution. Through this programme. . we saw people holding their heads in their hands in astonishment. I would like to recall. Our desire is shared in Africa today through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the projects we shall be submitting to the Group of Eight2 as part of our partnership with the Western world which.ICT in the Service of Development ✦ Wade ✦ 83 via satellite the pregnancies of 60 women living in the most remote and cut-off areas of the country. of the speed of light. Technological Senegal therefore wishes to gain access to the information highway instead of remaining on the periphery of the achievements of the new Millennium. Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a Universal Project. Our planned University of the African Future—a university without borders to which one does not have to travel—will provide complete. students will no longer have to go abroad. seeing a baby sucking its thumb in its mother’s womb and understanding that abusing the mother means brutalising the child. There is no doubt that the new technologies suggest a higher form of democracy in which everyone moves forward at the same speed: the speed of the electron or. We have had similar success in the education sector. that took place just 72 hours ago. if you will. can only become a reality if everyone has an opportunity to be a player in the interaction of its forces. These centres use computer games to make inroads into the world of computing. This project has been adopted by the United Nations Educational. is both a public and private partnership. where Microsoft has provided public schools with a free introductory programme in computing. The day care centres established under the La Case des ToutPetits programme—my pet project—train children between the ages of 2 and 6 using modern educational games— which remain a privilege of children in developed countries. accessible to all with the intelligence that is the gift of nature.

and to a fruitful meeting of the Assembly on Information and Communication Technologies for Development. Nations have become scientific laboratories backed by political decisions. Our partnership must therefore have the goal of providing opportunities to every country and to every man and woman. I urge them to join their efforts with ours and with those of the international community and of the SecretaryGeneral. We must strive with resolve to achieve widespread access to information and communication networks. I would like to make a solemn appeal to all partners: Governments. I would like to join the Assembly in a toast to an enhanced partnership between the United Nations and Africa towards the full realisation of the NEPAD programme. Bearing that in mind. Now. international institutions. That is the reason why we are gradually seeing a very deep-rooted change in how these institutions are viewed throughout the world. the private sector. We have in store numerous projects that must be supported by the public sector. scientific circles and all active participants in this fascinating adventure. In conclusion.84 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Among other things. . To that end. non-governmental organisations. Africa is indeed giving pride of place to new information and communications technologies. including in Africa. but which must also be a matter for the private sector. our eyes should be on the enormous international differences in computer ownership. we are addressing the colossal challenges posed by the digital revolution that Africa aspires to join—a continent that is standing proud because it is able to continue to assume with dignity its role in the community of nations. who has been able to endow our institutions with a soul.

gave the keynote address to the 101st Plenary of the 56th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at a Special Meeting on Information and Communications Technologies for Development. Russia and the United States. Japan. Canada. President Abdoulaye Wade. Italy. France. Germany. in his capacity as the Coordinator for infrastructure for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).ICT in the Service of Development ✦ Wade ✦ 85 N OT E S 1. 2002. 2. The Heads of State of the Group of Eight industrial nations (otherwise referred to as the “the G8”) consisting of Britain. on June 17. This is the text of his address. .

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Kofi Annan. Launched on 20 November 2001. Secretary-General of the United Nations. the Task Force brings together 87 . and the organisations and agencies of the United Nations system.CHAPTER Dr. reflects the objectives the Task Force would tackle during its three-year term.” This quote by Mr. Let’s nurture it together. Pekka Tarjanne Executive Coordinator United Nations ICT Task Force 5 The United Nations Information and Communications Technologies Task Force Background “The Task Force belongs to all of us—governments. The United Nations Information and Communications Technologies Task Force (UN ICT TASK FORCE) is a new global policy body established by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to bring the benefits of the global digital revolution to the developing world. the private sector. civil society.

and f. poverty eradication. meeting Africa’s special needs. the UN system. e. the meeting proposed a set of initiatives to be taken at international level. protecting the vulnerable. Regional cooperation. b. These initiatives would promote: a. adopted on 8 September 2000 at the Millennium Summit. human rights. c. The Economic and Social Council Meeting held in New York in July 5–7 2000. A more transparent and efficient government that offers online services. In March 2001. was devoted to the theme “Development and International Cooperation in the 21st Century: The Role of Information Technology in the Context of a Knowledge-based Economy”.88 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development high-level representatives of governments. We in the United Nations strongly believe that ICTs are a potent tool for achieving the ambitious goals of the Millennium Declaration. Besides stressing the role of information technology for future development. An enabling legal framework. d. and is the first United Nations endeavour to fully incorporate world business leaders able to offer a unique perspective and expertise from their respective fields. The General Assembly’s Millennium Declaration. The creation of regional observatories to monitor the impact of information technology on the economy. the private sector. Through this system of collective input. and strengthening the role of the United Nations in the developing world. ECOSOC requested the Secretary-General to establish an Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) . security and disarmament. as well as on most effective modalities for achieving the goals set out in its mandate. non-governmental organisations and the academic community. the environment. the Task Force has already achieved a common understanding on priorities and tasks. Widened access to the digital economy. The development of local content. set out an ambitious agenda in peace.

The Task Force will support developing countries . the UN ICT Task Force. The Task Force Supported by the Heads of State and Government of all UN Member States that endorsed the ECOSOC Ministerial Declaration at the Millennium Summit. has worked to help create a conceptual framework for harnessing the power of information and communications technologies for advancing the Millennium Declaration. content. By harnessing the potential of ICT. and policy and governance. an initiative intended to lend a truly global dimension to the many existing efforts to put ICT at the service of development. improving the existing national capacities and exploring new development areas. human capacity. the Task Force aims to reduce poverty. since its formal launch on 20 November 2001. application. infrastructure. In particular. issues related to the digital revolution at the regional and international level. particularly the Internet. The Task Force intends to create innovative and bold strategies that will enable developing countries to partake of the global digital opportunity. The Task Force understands that this mission can be best achieved by empowering developing nations to establish their own national e-strategies. enterprise. The ICT Task Force has been working to establish and provide a global forum for integrating ICT into development programs and addressing such issues as strategy. partnerships. facilitating the effective participation of all. end marginalisation and give the poor the means for empowerment. It will promote capacity building on the local level and work with software developers to encourage local applications that can be easily used in developing countries. the Task Force is committed to the United Nation’s goal of halving the number of people living in poverty by 2015. It will work to provide the majority of the world’s population access to ICT. promote development.The United Nations ICT Task Force ✦ Tarjanne ✦ 89 Task Force.

in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa. Human Resource Development and Capacity Building. Ethiopia. The UN ICT Task Force and Africa ICT has unquestionably become one of the key development challenges for the African continent. The Regional Nodes have already been established in Africa. They will be conduits for compiling and sharing accumulated experience. Additionally. They will also serve for providing regional and sub-regional perspective and guidance to the activities of the Working Groups and the Task Force as a whole. In order to implement its Plan of Action and to help stakeholders to share best practices and lessons learned in ICT. the Task Force decided on the creation of six Working Groups for collaborative action: 1. On 21–22 January 2002. and for supporting best practices. National and Regional e-Strategies. several Regional Nodes were created to implement some of the basic principles of the modus operandi of the Task Force. and in Arab States. and reliance on existing mechanisms. 3. Resource Mobilisation. 2. an open and inclusive approach. Asia. identifying region-specific goals and priorities.90 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development in building human capacity in ICT and forging new livelihoods. 4. and young women and men. 5. The meeting concluded . and there is a need for strong partnerships and knowledge and information-sharing mechanisms to meet the challenges. Latin America and the Caribbean. ICT Policy and Governance. 6. and Business Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. the UN ICT Task Force held its first African Regional Meeting in Addis Ababa. especially for women in rural areas. such as decentralisation of the activities. Low-cost Connectivity and Access.

that the ASN should employ various mechanisms to identify networks working in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) area and open dialogue towards establishing common frameworks for partnerships and the sharing of resources. and the need to train and retain skilled people. The UN ICT Task Force African Stakeholders Network looks at the unique challenges that Africa faces and is addressing major issues in the area of ICT for development: the role of government and the need to put in place a favourable legal. the World Economic Forum and other international initiatives and programs. . capital and companies. to their technology. the Association of African University (AAU) and the Partnership for ICTs in Africa (PICTA). which begins with education but runs far beyond that to safety and living conditions. social. amongst other things. such as the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD). It was also agreed that the ASN should link-up with existing initiatives.The United Nations ICT Task Force ✦ Tarjanne ✦ 91 with a number of initiatives for the African Stakeholders Network. increasing the number and quality of ICT projects and programs in the relevant regions. the G8 Dot force. There is particular need in the African region to secure political will at the highest level possible for optimising the opportunities in an information and knowledge age for political. private and civil society networks. encouraging the cooperation and establishment of public. the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). financial and cultural development. It would also draw on the capacity-building experiences of regional and international institutions with proven track records. They include making the promotion of the ICT a key priority of the political agenda of governments. creating and strengthening existing institutional capacity. To accomplish this will require certain specific objectives. institutional and regulatory environment. such as the UN system. the nature of connections to the richer countries. It was agreed. and increasing the amount and quality of public expenditures assigned to the development of ICT.

Reducing these inequalities calls for. we first need to know first how broad the gap is. This New World of opportunity. including government. however. the private sector and Non Governmental Organisations. because it enables wider dissemination of information and access to best practices. In seeking to mobilise ICT for development in order to bridge the digital divide. ICT has not only created a new world of opportunity for global businesses. among other things. We need to know what types of policies and programs will enable the disparate communities in the various regions to take advantage of the explosion of information available through the Internet and the opportunities promised by the new economy. level playing fields. the academic world. but for civil society as well. resulting in what we today call the digital divide. . and opportunities in multiple spheres. one of the glaring inequalities of our modern society. history’s exponential progress is evolving without global participation. participatory processes. equitable and sustainable development. Without access.92 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development The Task Force’s ongoing efforts aim to demonstrate that the window of opportunity offered by ICTs will enable the region to address the structural roots of inequality and poverty by creating domestic prosperity and global competitiveness. and that this will contribute to a democratic process of efficient. a vision of information and communications technology. civil society. Its success will depend on the participation and support of all players in different sectors of society. We need to know how the use of information and communications technologies can help create more democratic. has been limited to the individuals fortunate enough to be able to access these technologies. Digital Illiteracy ICT has been able to empower individuals through knowledge.

In fact. and their implications for business and the economy. and the use of. A fundamental shift in the economics of information has been under way in the last few years. politics and governance of societies and.The United Nations ICT Task Force ✦ Tarjanne ✦ 93 Internet use today reaches less than ten percent of the world’s population. . the structure of our digital bridge begins with its base. on both sides of the digital divide. Universities and small cafés are flooded with young adults attempting to find news not available to them in their city or village. Young adults from developing countries are increasingly realising the wonders of foreign cultures and customs. It is our mission to give societies the capabilities to seize these extraordinary opportunities and to transform the threat of digital marginalisation into digital inclusion. the new information and communications technologies into enhanced participation. how societies organise themselves. a fact that must compel leaders around the world to address the impact of digital marginalisation on current government policy. They realise how important this Knowledge Economy will prove for their future. and innovative business strategies. have led the call for ICT accessibility. striving for knowledge. the organisation of civil society and the effectiveness of small enterprises. the subject is not just the Internet or the World Wide Web. Yet the question is not merely one of access to the Internet. more efficient public administration. responsibility and commitment to convert the access to. ultimately. a shift that is less about any specific new technology than about the fact that a new behavior has reached critical mass. People in emerging countries. This movement is being led by the young adults of the world. Just like all pillars. but the range of technologies that are reshaping communication. It is our challenge. but rather one of converting information into useful knowledge. The tools of information technology have provided the next generation with faces and customs of alien places. and so the different dimensions cannot be really separated. better education. The impact of the information revolution touches all of society. international development programs.

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CHAPTER Sarbuland Khan Director for the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 6 Information and Communications Technologies as an Instrument to Leverage the Millennium Development Goals The Development Challenges Despite real progress on some fronts. improving health and sanitation. 2000. enhancing the empowerment of women. at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. providing universal primary education. and reversing the loss of environmental resources. The international community has responded to the pressing need to address this state of affairs at the United Nations Millennium Summit held on 5 September. combating HIV/AIDS. 95 . there remain dramatic disparities in levels of human development: one in five of the world’s people live on less than one dollar per day and one in seven suffers from chronic hunger. It agreed on the key development goals to be reached by 2015: halving the number of people living in poverty.

Fortunately. achieving these goals presents itself as a most challenging task. offer the potential to create new opportunities for those who have thus far been excluded from gains in human development. Recent efforts launched by the international community—including the G8 Digital Opportunity Task Force (Dot Force) and the United Nations ICT Task Force—directly recognise the urgent need to harness ICT to contribute . there is still considerable uncertainty about the nature of the relationship between ICT and development in the developing world. products. For Africa. Africans are taking charge of the definition and management of their development. This relationship between ICT and globalisation makes ICT interventions critical to development policy. however.96 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development This consensus reflects not only the necessity of addressing poverty and other human needs. there is great willingness by the international community and African organisations to assist Africa to achieve its selfdefined sustainable development goals. The current debate on the importance of access to ICT and its value in addressing global development disparities is part of this wider discussion on the potential benefits and risks of globalisation. if properly harnessed. While some countries continue to take major economical and political strides. disease and political crisis. drought. This is because ICT is itself a key enabler of globalisation: the level and pace of global flows in physical and intangible assets have been dramatically boosted by the ability to connect vast networks of individuals across geographic boundaries. especially least-developed countries. The contemporary African experience is characterised by mixed trends. But the same forces could also actually widen the gap and trap developing countries. capital. However. The unprecedented pace and scale of global flows in information. several continue to be plagued by famine. however. people and ideas. but also an emerging sense that the international community is at a crossroads in the development process. Industrialised nations that have a high degree of ICT penetration also experience high levels of wealth and human development. All over the continent. at negligible marginal cost. in a perpetual spiral of poverty and exclusion.

but also more substantially from inherent doubts about the relevance of ICT to achieving sustainable development and fears that investment in ICT will draw resources away from traditional development goals. It can do so at both the micro and national levels by increasing the effectiveness and reach of development interventions. and increase the results for most of these factors. not only because they seek to develop strategies and initiate innovative and effective action on the ground. However. expand scope and coverage. and ICT should not be seen as a substitute. development . Moreover. the right complement of targeted ICT interventions has the potential to play an even more substantial role in accelerating a sustainable dynamic of social and economic development in developing countries. and non-profit organisations. private sector. clean water and energy). transparency and accountability of national and local administrations. Factors such as political stability. ICT is not a Goal but a Tool for Development Debate regarding the effectiveness of using ICT to help achieve development goals arises not only around questions concerning the evidence in support of a relationship between ICT and development. but also because they represent and encourage new forms of collaborative interaction among government. Moreover. and basic literacy should also be addressed in an explicit manner. Social and economic development is dependent on many factors. It should be clear from the outset that ICT is not a panacea for the problems of the developing world.ICT as an Instrument to Leverage the Millennium Development Goals ✦ Khan ✦ 97 to the achievement of development goals. multilateral. macroeconomic governance. contribute a great deal to development goals. enhancing good governance and lowering the costs of service delivery. the integration of ICT into overall national development strategies can help facilitate implementation. both because of its inherent characteristics and the mounting empirical evidence that suggests it can. ICT can be a powerful tool for development. the rule of law. physical infrastructure (for example. which should be addressed through an overall development strategy. in fact. These efforts are significant.

regional and global levels that can bring together all stakeholders around well coordinated actions to stimulate a new development dynamic. There is an urgent need to build upon. using ICT as an enabling tool to empower the poor so that they can participate productively in the new global economy. replicate and scale up practices at work. Strategic partnerships are required to aggregate the capabilities and resources to address the pervasive market failures in developing countries and to create win-win situations for the various sectors and stakeholders involved. The key element here is the involvement of all sectors and stakeholders—not only in the design of strategies. if one could more effectively support. private.98 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development goals cannot be achieved by government efforts alone. and go beyond. civil society and international organisations is needed. existing . and perhaps more importantly. ensure complementarities. There is a need for strategic partnerships at the local. The involvement of civil society and the private sector is crucial. A new form of collaboration and coordinated action between public. At the same time. The government and the private sector are complementary to achieve this objective—each is dependent on the cooperation of others to accomplish its goals. Diversity of effort is vital. the cumulative impact of diverse initiatives would be greatly enhanced if we could strengthen synergies. since one size does not fit all. promote mutual awareness. that is. few developing countries can be expected to succeed on their own in bridging the digital divide. Need for Strategic Partnerships Given the scale and complexity of the challenge and the need for a multipronged response that can fill gaps and address market failures. At present there are many initiatives and activities at all levels and in all regions of the world attempting to address the digital divide. in their implementation—in such a way that each has specific roles and responsibilities. but also.

National and international private industry should work closely together to adopt. both the G8 Digital Opportunity Task Force (Dot Force) and the UN ICT Task Force1 have made substantial contributions to furthering the understanding of the role of ICT in the development process. . partnerships will not be sustainable and results will fall short of expectations for all involved. and devise incentives for change. The successful design and implementation of a strategy focused on ICT as an enabler of development requires the formation of national and international collaboration involving all stakeholders. create ownership. and a re-direction of available resources to crucial and under-funded areas are examples of the gains to be realised from forming this new type of collaboration and coordinated action between public. incentives. but also to achieve positive synergies. A strong vision. Close coordination is another aspect to take into consideration in order not only to prevent duplication of efforts. private. Without this sort of alignment. multiple uses of ICT infrastructure and facilities. Cross-fertilisation of ideas. national and international strategic collaborations are crucial ingredients to help countries harness the benefits of ICT as a development enabler. A multistakeholder task force can thus work to align the goals. For instance. adapt and develop technologies to meet the unique needs and challenges of the less fortunate. Through sharing best practices. and local level. it is necessary to handle space and pressure to address resistance. national. Moreover. civil society and international organisations. which can be used to build consensus on national priorities and secure the commitment of all players involved. roles and responsibilities of diverse stakeholders and provide win-win opportunities. Heads of government should provide the necessary leadership to confront existing barriers and promote innovative solutions. and building consensus on the new agenda. is vital to the success of national ICT initiatives.ICT as an Instrument to Leverage the Millennium Development Goals ✦ Khan ✦ 99 partnerships to redefine roles and responsibilities at the global. Civil society should be a critical player and help assure that ICT is used in a way that targets and addresses specific development goals and priorities. highlighting success stories. at the international level. promoting dialogue.

Initiatives that are planned and managed using a business model are likely to be more sustainable and have a more substantial impact. Thirdly. Technology imposed on a community of users who have not independently identified a need for it is unlikely to flourish. While grassroots . Similarly. so as to offer scalable and sustainable solutions. identified and realised through direct participation and ownership. many initiatives experience barriers to scalability and sustainability under current conditions. Technology employed should be affordable. But what is important to note is that those lessons constitute key core competencies that private sector companies use in their day-to-day operating lives. Finally. easy to use and maintain. initiatives demonstrating a capacity to embrace adaptive and flexible solutions are more likely to be sustainable.100 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development The Engine for Change has to be the Private Sector The analysis of ICT initiatives targeting key development imperatives suggests that while individual ICT interventions can have a positive impact on social and economic development outcomes. Initiatives need to include mechanisms for growth and replication into their operating models from the outset. Initiatives that clearly identify development goals within the needs and context of the target population are more likely to develop effective operating models and deliver tangible results. and flexible enough to accommodate user demands for new services. Experience from many initiatives demonstrates the importance of designing initiatives to be demand-driven and locally owned. initiatives should be sensitive to local conditions and limitations. physically accessible. Secondly. These four lessons suggest that ICT interventions focusing on development goals must address a variety of interrelated dimensions to secure an enduring impact. The first lesson learned from past experience in developing countries is that ICT solutions should be built to last. initiatives should be driven by user demands. initiatives should be explicit about their development goals and how they will directly impact the target population.

and integration with existing local institutions. but also that public-private partnerships under the aegis of the UN is the best way to ensure successful initiatives through the development of top-notch ‘ICT for development’ strategies. private enterprises. successful initiatives not only have effectively coordinated efforts in different areas. the interests of key stakeholders must be broadly aligned with each other and with the goals of the intervention. there is no doubt that private sector companies could be a great asset to ICT initiatives in developing countries. For this reason. including participation from the local community. sufficient technical and administrative means. Strong public and private institutional support and leadership are required to maintain commitment and alignment from all parties. they have leveraged the synergies created by the complementarity of aligned ICT interventions. This requires clear vision and direction. adequate funding. Pursuing ICT interventions in this manner would enable the creation of synergies that stand-alone initiatives cannot achieve by themselves. . Identifying or engineering win-win situations is critical to securing lasting commitment from all necessary parties. multi-lateral organisations and governments. the potential impact of these ICT interventions would be far greater had they been conceived in conjunction with private sector companies. we at the UN ICT Task Force consider not only that the private sector is the engine for change. Recent e-Initiatives As a contribution to the global effort. In fact. defined roles and responsibilities for all partners. non-government organisations. In fact. Nevertheless. many initiatives have been carried out to help mobilise. focus and coordinate action by developing a strategic approach to harnessing the benefits of ICT for sustainable development.ICT as an Instrument to Leverage the Millennium Development Goals ✦ Khan ✦ 101 entrepreneurial activity is to be universally encouraged.

by the G8 Leaders at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit in July 2000. A number of projects have been or are in the process of being implemented in areas such as networks of expertise on access and connectivity. World Economic Forum The World Economic Forum benefits from the contribution of the world’s most important corporations and aims at creating partnerships among all leaders of society on major world concerns. as well as on the most effective modalities for achieving the goals set out in its mandate. the Dot Force has created a number of processes in each of the priority areas of the Genoa Action Plan. Each member offers a unique perspective and expertise from his or her respective field. nonprofit organisations.102 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Digital Opportunity Task Force The Dot Force was created under the Okinawa Charter on the Global Information Society. human capacity building. Through a nine-point action plan—the Genoa Plan of Action—and several implementation teams. local content. United Nations ICT Task Force The UN ICT Task Force is a United Nations endeavour that aims at fully incorporating representatives from public and private sectors. . and national and regional e-strategies. Through this system of collective input. where task forces are formed and projects and initiatives launched. The Task Force’s membership includes some of the world’s most prominent business leaders as full-fledged members whose decision-making powers is equal to that of the representation of governments and multilateral organisations. and civil society as equal members. It constitutes a platform where a selected ‘team’ analyses and articulates global issues. the Task Force has already achieved a common understanding on priorities and tasks.

the private sector has to commit significantly and invest financially. Global Information Infrastructure Commission The GIIC Commission is a non-governmental initiative that. Asia/Oceania. healthcare and e-Government. Conclusion We all know that in order to have tangible results. The GBDe Steering Committee is divided into three regional hubs (Americas. There is now a degree of maturity in the . Europe/Africa) and focuses on eight key areas: consumer confidence. and with the goal of providing a blueprint of strategies for other ICT stakeholders in the private or public sector. aims at fostering private sector leadership and enhanced private-public sector cooperation in the creation of an improved information infrastructure. drawing on the expertise of participating GIIC companies. intellectual property rights.ICT as an Instrument to Leverage the Millennium Development Goals ✦ Khan ✦ 103 Global Business Dialogue on e-Commerce Since its creation in January 1999. with the support of leaders from developed and developing countries. convergence. trade and taxation. both by delivering a wealth of information through its website and databases and by connecting and coordinating major stakeholders in the field. cyber security. GBDe has represented a major step forward in the establishment of a comprehensive approach to electronic commerce issues. The past years have been devoted to analyses and studies on assessments and best practices. Key focuses for the Commission until now have been education. Projects have been launched in these areas. digital bridges. e-government. It has become a significant tool and a leading private sector voice on e-commerce policy and e-commerce related areas.

104 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development understanding of the issues.org . Another is through extending Microcredit (among other financial services) to small entrepreneurs and giving them an opportunity to expand and solidify their business. ICTs can be mobilised to achieve economic development in Africa in many significant and profound ways. e-government. and it extends beyond economic growth to cover other social aspects. Although the information and technological revolution is spearheading the creation of the Global Village. N OT E S 1. More information is available on the website: www. By partnering private. see Chapter Five. national governments in developing countries will be encouraged to do the same. and major private sector initiatives can be effectively put together and pushed forward. and a real basis for making breakthroughs with public-private partnership serving as platforms for sustainable actions and as agents for change and long lasting development. in education. The question is now how to move ahead to the next phase.unicttaskforce. For further information about the UN ICT Task Force. If the G8 and the rest of the developed nations do so. This trend can be reversed through the use of ICTs in achieving development goals. The range of which ICTs can enhance development is endless. We will then have a strong message for the years to come. public and civic organisations. it is also pushing away rural and least developed societies and cultures more into their isolated margins. Governments also have to show their willingness to make a commitment to mainstream ICT into development operations. The level of advancement in Information and Communications Technologies takes the lead in determining the level of development in this day and age. transparency). health. A specific proportion of their official development assistance (ODA) budget could be allocated to ICT in order to increase development effectiveness (for example. One is through enhancing connectivity to rural communities. therefore giving them a heard voice. such as health and education.

and the role that information and communications technologies can play in advancing.D. Division for Public Economics and Public Administration. President and CEO. Sr. the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Professor Tijani Muhammed Bande. Telecom Africa Corporation 7 The Role of Information and Communications Technologies in the African Development Agenda1 Introduction I want to thank the African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD). or for that matter. the Ministry of Public Service and Administration of the Government of South Africa.. Okpaku.CHAPTER Joseph O. Ph. in stalling that process. and the NEPAD Secretariat for the invitation to exchange some ideas on Africa’s Development Agenda. especially its esteemed Director General. 105 .

and what others say our problems are. The degree to which we develop is directly related to the extent to which we take command and ownership of our problems. which mask our more serious and more fundamental challenges. to a new level of problem solving. grasp them in their complexity. the second compels us to risk wasting our limited resources responding to insights that could seriously lack truth or efficacy or. I should also state that in talking about Africa’s problems. create insights. we are compelled to take quick stock of our present condition. not too often discussed. I do not seek to lend value for a split second to the chorus of relentless castigation . and our legacy of internecine conflicts and distractions. Africa’s Problems I must first distinguish between what our problems truly are. what we know and what we can do as an endowed. What is perhaps worthy of note is the fact. in other words. gifted. The first enables us to solve them. inspired and enlightened existence. innovations and new capacities which propel us to new heights of engagement with nature.106 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development The Role of ICTs in Africa’s Development Agenda Context When we contemplate Africa’s development agenda. In this regard. what we have. it is hardly rocket science to say that the African condition does not reflect the slightest proportion of its potential. build bold strategies to overcome them. given who we are. talented and eminently humane people. if they have relevance. and the challenges of the pursuit of a meaningful. that we need not be where we are today. Development as Problem Solving Development is essentially problem solving. and in the process. could seriously serve to mis-direct our focus and efforts to peripheral problems. even given the debilitation of our jaundiced colonial history.

the world has taken over Africa’s problems and often left us with nothing creative to do but watch our destiny float in the air like a listless balloon. Africa has got to be the only continent in the world where many seek to dictate our development goals. and our right to the innovation. even frightening. threatening to pull the veil of survival from our cowered faces. hope and exhilaration. while we play second-fiddle to some who may never have known what it is to wake up to the mystery of the African dawn. confidence. destined for nowhere. creativity and self-actualisation that come out of a committed. passionate and indefatigable confrontation with our problems. the world has taken over our right of ownership of our problems. Our basic problem is that we do not allow ourselves the profound experience of taking ownership of our problems and settling down to deal with them with relentless focus. Such irresponsible arrogance and ignorance have served no purpose except to undermine our self-confidence. commitment. But history has never devised any means of solving critical human questions without confronting sometimes painful and harsh realities in the process of solving them. What then is really Africa’s problem? What is wrong? What is missing? What are we not getting right? Why? These are all critical questions any group of people must address in order to build a vision for development against which to create an agenda with which to accomplish it. This is the fundamental dynamics of nation-building. which we find ourselves incessantly being pushed to use as the yardstick for building our own societies. For much of our recent history. This is the basis of the development of most of the countries of the industrial world.2 . blown in the wind until it drifts over the horizon.The Role of ICT in the African Development Agenda ✦ Okpaku ✦ 107 of all Africa is or does. These are tough questions. and compel us to abandon our legitimate right to own our problems and enjoy the enrichment that comes with solving them. our right and responsibility to solve them. Not only that. the analysis of which might be painful. make us doubt our view of ourselves and of the world. with the promise of joy and exhilaration when we overcome them and move on to tackle the next set of problems.

It is the compelling and quintessential first step in prosecuting our development process. enabling and empowering. Either way. the type which is not only enlightening. shuts out our ability to engage in sober reflection. so the only choice is to address them. but enriching. something that we can do nothing about. what is it? . therefore. But given the fact of the loss of privacy conducive to sober selfanalysis. or we find the courage to address our critical problems. conceding nothing but the nominal courtesies of civilised behaviour to those who insist on abusing the priviledge of overhearing us and speaking to us. our problems will only disappear if we boldly address them. The African Development Agenda In this light. whatever the audience. We must. thus limiting our freedom to deal with our concerns with absolute candour and vigour. under the old baobab tree. far away from the ears of those whose presence might constitute a potential embarrassment. allow our critical problems to fester. The kind of dialogue I would like us to have this morning is the type that our ancestors used to be able to have. while preserving our image. but publicly if we have no choice.108 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Requiem to Private Dialogue One of the liabilities of information and communications technology is that we can no longer hold private conversations on issues of pressing common interest. whoever is present. Do we have an African Development Agenda? And if so. The mass media. choose to take ownership and command of our problem-solving process. combined with the blinding spotlight on Africa and her problems. otherwise called our development process. in private if we can. we are left with two difficult choices: We go on engaging in pat conversations which. let us address the African Development Agenda and how we can use the facilitation of ICTs to prosecute it. in our present circumstances. whatever the surrounding public.

on issues presumed to be important. is a necessary scenario for a development agenda. this is the quintessence of information and communications technology or ICT. to me. The matching up of our experience. to store it for future use. cultural. emotional. Seen in this light. rich and poor. It requires that first we take stock of where we are. First. our resources (human. The dialogue about our destiny has been more often than not conducted between our leaders and their international counterparts. historical and material) and our commitment against the challenges of this vision is the creative process by which we define a common agenda. and how we recognise our dreamland when we get there. where we really want to go. there must be common dialogue from which we develop a popular vision. not between them and us. The enhancement of this process to give it speed and distant reach. This. intellectual. not those we all know to be important because we know where it hurts. and for us to hear them too. the tool for engaging men and women. how we got here. and at the end of the day. young and old.The Role of ICT in the African Development Agenda ✦ Okpaku ✦ 109 The Evolution of an Agenda It is my humble opinion that there is a simple path to developing a common agenda. how we get there. positive and negative. more widely and more frequently. and for others to hear us some distance away. we cannot be lulled to sleep . is the fundamental element of information and communications culture. some might argue that we do not yet have a coherent African Development Agenda. We live with our problems as much as we live with our dreams. in crafting a common future on the wealth of culture and experience. even far from its origin. where we have been. what we have to work with. The Quintessence of Information and Communications Technologies The tool for conducting such a mass process. the tool which enables us to express ourselves articulately in our own context. the application of the innovation of science and technology to enable us conduct this critical dialogue faster.

strong. but instead. can drive the quantum development we so badly need to engage in. and emboldened. by discussing NEPAD’s challenges in public. and bring it out. an agenda built on the foundation of a common cause and a common vision. and we abandon our destiny to those who have no compelling reason to risk our displeasure by engaging us in such disputation. re-design it. if we allow ourselves to critique our premier development agenda. If we do.110 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development through time with the lullabies of distant voices while others live our lives for us. The problem is that we are in public. empowered. or we refuse to engage in critical debate. Diagnostics of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) This is the context in which we must examine Africa’s development agenda. For only an agenda with such attributes. shocked by the humiliating fact that we have simply slept and snored through time and history. an agenda deriving from the deepest passions and hopes of Africans themselves. while not only the world but also our life itself passed us by. often with less expertise about us than we possess. . Because. the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (or NEPAD). to commence the process of our reconstruction of it to regain ownership of it so that we can implement it as Africa’s Vision for a Better Tomorrow. we see some of the elements of the trauma of our development dilemma. inspiring. for both a better future as well as for the inspiration of the very process of self-development. commanding. examine it. I also do not wish to leave the false impression of neglecting the protocol of courtesies due one’s host. reconstruct it. I must emphasize that in diagnosing NEPAD. we will wake up one day in the future. I do not wish to provide fodder for its external criticism. and we either speak to ourselves with candour and affection so that we can get our agenda right. I would like us to boldly take it apart.

analyse them. but in a process where African ownership was critical for enthusiastic support and buy-in. Worse yet. permit me to make two observations about NEPAD as they relate to the workings of Information and Communications Technologies. civic organisations. distributed them to schools. one in which we used the basic facilitation of ICT—newspapers. twice over. challenging them. today. such symbolic faux pas have more debilitating impact than might appear on the surface. In 2001. we presented Africa’s vision to the G8 Summit in Genoa before it was presented to African leaders in Lusaka at the final OAU Summit. and devise appropriate means of rectifying them. At the beginning. one might say. we can identify them. we failed to get NEPAD right because we did not dialogue with the people. NEPAD was developed in consultation with the rest of the world to the virtual exclusion of the vast majority of Africans who could not get a hold of even the preliminary documentation of the ideas feeding the process. companies. Imagine if our leaders took to the road to dialogue with the people. NEPAD. The next year. . In this spirit. were developed in camera. churches. should it have flaws. As such we have the obligation to examine it critically so that. radio and television—to discuss the idea of Africa’s vision for the twenty-first century clear across this continent. The Importance of Popular Participation in the Creation of a Common Vision for Africa Just imagine a different scenario. or its precursors.The Role of ICT in the African Development Agenda ✦ Okpaku ✦ 111 NEPAD is. NEPAD was again presented in final form to the G8 Summit in Canada before it found its way to the Summit of the African Union in Durban. in as many African languages as we could. Africa’s Development Agenda. when it was still under a different name. Imagine that we printed millions of copies of the basic ideas. the New Initiative for Africa. Minor. We also made a major symbolic error. newspapers and more.

If people talk to each other and understand each other. our limitations. that if you take the people along with you in shaping your agenda. in hearty disputation for which Africans are renowned. what our dreams as Africans are. The result would be a fundamental principle of good governance. The result would be Africa’s vision. the vision of their friends and colleagues. we then collated these expressions. And for that reason. what we truly want for Africa. for that matter. then when things go wrong.112 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development being challenged by them. Just imagine that at the end of the day. people who merely wave flags along dusty roadsides to welcome our distinguished guests when they should be in school learning or at home reading a book. not the vision of our political leaders only or. And by owning it. we would be responsible for making it work. documented them in beautiful language reflective of our sonorous heritage. namely. in all communities. absorb. our anxieties. But if you leave the people on the sideline as mere observers. our place in it. processed them. This vision would have been created and crafted by Africans. And should things go wrong. because it would be our vision. they will share the blame with you. we had the opportunity to hear from all corners of this continent. and replayed them in all the media for the people to review. there is a plethora of innovative applications of existing communications technology to craft custom-tailored use of ICTs at all levels of society. We can use IP technology to create inexpensive rural broadcasting. because it was their programme. our fears. they will share the joy of accomplishment with you. they still blame us. In this regard. diverse views about how each of us sees the world. not just yours. So. even our pain and hope. the first role of ICTs in the African Development Agenda is to utilise them for engaging the totality of the people in building a common vision for self-development and joint ownership of a common destiny. because we kept them out of the process. Just imagine that during this process. we would have ownership of it. and now we must find the solution all by our lonely self. with remarkable positive result. internalise and regurgitate in their own voice and mind frame. it becomes more .

ICTs form versatile tools for transforming economies in leaps and bounds. They do not aid development if we merely buy and use them. or worse still. They also endure hardships of terrain. which is their legitimate expectation after toiling in the sun to feed us. We can use the facilitation of ICTs to reduce their tedium and physical effort. strength and weakness. the most valuable asset in today’s economy. which result in the development of intellectual property. ICT and Self-Development It is commonly agreed that information and communications technologies constitute the basis of the New Economy in which the old assumptions of wealth and poverty. China and elsewhere are compelling. But these benefits accrue only to those who take these tools. have been turned upside down. have access not only to treatment but to preventive medical care. weather. They provide avenues for innovation and creativity.The Role of ICT in the African Development Agenda ✦ Okpaku ✦ 113 difficult for them to fight each other. and ask innocent people in the villages to die for us while we and our children head for Europe and America when the seeds of our machinations come to violent fruition. The examples of India. inadequate communications and transport resources to improve their productivity and engage in leisure and self-development. and use them to create new or better goods and services. for others (often those of us from the cities) to start our quarrels in urban centres. and provide them with the opportunity to both enjoy the cultural products of others. adding yet another expensive item to Africa’s perpetually growing shopping expenditure. and enable their wives and children to gain formal education. vastly improve their productivity. . master them. as well as to showcase and share their own creative products clear across the world through Internet and e-Commerce resources and facilities. Our farmers and herdsmen have the unique wisdom of history and tradition. find higher income for their products.

and also enhance our productivity and earning power. or the time we spend just trying to access basic information. ICT and Administration ICT tools also can save us time and energy if we pass unto them the tedium of routine. We must use them for innovation. Machines must not think for us. sometimes expensive toys. lacking the complexity of our human mind.114 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development We must use ICT tools to create processes and applications. to reflect. and which we are most designed to do as human beings. which ICTs cannot do. we must understand the limitations of ICTs. This will free us to do that which we must do. creating new products that bring us much greater valueadded returns. which both expand our intellectual scope and improve our quality of life. the experience of those who have preceded us at the cutting edge of ICT deployment should serve to underscore the pre-eminence of the human mind. and should not be allowed to. rest and reflection. ICT and Modernisation In the same line. In this regard. they will not be able to make the critical differentiation between data and interpretation. for if they do. But in this regard. they do not have a life of their own. make judgement. putting . we realise that we can pass on such routine to ICT tools. namely. and manage the complex intangibles of human response to nature that are triggered everyday by our intervention with the dynamics of time in our daily lives. ICTs are essentially toys. thus enabling us to have some time for leisure. which also sometimes have this habit of creating a lot of wealth for those who might not have had the advantage of inheritance wealth. As tools. those of us who have the deficit of inadequate technology must not abandon our historical means of self-development. which sometimes makes the difference between life and death. If we calculate the energy and time we spend in Africa criss-crossing town or country just to obtain or deliver basic information.

thinking and understanding. because we would lose our human capacity without even the consolation of having at least once benefited from technology access and capacity. we stand to lose a lot more. and in the process. However. To build its communications . They have a remarkable way of undermining our human capacity by misleading us into ceding to them the prime roles of the human species. but to use the tools of technology to enrich our human quality. Technological Capacity. we have tried to address the issue of the cost of acquiring the tools and services of ICT. refine and enlarge them. our lives’ purpose is not to become what I would like to call “technotrons”. see where technology can aid our inherent and indigenous system through greater speed and repetitive capacity. feeling. The consequences of this. This is contrary to how others have addressed the challenge. Research and Development In Africa.The Role of ICT in the African Development Agenda ✦ Okpaku ✦ 115 in abeyance our dreams until ICTs arrive at our doors. in global proportions. we should seek to enrich these traditional processes. the misguided replacement of ICT for our uniquely human process has led to those who have the best of ICT becoming the least capable of reflection and analysis. Instead. that the preponderance of undifferentiated data piled on the platform of our minds has so overwhelmed us that our capacity to think has become inversely proportional to the weight of such data.3 In other words. are increasingly becoming self-evident. If we in Africa mimic this strategic mistake. which is fast evolving into a fatal flaw that threatens to place all humanity at risk. or robots. we have done so merely on the level of creating shopping lists and finding the money to buy. After all. Information versus Knowledge and Wisdom ICTs have their downside. I have argued in a speech referred to in one of your working papers.

got worried about the traumatic experience of having a mobile phone snatched from people on the street. Despite having one of the highest poverty levels in the world. a young African man. We buy the equipment. and it is frightening. If we shift these funds to manufacture them. He was more concerned about the risk of bodily harm than of the material loss of a handset. China invested heavily in research and development. Abject Materialism and the African Genius We in Africa must resist the dangerous notion that at the end of the day life is about money. As a result. India has become a leading exporter of ICT technology and software. ICT innovation is more genius than money. and to expand its rollout massively.116 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development capacity to meet its need. India is another example.4 It is quite a simple proposition. Everyday we see what money cannot buy. He came up with a way to place photo images and contact information directly on the LCD screens of handsets. benefit and pride. A year or so ago. a young South African. is to build our own industrial capacity in R&D and manufacturing in Africa. with jobs. it was able to roll out more telecommunications lines per year than we have had throughout the continent. Stolen phones have been recovered from this technology. and is today. in much greater quantity. we create industries in the process. So he set his mind to find a technological solution. and more attuned to our specific needs. . Now Chinese salesmen have joined the long line of American and European ICT merchants who travel all over Africa selling us every tiny bit of ICT tools and equipment. This should be a major part of our development agenda: To create industrial capacity in ICT (as indeed in other spheres of strategic development) and to push and support our Africans who are fighting to have a niche in this area. and with that in manufacturing. in a manner so indelible that you will have to damage the screen to remove the image. the world leader in the use of mobile telephones. ICT. I have argued that the only way to create affordable ICT access in Africa. we not only get what we need cheaper.

and elsewhere. globally. This is partially because we have contracted out the strategic responsibility for such critical capacity building assessment to those who have no particular reason to cede their control of our economy back to African experts. So do law enforcement officials in Africa.The Role of ICT in the African Development Agenda ✦ Okpaku ✦ 117 I lost my personalised handset while flying from New York to Miami. If all our problems are contracted out to others to solve. The time has come for our leaders at all levels to recognise that the responsibility of development includes supporting the right and responsibility of African experts to take the first shot at building this continent. African men and women are amongst those who are building ICT technologies for the global companies. . People build capacity by solving their problems at home. I got a phone call a couple days later from a gentleman saying he found a handset with my photo and contact number on the screen. Europe. thus enabling such companies to profit on African solutions twice removed. The South African police recognise the immense importance of this invention in their crime reduction efforts. Edward Modisakgosi. what they can do. is only one of many African ICT geniuses. Mr. the appearance of things notwithstanding. With your indulgence. what is left for African experts? We compel them to go abroad and seek employment from the very companies we have enriched and empowered through contracting out our problems to them to solve. Telecom Africa Corporation has the pleasure of deploying this African ICT invention. I would like to introduce This young African ICT genius. called the Visual Identification Technology (VIT). Africa’s Global ICT Expertise ICT is not magic. which he promptly mailed to me. from African money through hired African expert labour. and how to encourage them to do it for Africa. We have not tried to know who they are.

to create the strategic environment for building Africa’s globally competitive capacity in ICT as a means of not only jumpstarting our selfdevelopment. Telecom Africa Corporation is in the process of building an Inter-Ministerial Network for the Presidency of Mali. really. providing facilities for Point-to-Multipoint voice. Global Diplomatic Networks Similarly. which took place in Bamako last May. as your own African ICT company. we will offer it across the continent. We trust that we can count on you to support us. Telecom Africa Corporation is collaborating with Hewlett Packard and Plessey in the Mali project. This secure Intranet will link all the 23 government Ministries to the Presidency and the Office of the Prime Minster. but also to have the tools for global competitiveness in a global economy. Telecom Africa Corporation plans to offer it to African governments across the continent. we had the pleasure of demonstrating this network. Specialised Governance Networks In the area of networked administration. and continue to work hard. . once we perfect this model. At the African Regional Preparatory Conference for next year’s World Summit on Information Society. and video-conferencing facilities. Upon perfecting this model in Mali. Internet. At Telecom Africa Corporation. we are in the processing of designing a prototype global diplomatic network to link the embassies of an African country to its Foreign Ministry and Government. some of us have worked hard.118 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development ICT and the Telecom Africa Corporation In all of these. And the sooner you empower us as a deliberate strategic policy. Again. the sooner we will be able to enter the global competition to bring back revenue and profits to build Africa. we have tried to address some of these issues within the context of Africa’s capacity to drive its own ICT development. data. We are all you have.

Support of such a project by African Governments and their global partners is in our mutual interest. State of California Technology. Promoting Research and Development is an investment in creating vastly . Software Development: The Digital Factory ICT networks are driven by software and applications. such a venture will drastically reduce the cost of telecommunications infrastructure. but will generate taxable hard currency for African countries. The perception that R&D is esoteric for Africa is patently disingenuous. The Telecom Africa Virtual Research Laboratory Technology is not viable without research and development.The Role of ICT in the African Development Agenda ✦ Okpaku ✦ 119 Strategic Networks We are also working on developing other strategic networks for Africa. The Digital Factory. When built. To promote broad-based African capacity in cutting edge software development. enabling us to accelerate the rollout of infrastructure and to replace those that have become obsolete or inadequate. will not only become our Bangalore. Manufacturing Telecom Africa Corporation has been collaborating with a major Chinese firm to manufacture optical fibre transmission equipment and cables in Africa. Telecom Africa Corporation has engaged in a project with Sun Microsystems and the Office of the Governor. which would greatly advance the access to critical information and enhance decision-making processes. Trade & Commerce Agency to build African capacity to develop software for the global market through sub-contracting and outsourcing from major companies around the world. as the project is named.

which will enable African scientists worldwide and others so disposed to undertake research and development work online in a secure Intranet. but that it is clear to these companies that African governments will not demand it. For this to happen. I did that because NEPAD is the only African game in town. Many companies operating in ICT in Africa have built impressive research laboratories in Asia. as well as manufacturing investments. Strategic policy on the part of African governments is critical in compelling commitments in this area. it will then be taken offline and brought indoors. the recognition of the strategic position that building Africa’s future is not only the responsibility of Africans. reconstitute it to fit Africa’s own priorities and vision. Then we can give it all we have to make it work. those who manage it must acknowledge through proclamation and action. The fact is not that the African market cannot sustain similar investments. This is how the Chinese got their research and development. which we later . As such.120 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development multiplied revenue levels while enhancing scientific capacity in Africa. it must succeed. so to speak. What is quite disturbing in this regard is that African governments have made no effort to make building research and development facilities in Africa a condition for major contract opportunities. It is in solving Africa’s problems that we build the capacity. You only get what you ask for! In this regard. When such research gets to the advanced stage where it requires in-laboratory experimentation. Revisiting NEPAD and Making it Work At the outset. and with passion and enthusiasm. I sought to discuss flaws in NEPAD with a view to showing how the process we take to vision-building can help or hurt popular buy-in and ownership of common goals. but also their right. we are working on building a Telecom Africa Virtual Research Laboratory. This can only happen if all of us take ownership of it.

love and dream. grow and create. We must insist that we too do have an idea as to what will make this world a better place. because who else will develop this continent. a capacity our world could gain a lot from as we ponder what the world has come to. That imprint will be informed and enriched by a culture. we suspend our own dreams about the world we need to build for ourselves so that we can live. In the process. also. which no body has had the courage or the disingenuity to question as less than one of the marvels of the history of human existence and expression. trust. learn. and a profound sense that the world belongs to us no less than it belongs to others. we will turn to the world at large and make our indelible imprint on it. Africa’s Right and Responsibility to Help Shape our Common World And there are sound reasons for insisting on the right of our view of our world and the reluctance to seek to secure what we are not. except ourselves? Africa’s Place in the World We tend to be enamoured of our struggle to acquire attributes others require of us as essential to our right of passage to global citizenship. and that when we have built our own world on the basis of our own aspirations. It will be informed. confidence.The Role of ICT in the African Development Agenda ✦ Okpaku ✦ 121 can deploy elsewhere to create wealth for the continent and ourselves. not the expectations of others. We are up to the challenge and indeed have no choice. in an environment of peace. If we learn . by the eminent truth that as the children of one of the oldest civilizations of mankind. Africans embody a unique history of coping with intangible challenges of human existence.

and indeed. at home and throughout the Diaspora. can those who are our friends figure out how to help us. of friendship. Then. Our guess is as good as anyone else’s. knowing that we too do know much and have much to contribute. as we beat the drums of war so soon after the celebration of the end of the twentieth century and hailed the promise of a new Millennium. We cannot deprive our people of the right. . our destiny and therefore our legacy to others. We must dump our pessimism and strike out to build a better world for all of us.122 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development anything from the events of the last year and more. and help each other to make it better for each other and for all of us together. That is the legitimate framework for development assistance. friend or foe. when we have not tried to know what expertise and resources Africans do truly possess. after we have determined where we really want to go. even financial. take a deep breath and embark on building our dream Africa which only we can mastermind. Equanimity and the Right and Responsibility of Nation-Building That being the case. responsibility and opportunity to build this African continent by negotiating away the opportunities inherent in solving our problems on the spurious and grossly erroneous idea that others possess capacities we do not have. and only then. we should relax. We do not cede our right and responsibility to shape our future. in some way. it is that no one has the answers to what is right for the world. We each run our lives. and how we can partner with our own people to build our common future. in that it compels us to re-examine the devastating castigation of us as ne’er-do-wells. This is heartening. in the mistaken idea that they can or will develop us while we sleep through time and history.

for which I thank you. I am sure deep down. we shall have begun Africa’s March of Progress with excellent prospects of success and sustained will and enthusiasm. we honour and treasure friendship. I have allowed myself the priviledge of candour only because I believe that it is something we must do now. But I am impatient about the way we have delayed getting this train out of the station. scientific and social development. On the contrary.The Role of ICT in the African Development Agenda ✦ Okpaku ✦ 123 Meeting the Challenge of Our Tomorrow Where do we go from here? That is the common challenge we must jointly address. into our industries. can one day take our children and grandchildren down the road. I do not for a moment wish to leave the impression that all is bad. our true friends do understand. We must ask those whom we have chosen to guide our political and administrative development to find the courage to believe in our ability to build this continent. markets and institutions. surely they must admit that those of us who are as competent and as trained as any of our counterparts anywhere in the world. It is a plea for reciprocal confidence. We have shown our confidence in their ability to govern and lead. I am bullish about this beautiful continent and its gifted people. We come from the same stock as they do. We. as Africans. Nor do I mean to suggest that we do not need our friends. On the contrary. can also lead our economic. I simply mean to say that owning our future is a fundamental right and responsibility which we cannot cede. each of us. This way. Above all. If they can lead our political destiny. libraries and archives. . when we take ownership of our development problems and strike out to find their solutions. not after all that this continent has gone through. and show them what little part of this great continent’s heritage each of us helped to build. Then we will enjoy the profound joy of the accomplishment of building our own lives and our future. into museums.

Okpaku. An address to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Second International Conference on Electronic Commerce and Intellectual Property. A keynote address to the Africa TELECOM ’98 Strategic Summit. May 8. held in Johannesburg. Okpaku. A keynote address to the CAFRAD Regional Workshop on Building e-Governance Capacity in African Countries. Ownership of Problems. 4. E-Culture. Sr. 2002.. Joseph O.124 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development N OT E S 1. 3. under the auspices of NEPAD. Okpaku. . 2001. September 19–21.. Geneva. Sr. The Workshop was sponsored by the African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD). Human Culture and In-Between: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century Digital World. South Africa. and the Ministry for Public Service and Administration of the Government of South Africa. Joseph O. Coventry. 2001. the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs—Division for Public Economics and Public Administration (UNDESA/DPEPA). 28–31 October. 2. See Joseph O. Telecom Africa: Building Africa’s Global Competitiveness In The 21st Century. United Kingdom. Johannesburg. Intellectual Property and the Digital Divide—The Enabling Challenge of Solutions. ITU Conference on Creating New Leaders for e-Culture Conference. August 20–24. 1998.. Sr.

who suffer the most. In many cases it is the poor. the Executive Secretary of the organisation. Poverty and hunger are widespread. Forests are being depleted at the rate of an acre a second due to unsustainable farming practices. Y. K. stated that “the most striking contrasts in the modern world are the vast differences in technological development and human well-being—differences most evident in Africa. Economic Commission for Africa 8 Regional Information and Communications Technologies Developments The AISI Perspective Introduction In his foreword to a Policy Research Report by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). AIDS has cut life expectancy by more than 10 years in some countries. They live in environmentally fragile areas. Amoako. And technological development is woefully deficient.CHAPTER Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane Director. are exposed to health hazards and natural 125 . depend on marginal lands. Development Information Services Division. particularly women and children.

ECA has been assisting the countries to create an enabling environment for ICT for development through these NICI plans. AISI has been the backbone of major ICT development of the continent. Its main message is that harnessing new and emerging technologies is critical for development”. they can be considered as some of the reasons that led to the launch of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI): Harnessing Information and Knowledge for Africa’s Development. have very little coping capacity. have started implementation of the plans and the development of sectoral applications.2 Since its inception. and policy and decision makers are committed to the establishment of a sustainable information society in their own countries. strategies and participation in regional and global fora to make Africa’s voice better heard. a number of African countries launched innovative ICT initiatives within the AISI framework. With the support of various bilateral and multilateral partners. the initiative has successfully created a framework within which national stakeholders. “is about how African societies can reverse these alarming trends. as active and central players. Other countries. and have hardly any assets to fall back upon in times of crisis”. The role of the Economic Commission for Africa is to co-ordinate the work of AISI. Adopted by the Conference of Ministers in 19963. In fact.126 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development disasters. ICT programmes in Africa have moved to a dynamic phase. Niger joined 29 other countries4 to formulate their National Information and Communications Infrastructure (NICI) plan. set their own courses of action and implement projects based on their priorities and development goals. like Senegal and Mozambique. “This Report. Recently. which is evident in the increasing number of innovative ICT plans and projects. The importance of ICT for development has been widely recognised. ECA is also in partnership with national counterparts and donors to implement sectoral applications.” he said. The progress is monitored and .1 The above observations on biotechnology also apply to the use of ICT for development in Africa.

It also intends to extract and share good practices and lessons learned and to suggest recommendations for future activities. legal and fiscal environments. This chapter focuses on major ICT activities recently implemented in the context of AISI. social. ECA is ready to deepen and widen its consultation and collaboration with national and international actors to accelerate the development of ICTs in Africa. the challenges Africa is facing are numerous and wide in scope. strategies and policies are considered an important implementing tool of AISI. Development of National Information and Communications Technologies Policies and Strategies Major efforts in the development of national strategies in Africa have been undertaken within the framework of AISI. A large number of African countries have strived to develop . One of the key aspects of ECA’s assistance to AISI is the promotion of partnership and Cupertino mechanisms at national and regional levels as well as with multilateral and bilateral donors so as to avoid duplications and waste of scarce resources. The development of National Information and Communications Infrastructure (NICI) plans. Significant progress has been made in advancing ICT as an integral component of national and regional development agenda through national information and communication technology policies and plans.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 127 evaluated through the SCAN-ICT5 Programme. and by creating the necessary economic. institutional. Progress Made in Creating an Enabling Environment for ICT Activities in Africa Information and communications technologies can contribute enormously to influence our countries’ economic and social development. However.

Consultations with stakeholders have started. content and application strategies as an integral part of their overall national development goals. Several consultative workshops with stakeholders were organised. the NICI process was officially re-launched by the Government in August 2002. based on the ICT policy framework document that was submitted to high level government officials in June 2002. Mozambique6: Following a national ICT Policy Implementation Sym- posium in October 2001. Consultation meetings were scheduled to start in November 2002. It is an ongoing process through the planning. NICI provides the framework within which ICTs are mainstreamed into the national planning process in order to facilitate the achievement of national and sectoral development priorities and objectives. Mali: Mali set up a new NICI Committee in May 2002. infrastructure. implementation and regular evaluation of programmes and projects developed according to the needs and priorities of each country. Mozambique launched a number of catalytic . Malawi: An ICT policy development process is underway in Malawi. A baseline study covering the major cities of Mali has been launched.128 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development their NICI plans that articulate long-term policy. More detailed information is available at http://www.org/disd/ict/ Djibouti: Djibouti recently started its NICI development process. Below are examples of recent NICI developments. Ghana: In Ghana. A NICI Committee was set up and an implementation plan drawn.uneca. Ethiopia: Ethiopia endorsed its ICT policy document in 2002 and launched an aggressive policy implementation plan. A con- sultative workshop was organised in May 2002. One of the objectives is to offer increasing access to information and communications at district levels. The NICI development process has its roots in the vision of AISI.

A baseline study covering all provinces. policy and regulatory frameworks. e-government. Regional Information and Communication Initiatives The role of ICTs for regional integration and co-operation has gained considerable attention. enterprise development with focus on youth. in September 2002. provincial growth. such as the harmonization of policies. Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are taking a leading role in regional consultations and studies. As a result. applications and content in health and education. a NICI Committee was set up. Tanzania: Through its ICT Policy Task Force and a national e-think tank. The development of an ICT policy implementation plan in key sectors identified in the policy document is underway. regulatory frameworks.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 129 projects in human capacity development. The workshop adopted the Yaounde . Ministries have started developing sectoral plans out of the main plan. Uganda: Uganda completed its ICT policy formulation in 2002. Niger: After the official launching of the NICI plan by the Prime Minister of Niger in July 2002. government agencies. NGOs and the private sector is underway. A funding conference is scheduled to take place early in 2003. the government of Tanzania produced an ICT policy document that was presented and debated by key stakeholders in May 2002. gender and access issues. Examples include: ICT for Regional Integration for the Economic Community for Central Africa States (CEMAC): The Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) organised a workshop on ICT for regional integration in Yaounde. infrastructure. and more. infrastructure building. Rwanda: The Rwanda NICI Plan has been finalised and its implementa- tion launched by the President in February 2002. ministries.

Regulatory Harmonisation in Economic Community for Western Africa States (ECOWAS): In order to facilitate the harmonization of national sectoral policies. and a forum of operators and service providers. The West African Development Bank . the promotion of new ICTs. the ECOWAS Council of Ministers established an ECOWAS Consultative Regulatory Committee for Telecommunications to ensure the consistent and co-ordinated regulation of telecommunications within the Community. A West African Telecommunications Regulators Association (WATRA) was officially established in June 2002. including harmonization of the ICT sector in the CEMAC countries. and liberalisation of the national telecom markets. Regional ICT Development in Southern African Development Community (SADC): Countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are a step ahead of the other regions. Communications and Meteorology and a Declaration on Information and Communications Technology were adopted by SADC.8 The UEMOA Initiatives in ICT: In 2001. which has a Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission. the creation of a committee of regulators. The CEMAC Heads of State will adopt the Declaration in December 2002. the Telecommunications Regulators Association of Southern Africa (TRASA). The SADC Region was also the first one to establish an association of regulators. the Council of Ministers of the UEMOA adopted a recommendation on a programme of action for improving ICT infrastructure and services in its region. A Protocol on Transport. A study on the harmonization of West African telecommunication regulations is underway7. This recommendation aims at harmonising the regulatory frameworks.130 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Declaration. which made key recommendations. sharing of resources and the creation of the Central African countries Association of Regulators (ARAC). Several studies on ICT have been undertaken and meetings and workshops organised.

ADF 199912 focused on ways to accelerate the information revolution in Africa. the ICT Focus Group met to explore the role of ICTs in Regional Integration. Bamako 2002 focused on facilitating an understanding of the benefits that can be drawn from the global information society. the ADF has registered significant impact and rapidly gained recognition as an effective forum for informed dialogue and consensus building on urgent development issues of relevance to Africa. known as Bamako 200213. held in March 2002. President of the Republic of Mali. Africa being the first continent to organise a regional conference in line with the framework of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The African regional conference. The conference brought together about one thousand participants . Bamako 2002 was a Ministerial level meeting. was held in Bamako. A portal on regional integration was also launched during this event. the contributions the continent could make towards its goals and the cultural heritages and values it should preserve through this dynamic process. A considerable amount of technical information was prepared during ADF ’99 and is still being used and referred to by member States and experts doing studies on Africa.11 Since its existence. Improving Digital Opportunities for Africa: The African Regional Conference of the WSIS A significant event in improving digital opportunities for Africa took place in Bamako in May 2002. sub-regional and regional levels.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 131 (BOAD) is expected to undertake a study in developing a fiber optic regional network. and for agreeing on implementation priorities and strategies at national. Mali. under the auspices of His Excellency Alpha Oumar Konaré.9 The ADF III ICT Focus Group on Regional Integration:10 During the third edition of the African Development Forum (ADF) on Regional Integration.

Sectoral Applications Initiatives As stated earlier. with members composed of one country from each sub-region. Various bilateral and multilateral partners as well as the private sector and the civil society supported it.15 A Task Force. as well as development partners.14 The conference was a unique opportunity to renew the commitment of member States and bilateral and multilateral development partners of Africa for the attainment of the visions enshrined in the African Information Society Initiative (AISI). Switzerland. the creation of an enabling policy and regulatory environment is essential to ensure that actions initiated in the ICT infrastructure development and sectoral applications are encouraged. The Bureau is chaired by Mali. to explore ways and means to implement the Bamako Declaration and continue the activities it suggested. Bamako 2002 Bureau16. a few sectoral applications . known as the Bamako Declaration. in Geneva. civil society. Although ICTs are cutting across many sectors. with ECA serving as a secretariat. which was held from 1–5 July 2002. The Africa Group requested ECA to serve also as the Secretariat for Africa’s participation in the WSIS activities and ensure that Africa will develop a common plan of action. has been established to carry out the major recommendations and work with the WSIS secretariat. Participants in Bamako 2002 unanimously agreed on a set of principles and recommendations for developing a common African vision for an information society.132 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development drawn from government. and representatives of the civil society and the private sector. The Bamako 2002 Bureau and ECA met several times during the First Preparatory Conference for the WSIS (PrepCom 1)17. the private sector. Bamako 2002 also provided an opportunity to revisit and evaluate the implementation of the recommendations of the first African Development Forum (ADF ’99) and Bamako 2000.

in 2001 and 2002.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 133 have gained attention in Africa in recent years. university networks (e. These include education. was commissioned by IDRC and ECA with the objective of developing policy and strategy advice for African Governments. in co-operation with the World Bank’s InfoDev program and CISCO Systems. networks of research institutes (e. In addition.g.g. ITCA launched a training course in Internet networking technology. are some of the activities that have been undertaken with respect to implementing the African Learning Network. health. for two groups of African women from 41 African countries. Out of School Youth Network—OosyNet). The conference was organised under the aegis of the Four Foundations Partnership (Ford/Carnegie/MacArthur/ Rockefeller). developed a training manual and delivered training courses for policymakers. in Addis Ababa. business and trade. in co-operation with USAID/ Leland. African Knowledge Network Forum—AKNF19) and networks for marginalised people (e. Education and Capacity Building The agenda for ICT and education in Africa can be strengthened through E-education initiatives.g. such as the African Learning Network18. and governance. in collaboration with ECA. SchoolNet). a “Pan-African Initiative on e-Commerce”. which supports school networks (e. Furthermore. VarsityNet). in an attempt to address the needs of policy makers on the challenges and use of ICTs for Africa’s development. Business and Trade As a result of ADF ’99 on “The Challenge to Africa of Globalisation and the Information Age”.g. The launching of SchoolNet Africa20 and the conference on ICTs and higher education held at the end of July 2002. African Trade Ministers . based on the priorities of individual countries. the Information Technology Centre for Africa (ITCA)21.

sub-regional level workshops in Mauritius (April 2001. Recently. Health Care Services The World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted the importance of ICTs by proposing that immediate steps should be taken to include ICTs as part of its health-for-all strategy for the 21st century. for Central and Western Africa) have been conducted on the use of ICTs to enhance competitiveness of SMEs in Africa. which will have an ICT Focus Group that will deliberate on ICTs and governance. and more recently. More recently. such as Mali and Ethiopia. the forthcoming Committee on . However. Gabon. Outcomes of the e-governance discussion will feed into the forthcoming African Development Forum (ADF IV) scheduled for next year on governance. Pilot telemedicine projects are being implemented in countries. It was stressed that e-governance is a continuous learning and interactive process requiring resources and research. Countries like Tunisia have adopted Telemedicine plans. for Eastern and Southern Africa) and Senegal (October 2001. in November 2000. hampered mostly by low levels of e-readiness and limited political will. there were some experiences from selected countries that deserve to be better known. to discuss issues related to an active and early African participation in e-commerce. This area was also recognised as of the utmost priority by ADF ’99 and ADF 2000. Governance The utilisation of ICTs for improving government services in Africa is gaining momentum. where a portal on health resources and health statistics in Africa was launched22. Discussions revealed that this field is at an early stage in most countries.134 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development met in Libreville. In addition. ECA launched an electronic dialogue on e-governance23 that aimed at providing insights into trends in e-governance programmes on the continent. Mozambique and Senegal are embarking on developing e-strategy for the health sector.

Scan-ICT is led by IDRC and ECA and supported by the European Commission and the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD). Senegal. as the advent of the information age is relatively recent for assessing. on e-readiness and the impact of ICTs and development In response to this development. Up to two years ago. an Africa-specific monitoring and evaluation programme. and the World Bank. content development. and Mozambique have been selected and sponsored to undertake baseline studies by employing indicators reflecting thematic areas. information is sparse. It aims at developing Africa’s capacity to collect. Outside of the telecommunications sector. donor/funding activity. to name a few. was launched in November 2000. investment flows. the ICT industrial or business sector. such as the ITU. namely. Interim results were presented at Bamako 2002. as well as for developing mechanisms that provide precise assessments. sectoral applications such as education. and so on. will also focus on information for governance. Ethiopia. one of the subsidiary bodies of the ECA scheduled to take place in May 2003. Ghana. . ICT labour. health. UNESCO. the relevance of ICTs to Africa’s development was evaluated on an ad hoc basis.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 135 Development Information (CODI III)24. diffuse and anecdotal in such areas as sectoral applications. analyse and organise data on the penetration and utilisation of ICTs for development. It is only recently that studies have been commissioned by agencies. Scan-ICT. Uganda. e-commerce. Nevertheless. infrastructure. Morocco. the exact impact on socio-economic transformations. the fact still remains that there is an urgent need for developing indicators that monitor the role of ICTs in each and every sector applicable. Progress and Impact Evaluation The jury is still out on the impact of ICTs on the development process in Africa. both qualitatively and quantitatively.

position and needs and to guarantee efficient collaboration with the international agenda. and • to suggest ways and means of resource mobilisation for the implementation of AISI. building synergies and creating strong alliances to address it more efficiently is crucial. including the Diaspora. in October 1997. It is in this context that partnership and consultation mechanisms have been put in place. Therefore. The Regional Level The African Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC)25 to the African Infor- mation Society Initiative (AISI) was established by a mandate from the ECA Conference of Ministers Resolution 812 (XXXI)26. At the global level. It is a regional advisory committee composed of African experts representing different areas of activities. they are expected to ensure that Africa’s digital agenda is locally led and owned. Its major functions are: • to assess the impact of the implementation of the African Information Society Initiative. they are meant to convey Africa’s views. and was formally launched during its first meeting in Addis Ababa. The Partnership for Information and Communications Technologies in Africa (PICTA)27 is an informal group of donors and executing agencies committed to improving information exchange and collaboration .136 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Partnership and Consultation Mechanisms Africa’s digital agenda is quite huge and challenging as is the continent’s development agenda that ICTs are intended to serve. ATAC has been instrumental in providing inputs on AISI orientations and achievements. At the regional level. • to advise the ECA secretariat on the content of its work programme for the implementation of the African Information Society Initiative. Since 1997.

it is mainly intended to link existing African activities and initiatives with the newly established UN ICT Task Force. Morocco. in Rabat. . development and implementation of national ICT strategies (NICIs).Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 137 around ICT activities in Africa. held in April 1997. websites and country profiles. The major current joint programmes of PICTA members include the SCAN-ICT project.28 It was formed by representatives of 17 UN and other development agencies involved in information and communications technologies (ICT) development in Africa. who attended the donor and executing agency meeting on IT for development in Africa. The main mandate of the ASN is to: • develop a network relevant to Africa’s needs and in line with the mandate of the Task Force and its Working Groups. Furthermore. • share information on major African activities and initiatives through mailing lists. • share information and encourage membership. donors. development agencies. From Africa’s point of view. • sensitise and mobilise major actors to ensure African ownership and support from partners. entitled “iConnect Africa”. The consultative meeting brought together over 60 representatives from governments. The African Stakeholders Network of the UN ICT—Task Force (ASN)29 was set up at the end of a two-day meeting in Addis Ababa (21–22 January 2002). the publication of a quarterly bulletin. and to set up common information resources on the Internet for ICT related development activities in Africa. PICTA members jointly organise a number of conferences and meetings related to the promotion of ICTs for African development. when relevant. They agreed to make PICTA a forum for donor/executing agencies collaborating within the framework of “Africa’s Information Society Initiative” (AISI). civil society and nongovernmental organisations. and organise special events. and a monthly “PICTA Bulletin”. private sector. and organised by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) with support from the UN ICT Task Force secretariat.

30 ICTs were one of the major components of the Compact for African Recovery. At present there are 45 members. represented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC). the chair for the committee is the Government of Switzerland. The Partnership was born as a result of the preparatory process of the 1997 Global Knowledge Conference in Canada. the New African Initiative and NEPAD. which became the New African Initiative. The Compact codified a growing consensus within Africa of what had to be done to accelerate the continent’s development. private and not-forprofit organisations from both developed and developing countries. . held in Algiers. which was developed upon the request of the African Ministers of Finance and presented to them during the ECA Conference of Ministers. including in the area of ICTs. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development. In this context. and later the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). hosted by the World Bank and the Government of Canada. and • attract funds and investments in the ICT sector in Africa. The International Level The Global Knowledge Partnership32 (GKP) is a “network of networks” with a diverse membership base comprising public. As the development of the Compact has been carried out at the same time as the Millennium Partnership for African Recovery Programme (MAP) and the OMEGA Plan. the initiators of MAP and OMEGA asked the ECA to contribute substantively to the development of a unified document. in May 2001. including ICTs. ECA prepared several sectoral contributions. OMEGA. AISI is now considered the starting point for the regional dimension framework of the ICT component of the infrastructure part of NEPAD31. For 2001–2003. for MAP.138 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • assist in linking the network with African and international initiatives. The secretariat is hosted by the Government of Malaysia and represented by the National Information Technology Council (NITC). based on the African Information Society Initiative framework.

reduce poverty and empower people. experiences and resources to realise the potential of information and communications technologies to improve lives. the GKP Annual Meeting held an African Day at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa. Africa’s participation in the ICANN activities is still limited despite efforts of international partners to support participation of Africans in the various ICANN meetings. including the Accra meeting. a number of parallel ICANN constituency events as well as the General Assembly and the ICANN Board Meeting took place. . Bilateral and Multilateral Partnership Mechanisms A wide range of bilateral and multilateral partners is supporting the implementation of the African Information Society Initiative. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a technical coordination body for the Internet. Following the Accra meeting. In addition. global and regional networks. Ethiopia. African Day recommendations were presented in Bamako 2002. which would be part of the ASN. which is specifically coordinating Internet domain names. including GTZ and SDC. as well as partnership mechanisms in Africa. GKP members also share information. Selected projects and partners are described on the following page. Members of the network and other invited experts discussed issues related to the major ICT for development initiatives in Africa. the GKP Strategy 2005. which took place from 10 to14 March. IP address numbers. 2002. ICANN coordinates the stable operation of the Internet’s root server system. Discussions are being held with other partners. discussions are underway between ECA and ICANN to put in place an African outreach programme.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 139 The GKP aims to promote broad access to (and effective use of) knowledge and information as tools of equitable sustainable development. In this regard. At this occasion. Ghana was selected to host the first ICANN stakeholders meeting for the year 2002. In April 2002. Protocol parameter and port numbers.

Production and dissemination of iConnect Africa. and e-policy resource centre Scan-ICT baseline Studies in Ghana. plans and strategies in Central Africa Republic. Ghana. Senegal and Uganda European Union European Commission Scan-ICT baseline studies in Ethiopia and Mozambique Regional study on the state of telecommunication regulatory policies Development of NICI policies. a quarterly web paper and email service Contribution to the AISI Media Award Programme Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Equipment for standing and mobile exhibition of ITCA Participation of women from Anglophone countries in the CISCO Internet and Networking course Korea Norway United States of America Ministry of Foreign Affairs NORAD USAID Establishment and strengthening of the Information Technology Centre for Africa Scan-ICT baseline studies in Ethiopia and Mozambique Development of manual for training of policy makers on the challenges and use of ICTs for Africa’s development Capacity building programmes World Bank Africa Bureau InfoDev CISCO Production of AISI Radio Series Training of African women on Internet and Networking Supporting Information Technology Centre for Africa (ITCA)’s training programmes Training on ICT and Regional Integration Support to AISI outreach programme France Netherlands Ministry of Development and Co-operation IICD La Francophonie Open Society Initiative .140 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Country Canada Organisation Government of Canada IDRC Area of Support Development of a centre for connectivity in Africa. Niger Finland Ministry of Foreign Affairs Strengthening ECA’s capacity for coordinating and monitoring national ICT policies and strategies Support the strengthening of ECA’s web presence. Mali. Djibouti. Morocco.

Some of these activities include: PICTA Bulletin33 is a monthly publication that provides information on activities of members in the Partnership for ICTs in Africa (PICTA). serving as a tool for media practitioners. one of the four programmes in the AISI Radio Series.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 141 The Communication Programme The issue of ICTs for Development is relatively new in Africa. was broadcast by the English Language Service of Radio Netherlands. The programme was made possible with funding from the Africa Region of the World Bank. iConnect is funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). A Good Life. the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Radio Series is aimed at creating greater awareness on the information society. as well as news on ICT-related activities in Africa. iConnect is produced by the ECA and the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD). AISI Radio Series are based on the Harnessing ICTs for Development programme of the Economic Commission for Africa. to engage various groups in debating the role of ICTs in the development process. especially radio broadcasters. Department for International Development Cooperation (DGIS) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). best practices and experiences in order to satisfy the increasing demand in this area. and was a special edition in their weekly development programme. “ICTs in Mali”. It reports on activities forming part of the AISI and Building Digital Opportunities programme “BDO”. various efforts are underway to promote ICTs for development in Africa. paper and email service that aims to raise awareness in the wider African development community regarding the possibilities offered by ICTs in development. iConnect Africa34 is a quarterly web. . It requires outreach and dissemination of information programmes and efforts to publicise achievements. In this context.

uneca.org/disd/ict. which has assisted in kick-starting the process. Safm. maps on the status of the NICI strategies. and broadcasting (regulation. such as World Radio Network (WRN) broadcast world-wide. TV) can be found at: http://www.idrc. Out of Africa is an interesting map commissioned by IDRC to measure the digital divide in Africa. AISI Briefing Papers are being produced on various issues related to pro- moting ICTs for development. best practices. Africa’s Internet situation and tele-density. The ICT Media Award Programme was launched recently by the ECA. and the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) have made contributions to the award. It aims at encouraging reporting by African journalists on ICT for development issues within the context of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI). Web and e-discussions have been developed to disseminate information. the number of ISPs (and ownership). Currently. and civil society participation in ICT programmes are being produced. and the Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). and to exchange ideas . ICTs and governance. A NICI graph has also been prepared and is available from the same site. briefing papers on the National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) plans. ICT stories from and within Africa. It defines a Bits per Capita indicator to evaluate the communication capacity and readiness of African countries. The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA). The briefing papers aim at sensitising better African policy makers about the issues that need to be addressed for achieving Africa’s digital inclusion. radio. the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). with specific feeds to National Public Radio (NPR) in North America. mobile density.142 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development The programme will also be made available through Radio Nederlands’ affiliate stations. Currently. It argues that International Internet bandwidth provides a better measure of Internet activity (URL: http://www. South Africa.ca/acacia/divide/). Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). NICI Maps and Graphs are based on data collected from different sources.

Some of the major websites include: • • • • AISI (http://www. with concerted efforts. The different social and economic status of African countries led to different approaches to information society development and diverse projects in these countries.org).org/lyris/helper/index. NICI (http://www. The websites are being used to document the status of e-readiness and national e-strategies at the country level. where various topics related to ICTs in Africa were discussed.uneca. PICTA (http://www. The main one is the AISI list (aisi-l@lyris. ICTs have the potential to meet development challenges. Its main outcome can be found at: http://www.uneca. Activities and initiatives have been mushrooming in the continent in the ICT for Development areas.org/aisi/nici). Very recently a lively discussion on e-governance/ government in Africa was held. A number of lessons have also been learnt from the work of ECA in implementing the African Information Society over the last six years.org/regional/africa/main. and ASN (http://www.bellanet.unicttaskforce.asp). Electronic discussion fora on various topics related to promoting ICTs for development have been set-up. targeting all member States but sometimes limited to a few countries.bellanet. and the proliferation of Internet and computer services businesses(including the availability of cyber cafés in African capitals) show that there is potential for ICTs as a key development sector for Africa.uneca.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 143 on the development of the sector. Increasing use of ICT in other areas of economic development also indicates that. Such diversity itself .cfm?fuseaction=Visit&listname=aisi-l Lessons Learned and the Way Forward The recent dramatic growth of the Internet and the mobile sector.org/aisi).org/aisi/picta).

programmes and initiatives include the following: Increased Awareness Almost all African governments are now ready to consider the development of ICT policies and programmes of action that assist them better to address socio-economic development challenges. The resistance to embrace ICT has changed tremendously. The governments are willing to invest in information and communications technology programmes that: (a) meet their development plans and goals.144 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development is a lesson. the involvement of the civil society in ICT for development has been uneven. Not all the countries pay . Indeed. (b) are part of their efforts to alleviate poverty. compared to its significance in the development of the information society. the role of the private sector has been too limited so far and should be considerably improved. and (c) increase the social appropriation of ICTs by the civil society and the communities. Government seems to play a key role in driving the ICT agenda in most countries. The NICI process could be more participatory Some countries set up broad national consultations for their NICI process. there is room for improvement. These and a number of other examples show that the ICT policy process could succeed only through strong political leadership as well as institutional support. Importance of the High-Level Leadership Progressive ICT policies and strategies at national levels demonstrate that political will and leadership are fundamental for translation of the policies into actions. From the other side. However. Major lessons that can be extracted from these projects. President Kagame is part and parcel of the process that aims to move Rwanda from agriculture-led to a knowledge society. President Chissano and Prime Minister Pascal Mocumbi are at the forefront of ICT policy in Mozambique.

Need for learning from experiences of others—Best practices It is important to learn from the experience of others. Experiences indicate the need for two types of actions: • broader and long-term actions in a few key areas that bring substantial changes to the society. to know “who is doing what” in ICT in Africa. such as the PICTA Bulletin and the iConnect Africa Bulletin. in particular.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 145 significant attention to the civil society participation in the process. It has been unanimously recommended to address this issue as rapidly as possible in order to illustrate the growth of the ICT sector and. and • small. the Global Knowledge Partnership. the Swiss Cooperation for International Development and the ECA decided to create a knowledge base that addresses this issue. Bellanet International developed the AI-AIMS database about the activities of the PICTA members (this database was later merged with the GK-AIMS). ideas and concepts to concrete actions. are also contributing greatly to better dissemination of information on project realisations.35 Communication materials. there is still a need for concerted efforts for information gathering and sharing. Transition from ideas and concepts to concrete action plans Progress in ICT development in the region shows that countries want to move from policy development. the private sector and civil society. Recently. However. A new partnership model that builds on the strengths of government. effective and sustainable programmes that bring catalytic impact on communities and that can also be used for demonstration purposes. is needed. There is an increasing demand for more documentation and efficient information sharing mechanisms. . Indeed. most of them are ready now. there is a serious lack of documentation on a great deal of activities and successful achievements.

The prominent areas in Africa include: • improving governance and public sector effectiveness through concerted use of ICTs by government. . through increased use of ICTs. • the creation of expertise in information management. • the development of national negotiation skills. lifelong and distance learning. and • harnessing ICTs for improving the situation of agriculture. learning and research with focus on youth. • meeting the challenges of health systems management. The challenges include: • the creation of expertise in policy analysis (such as defining and implementing national policies and participating in global decision making). healthy life. particularly at the international level. policy and regulatory framework development and enforcement of regulation by institutions. food security and environment in Africa Human and institutional capacity must be strengthened The human and institutional capacity development remains one of the chronic problems in the region. • increasing the capacities of small and medium enterprises to benefit from growing electronic businesses. health knowledge. and meeting public sector reforms. • a better coordination of ICT-related programmes at national levels in order to avoid the fragmentation that is due to competition among agencies and institutions. HIV/AIDS.146 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Need for increased attention to sectoral policies and strategies Social and economic development challenges and resource limitations have increased the need for prioritisation for ICT intervention in key sectors in Africa. • improving ICT use in all aspects of education.

• maintaining partnerships for sustainable ICT development. These include: • provision of knowledge as to what steps to take in developing inclusive national and sectoral policies. particularly in the development of infrastructure. Increasing regional cooperation and integration The regional dimension has become significant. • providing guidance and resources to overall ICT policy formulation and e-strategy development processes. • the need to leverage regional cooperation and integration by harmonising policies. • the opportunities provided by dynamism in regional economic groupings and policy organs and frameworks. such as AU. and • monitoring and evaluating progress. Prioritisation of external assistance The experience so far also shows that technical and financial assistance is needed at different levels.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 147 • the establishment of reliable and sustainable institutional capacities resilient to the changes of government and global needs. NEPAD. tariffs and resource plans. • financing the implementation of large and small catalytic programmes and projects. particularly in translation of policies to actions. • supporting countries in the mobilisation of internal and external resources. and AISI. The factors that spurred regional cooperation in ICTs include: • the increasing need for economies of scale (one country cannot do it alone). and . and • the involvement of the African Diaspora. harmonisation of regulations and mobilisation of resources.

There is. the private sector and civil society . communication and knowledge. to divert a percentage of military spending to the development of ICT and knowledge. More adequate and innovative financing mechanisms are needed To date there is limited financing mechanism for the huge task of harnessing ICT for development in Africa. with the support of ECA.148 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • the need for a common and strong African voice in global decisionmaking to influence the global rule of the game on behalf of the communities on the ground. information. a need for better financing mechanisms that take the need of different actors into account. Ad hoc projects and programmes were largely unsustainable. organised the NEPAD financing conference in Dakar (15–17 April 2002). to streamline ICTs in the national development budget. including radio frequency spectrum. The Government of Senegal (responsible for the infrastructure part of NEPAD). The problem has been addressed several times and now we need to move forward more efficiently. The conference came out with interesting recommendations in the area of ICTs. • to swap debt for education. and • to create a universal fund for ICT in Africa. to leverage on public resources. therefore. Conclusion The lessons above and on ground-level work by the ECA in the region indicate that governments. to enforce a global bit tax for ICTs. partners. Bamako 2002 studied the proposal and agreed that some of the major immediate actions that were needed were: • • • • • to increase the public-private partnership. through such initiatives as the United Nations ICT Task Force and the follow-up on the G8 Dot Force.

• increasing the relevance of institutions. regional and global levels. both within the regions and among them. In this context. A re-energised partnership.Regional ICT Developments ✦ Soltane ✦ 149 organisations. national. and to promote sub-regional and regional integration and increase Africa’s participation in global ICT decision-making processes. policy makers and those implementing ICT projects and programmes at community. at the global level. there is need for ongoing efficient and light consultation frameworks that bring all African ICT experts. partners and stakeholders together. should focus on selected areas in order to maximise the impact of ICT for social transformation. include: • developing ICT strategies that are in line with the UN Millennium Development of the countries. • supporting the dynamic transition from strategies to actual implementation of programmes for sustainable development. and • promoting sustainable financing mechanisms for long and shortterm programmes and projects using innovative strategies. The key steps to ensure that digital opportunity is created to better serve Africa’s people and generate wealth and welfare in the Continent. and information-sharing platforms—such as that of PICTA. . the UN ICT Task Force and its regional networks could provide an efficient platform for an improved dialogue. Finally. policies and regulatory frameworks. a better articulation of the challenges of ICT for development and an effective implementation of sustainable programmes. • building a network of actors. the African Stakeholders Network of the UN ICT Task Force. and GKP—are vital for building knowledge society strategies that enable Africa to harness ICT for social and economic development.

org 31. UNRISD. two representatives of the private sector and a ECA as a General Rapporteur.uneca.htm 35.uemoa.cfm?fuseaction=Visit&listname=aisi-l 24. IDRC. http://www.org 33.globalknowledge. http://www. http://www. UNCTAD. .uneca.org/adf99/adf99education&youth.htm 34. http://www.nepad. http://www.int/ 9. IICD.uneca.mz/ 7.schoolnetafrica. 29.org/codi/ 25.htm 5.org/aisi/ 3.int/ 8. http://www.org/aisi/atac. The decision was made during the “Conference on the participation of the private sector to the financing of the NEPAD”. UNESCO.org/itca/healthport/ 23.uneca. http://www.org/aisi/docs/Bamako2002DeclarationEN. http://www.org/bamako2002/ 14. http://www. Resolution 812 (XXXI) “Implementation of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) 27. Institutions. in January 2002.int/wsis/ 18. 17. and WTO. http://www. UNDP. http://www.bellanet. http://www. are active members of this open network of partners. August 2002. This was also a recommendation of the African Stakeholders Network.org/itca 22.uneca.uneca. South Africa and Rwanda. http://www.uneca.org/SITES/BAM2000 15.uneca. ITU. Senegal 15–17 April 2002. ECA Policy Research Report. http://www. Resolution 812 (XXXI) “Implementation of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI). http://www. http://www. 4. Harnessing Technologies for Sustainable Development. having strong interests in improving the use of ICTs as tools to enhance economic and social development. FAO.geneva2003.org/aknf/ 20. Cameroon.uneca.doc 16.uneca.org/disd/nici_graph. http://www.uneca.htm 26. World Bank.itu.org/aisi/picta/PICTAbulletin/index.org/adfiii/ 11.org/itca/ariportal 12.htm 19. 2. three representatives of civil society. http://www.uneca. WHO.unicttaskforce.asp 30.ecowas. Tunisia. such as the British Council.uneca.org/lyris/helper/index. http://www. http://www.gov. www. 32. http://www. USAID.org/aisi/IConnectAfrica/index. http://www.anais. http://www.org/adf99/ 13.uneca.htm#3 6.uneca.org/aisi/activities. WIPO.sadc.infopol.uneca. Dakar. The bureau is composed of five government officials representing Senegal.int/ 10. http://www. UNICEF.org/regional/africa/main.org/aisi/picta/ 28. http://www.150 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development N OT E S 1.net/ 21. http://www. http://www.

distribution or consumption. The first consists of the benefits of enhancement of the infrastructure and applications to users of information and communication services. who can be distinguished according to whether they use these services as an everyday tool for production. and for 151 .CHAPTER 9 Emmanuel OleKambainei and Mavis Ampah Sintim-Misa Info-communication for Development in Africa The African Connection Initiative1 Africa needs to ‘cheetah-pole-vault’ not ‘leap-frog’ —OLEKAMBAINEI ICT in Africa—The Setting and the Challenge The Setting The development impact of ICT has two distinctive aspects.

which improve overall efficiency and growth. and corporate enterprises. in turn. improves interaction. enhance empowerment. sectors and countries. Furthermore. Economic benefits also arise from changes in the supply of communications network infrastructure and applications. services and applications. which contributes to . Improvements in info-communications. lower the cost of information and knowledge exchange. including governmental services. unity. the ability to transmit data. graphics. and from domestic into international markets. Access (or the lack of it) to cheap and sufficient information is an important determinant of the competitive advantage of firms. more than in the infrastructure and applications per se. These. picture.152 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development their day-to-day activities. and more. equipment. democracy. and the cost of business start-ups and of delivering social economic services. mutual trust. assisting producers to move from local into regional or national markets. peace and stability. Evidence suggests that countries that have invested in info-communication infrastructure and applications have attracted high levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as increased and efficient private and public domestic investments into other sectors. The value of the infrastructure is in the linkage effects to other sectors.2 and ICT in particular. which opens up new opportunities and enables more thorough evaluation of the risks and returns associated with these opportunities. The second consists of the benefits derived by the economy from changes in the production. supply and operation of communications infrastructure. the additional information that becomes accessible will contribute to the spatial expansion of markets. facilities. Through these processes. Complementing this. the cost of dealing with others in the market (such as suppliers and customers). transaction costs in society drop. confidence and participation. NGOs and other civil society institutions. the efficient and easy access by citizens to up-to-date information on their local and central governments. In many instances. on communications networks contributes to increases in the quantity and quality of information available to service and productive enterprises.

and contributes to overall growth. taken a different path from most of the world. countries. empower people and alleviate poverty through expansion in private and public business opportunities. and public and corporate governance. The changes in information and communications technology have broken down barriers between different productive and service sectors in the economy. regions. such as web marketing agencies. and for the most part. and opened up competition and collaboration within and between the sectors. trade and market access.Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 153 the emergence and growth of specialist firms. or new branches of existing firms. Converging and emerging technologies as well as new services and applications have allowed countries to accelerate economic growth. . to extend services to socially disadvantaged groups. who provide essential pieces of machinery for information production and distribution. and to enhance the participation of citizens in their communities. This enhances efficiency in these sectors. there are firms who provide and/or facilitate the creation and adaptation of relevant content of the information. these will include software production firms and Internet service providers. On the other hand. Poor ICT infrastructure. Much of existing economic data point to a high correlation between ICT and economic growth. low technological penetration and unimpressive human and institutional capacity. On the one hand. particularly in the areas of production. community and governmental agencies. and so on. employment. In the past several decades this has been confirmed by the revolutionary impact of ICT on country economic performance. continent and global arena. to pervasively use and develop ICT for revenue and income generation purposes. The Challenge Africa’s experience with ICT has unfortunately. combined with weak policy and regulatory frameworks. in a range of service sectors to take advantage of new market opportunities in the production and distribution of information itself. electronic news media.

equipment and services. and a number of African countries have embarked on policy reforms that have introduced competition and improved policy and regulatory frameworks. most of the reforms have been done without much coordination at the sub-regional level. In fact. and over 20 have revised their regulatory frameworks to facilitate more effective private investment. Africa’s ICT sector remains characterised by low service penetration . between subregional African markets. Even then. The combined constraints have also played a key role in creating rifts within and between nations. Nearly over 45 have at least one cellular services provider. computers. serious problems still persist despite the reforms. or to remove the many barriers in order to accelerate development. broadcasting. even though Internet service and other advanced services are limited by scarce bandwidth. Significant progress has indeed been made in the ICT sector. approximately 40 countries have embarked on programmes to separate postal functions from telecommunications. isolating African markets from global markets and preventing individual African markets from becoming strong and vibrant. and at least 40 have achieved some level of connectivity and the presence of local full-service dialup ISPs.154 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development have led to inadequate access to affordable telephones. since 1990. These developments reflect a growing belief that Africans are realising the enormous potential of ICT as a key driver for social and economic development and poverty reduction. particularly as reforming countries are reaping benefits through improved infrastructure. This has hampered the continents’ ability to capitalise on ICT as a central tool in creating new business opportunities. However. increased applications and better accessibility and affordability of ICT infrastructure. Over 20 have privatised their state-owned national telephone companies. Internet and efficient postal services. The region as a whole does not have a consistent strategy to attract larger and higher-quality local and foreign capital and other resources for investment. 30 have liberalised their markets and opened up to private cellular services.

The situation is no better (and in some cases. still remain fragile and lack requisite funds to modernise and expand. Internet access. as well as private and public. worse) in broadcasting. Excluding South Africa. regionally. But perhaps even more challenging is for African governments to be able to go beyond national boundaries to synchronise policies. A key challenge is for Africa to be able to attract the requisite local and foreign. poor service quality and high investment costs and tariffs.Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 155 and coverage. The direct result of this is the inability of most African ICT services providers to reduce settlement rates. while they have received some attention following separation of a significant number from telecommunications operations. regulatory . Postal services. computer and IT usage. multimedia access and production and distribution of print material. high Internet costs and other ICT tariffs. Over fifty percent of ICT services are in urban areas where less than thirty percent of the population lives. which constitutes over fifty percent of the African ICT market. investment to develop low-cost information and communication infrastructure and applications for efficient delivery of high value-adding products in effective applications on a reliable and sustainable basis. pegging African tele-density still at less than one line per 100 people a decade after extensive reforms. Most calls and Internet traffic exchanged between African countries are still routed through Europe and cost Africa some $400 million a year in transit fees. the connectivity gap between Africa and the rest of the world is very exacerbated. which has a far higher level of penetration in Africa. Policies on public ICT services access in particular need to be given priority in the face of all the above barriers and challenges. is still inadequate and stands at 20 per 100 people. Africa needs to be able to define and consistently monitor its own performance indicators to reflect effective universal service and access priorities. continentally and globally. with transparent criteria on rules of engagement within clear rationalised institutional arrangements and relationships at all levels. Alliances and partnerships with and between the local and foreign private sector would need to be forged and sustained nationally. Traditional radio broadcast.

African ICT may develop the kick. complementarities. the African Union and its comprehensive program. at the continental level are the various initiatives under the African Telecommunications Union (ATU). as stated above. programmes and activities in order to derive synergies and economies of scale and scope from increased investments that often come with larger markets. Vertical and horizontal (geographically) and inter-initiatives cooperation. mutual re-enforcement.156 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development frameworks. Furthermore. Agriculture. Health. and many others). which have all stressed the critical role of ICT in achieving their objectives. the 1998 Ministerial initiative. To mention a few. Global Information Society. In this effort. the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD). coordination and collaboration (the three Cs) at all levels (horizontally and vertically) and between all the various initiatives in order to achieve the requisite synergies. ICT for Education. there have been local African initiatives. the AISI under UNECA. there is a need to ensure effective and facilitative cooperation. coordination and collaboration are crucial for success in achieving the shared vision and intended objectives. These are in addition to (and needing to be coordinated and integrated relevantly with) the many global initiatives in ICT (Bridging the Digital Divide. UN ICT for Development. . momentum and acceleration to ‘cheetah-polevault’ not ‘leap-frog’ to catch-up and keep up with the rest of the world. Meeting the Challenge at Regional and Continental Levels While. known as African Connection and. more recently. This way. reduction of wasteful duplication and the efficiencies of scale and scope. the same is clearly apparent at both the regional and continental levels. there is recognition and acceptance at national levels of the inevitable crucial role of ICT as a tool and catalyst for social and economic development and empowerment. formerly PATU.

regulations and standards anchored on effective national reform programs. transfer and use. been positively impacted upon by the changing realities of both the ICT and global environments. . The 1999 Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the Pan African Telecommunications Union (PATU. • Promotion of harmonised regional policies. • Facilitating technology development. and now encompasses the whole of ICT development and applications as a tool and catalyst. particularly in LDCs and rural and disadvantaged communities. called “The African Connection”. which was endorsed in the same year by the Summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) as a continental initiative for action. regional and continental information infrastructure and applications in the social and productive sectors.Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 157 The African Connection Initiative In 1998. has with time. strategies and content of the initiative. African Ministers responsible for communications developed an initiative. • Fostering effective regional capacity-building strategies. cross-cutting sector and business in itself. The Mission and Objectives of the African Connection The African Connection Program is an African-driven effort to make Africa a full member of the global information and knowledge society through accelerated development of country. and effective content development. The objectives of the African Connection include. The vision. • Developing pilot ICT applications in productive social services for cross-border mainstreaming. among others: • Support for accelerated country ICT reform programs and initiatives. now ATU) adopted the initiative. which was launched at the ITU Africa TELECOM in the same year in South Africa.

in conformance with the larger NEPAD objectives. is to go beyond African national policies to African continental policies and programs. These include: Policy and Regulation: The African Connection has completed the First Phase of the Regulatory Study with the financial assistance of the European Union. The study identified key issues involved in the reform of Telecommunications policies and regulations in Africa. a GMPCS licensing template (toolkit) posted on the website. coordination and collaboration. and • Promote partnerships and synergy through building a culture of cooperation. It is also an important component of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Universal and Rural Access: The African Connection has developed. The African Connection program strategy. • Facilitating regional consensus building and donor and investor coordination for effective resource utilisation. An Overview of Activities In its short history.158 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • Facilitating innovative financing and public-private partnerships to accelerate ICT infrastructure and services development. ICT Policy Strategy Papers: The African Connection has developed sev- eral ICT Policy Strategy Papers and posted them on its website. The study’s report and similar reports are on the African Connection website. with partners. The African Connection Program is a critical component of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) restructuring program and is endorsed by African Ministers of Information and Communication. which has a clear objective to capitalise on the crosscutting and catalytic attributes of ICT to accelerate the continent’s economic development and growth. the African Connection has undertaken a good number of important activities. and held follow-up workshops jointly with Schoolnet Africa and Worldlink (of the World Bank) that expanded the technology to cover all .

TRASA and academia on the development of training modules for effective ICT development. as requested by the respective regions. and SADC). the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and the WEF/SADC e-Readiness Task Force at global and regional levels. such as the G8 DotForce. development and resourcing of key ICT initiatives in Africa. it is also currently carrying out a study on ‘Rural ICT Status and Market opportunities’ in ten countries selected from the five regions that will also come up with a pilot project and a draft rural ICT toolkit for Africa. especially on policy and regulatory harmonisation. ECOWAS. the UN ICT Task Force. and with the Markle Foundation on strategies to build capacity for effective involvement of African professionals in key international discussions on ICT. Consensus-building and Regional Cooperation: It is working on various programs with four African regions (COMESA. the establishment of regulatory associations and others. the African Connection is exploring ways of working with the e-Africa Commission.Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 159 wireless connectivity for education and development. Funding and Partnerships for ICT Development: It is working with various partners to develop possible cross-border public/private partnerships for . Furthermore. ATU and other partners to develop strategies for continental institutional rationalisation and institutional arrangements and relationships that will provide the clarity of engagement to guide the sustainable and accelerated planning. Human Resource and Capacity-building The African Connection is col- laborating with USAID. and incorporate low-cost delivery devices and facilities. Strategic Studies: These occasional studies include a SADC e-Readiness strategic document now being presented to the authorities. EAC. Regional and International Deliberations and Consensus-building: It pro- vides professional inputs to various global initiatives. e-Africa Commission: Under the New Partnership for Africa’s Develop- ment (NEPAD).

which brought together key content providers on the continent to discuss strategies for development. Pressing Issues There are many issues. This will be preceded by a study on “Policy and Regulatory Reforms for Market expansion in Africa”. amongst others. These include: • Ensuring follow-up and implementation of proposals and recommendations arising from the work of the last two years. Networking and collaboration among the content development sector as well as requests for specific assistance are among the resultant follow-up activities from the workshop. and those coming out of conflict situations. which the African Connection considers to be of a pressing nature with regard to the fulfillment of its terms of reference.160 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development programs and projects on the basis of “Countries of Mutual Interest (COMI)” to take advantage of the economy of scale of larger markets. • Seeing to it that existing and follow-up activities continue with the continuity. There are ongoing efforts to synchronise this website with MIGA’s Investment Promotion Network and Privatisation website. ICT Applications and Content Development: The African Connection website3 has been re-designed to allow more primary information and to facilitate user friendliness. depending on available financial and human resources. especially to LDCs and countries in special need. It organised a Content Development Workshop at the end of 2001. Direct Country Assistance: The African Connection provides advice and support to policy and regulatory authorities directly on request. • Participating in institutional rationalisation and defining effective and sustainable institutional arrangements and relationships for the achievement of the ICT objectives under AU and NEPAD. momentum and buy-in required to ensure achievement of the desired deliverables. and . and which require dedicated attention. and the use and funding of African content. promotion.

and it would require a comprehensive.Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 161 • Finally. here. which add value to policies. ICT applications and content. We would like to share. Sector Strategy The challenge for Africa is obviously a daunting one. ii. A short-term objective of achieving the traditional tele-density measure of 2 by the year 2005 with a reasonable level of universal access would require investments in excess of US$8 billion in the core information infrastructure. getting a sustainable ‘home’ for the African Connection Initiative when the present Secretariat closes at the end of September 2003. we have developed some perspectives on many regional. policy. particularly in rural areas. one such view on ICT for development in Africa. continental and global issues. iii. and of the utmost importance. effective public/private sector partnerships that can capitalise on conducive environments to promote higher levels of investment and private sector participation in infrastructure development. integrated and well-coordinated strategy. The Perspective on Info-Communication of the African Connection for Africa Development Over the last two years of the existence of the African Connection Secretariat. legal and regulatory strategies to promote higher rates of return on infrastructure and applications investments. and . which is founded on: i. otherwise known as African Connection Centre for Strategic Planning (ACCSP). Achieving this target is critical to the success of any attempt to improve African connectivity within and between African countries. according to World Bank estimates.

The most crucial action by Governments is setting up independent. together they could provide . Two key factors dictate the need for new ways of managing the sector. and regulatory frameworks that are transparent.162 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development iv. structure and consolidation of the information and communications sector. new technologies and services. business activities and investment. While many African markets are not individually attractive for high-level capital-intensive development. certain and ensure fair competition and open markets. There is also a need to give priority to the synchronisation and coordination of both local and external initiatives and programs at local. and the reduced role and capacity of governments to manage the sector. a formidable human resource and institutional support base that can foster the sustained development. long-term infrastructure development will not be possible or optimal without policies that are conducive to efficiency. Policy and Regulatory Frameworks Sustainable. credible and accountable regulatory agencies (authorities) to ensure the creation and enforcement of conducive. well-resourced. diffusion and use of ICT in Africa. scale and scope in Africa’s development objectives. autonomous and facilitative. regional and continental levels. and perhaps more tasking. to facilitate entry of new technologies and services and to keep abreast of the demands of the rapidly changing ICT sector. national. and converging technologies. consistent and transparent regulatory environment and frameworks. The second. increased competition. so as to achieve synergy. This is particularly so in view of the changes in ownership. is the convergence of trade and telecommunications policies under WTO agreements. convergence of technologies and markets. Regulators need to be well established and equipped to deal with potential abuses by incumbent operators in the new competitive environments. First is the inordinate task of managing the increased regulatory processes associated with sector liberalisation.

and scale and scope economies to attract local and foreign investors. Tactically. . Approximately fifty percent of African countries have had some assessment done of their readiness to integrate information technology and e-commerce. and could be used as the first phase of a more general harmonisation program. It may include sub-projects around using ICT tools for SMME development. e-Government service delivery. integrating ICT as a tool and crosscutting sector into development and development agendas can go a long way in efforts geared towards sustainable development. What is required is harmonised policy and regulatory frameworks from interconnection and spectrum planning to licensing and e-commerce strategies. Consistent and proactive e-Readiness assessments should be carried out for all countries in order to articulate current gaps. and the creation of jobs and wealth. resolve constraints and effectively package and market opportunities. This is even more so as revenues from the telecommunications sector still constitute a significant component of most of the countries’ gross national product. e-Commerce policy has already been identified both as a gap and a priority.Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 163 the critical mass. it might be better to start with the policy and regulatory gaps that exist rather than forcing countries with different standards and procedures to change and comply. constraints and opportunities. identification and allocation of resources. These assessments would also go a long way to facilitate planning. Furthermore. An e-Commerce model policy and legislation adopted by African countries could provide a cohesive tool towards intra-African and global trade. poverty alleviation and national competitiveness. The results of such assessments should form the basis of more comprehensive ICT strategies to fill these gaps. Infrastructure Financing Most of Africa’s main telecommunications operators (public and private) do not have the requisite resources to expand their networks to competitive levels.

libraries and community centres on flat rates. Financing strategies should also include innovative and phased plans to connect all African countries through existing excess satellite and fiber optic cable capacity.164 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Emphasis should be on developing partnerships to finance new and existing national. such as South Africa. These initiatives could all be financed through effective public-private sector partnerships with significant local participation and international donor assistance. Such subsidies could also be extended to content developers to boost growth in the sector. as well as undersea cable and satellite capacity currently under construction. This is lacking. thereby increasing access and lowering costs. GMPCS and WLL). Competitive mechanisms to generate and award ‘Smart Subsidies’ to private operators willing to connect rural communities should be integral in universal service access. ‘Instant’ national coverage could be achieved through use of new technologies (such as VSAT. A number of countries. which finance rural and disadvantaged community infrastructure with revenue contributions and license fees from telecom operators. depend extensively on comprehensive and credible Market Statistics on Africa’s ICT sector. are already operating Universal Service Funds. social services delivery (especially education and health). which will provide access to all schools. hospitals. Mauritius. Further efforts should be put into upgrading the capacity (bandwidth) and extending the reach of existing networks to make them able to act as reliable backbone for present and future demands for advanced and varied ICT services. African development and investment banks should be encouraged to participate fully in these partnerships. and serious efforts should be made to rectify this constraint. Cost-effective Internet access could be developed through Internet Exchange Points (IXP) to aggregate traffic and create economies of scale. sub-regional and regional programs and projects with the objective to improve connectivity. Such best practices should be mainstreamed to the rest of the continent to ensure universal service to all Africans. and financing strategies. . Morocco and Uganda. however. The success of such partnerships will.

programs and projects in all sectors and at all levels should incorporate relevant ICT applications on the one hand and. But before content development can be made viable. Through partnerships at local. all initiatives. . ICTs are more likely to be embraced and become an integral part of the lives of Africans. the exchange of local cultures and the development of local programs have to be aggressively pursued and supported by governments. businesses and civil society. Incubators and stimulating content industry spin-offs should be promoted. ICT initiatives and programs should take into cognisance the needs of all other sectors for sustainable development. the use of local languages. To achieve this. Africa can consciously and successfully develop and exchange local content. valueadding and facilitator of such exchange and use. Content Development & Internet Access Provision of ICT infrastructure and services is mutually re-enforcing with ICT applications accompanied by local content development. regional and continental levels coupled with cross-border ICT connectivity. and training programmes developed to improve the entrepreneurial skills of content developers. on the other. becomes as crucial to national. ICT. As the 21st century is by its nature the century governed by knowledge exchange and use of information. as a cross-cutting sector. and when these reflect and are reflective of their cultures and traditions. national. When ordinary people can relate to ICTs in their languages. development and interaction as the utilities of water and energy are to all human activities. regional. especially among the youth and children. Africa must take a serious approach to developing business models for transforming content to viable e-business. Africa has a rich legacy of cultural products that could be developed and packaged for new media dissemination on the continent and outside. ICT should be used extensively to increase general and digital literacy and expertise. thus enabling them to benefit more fully from ICT applications.Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 165 ICT Applications. while using them to enhance the development of local content. Furthermore. continental and global trade. In this case.

health and productivity. for Francophone countries and . and these contribute to human resource development. libraries. the development of R&D and ICT hubs to develop software that addresses the needs of developing countries (tele-health. Without available skills to operate and maintain the physical infrastructure. Currently in Africa. such as wireless. which itself will therefore not be used to its full potential. the skills base must be understood as an important risk factor in appraising communications network infrastructure expansion and ICT applications projects. These hubs often act as magnets in attracting additional investment into relevant countries. and enhance sustainable development. in Senegal. At the same time. agriculture. Capacity and Institutional Development The availability of the appropriate skills base is an important determinant of the growth of information supply activities. With significant pockets of programming and IT skills. culture and governance would go a long way in making accelerated progress towards increasing general literacy. as well as develop and maintain software. Two major regional centres of training in telecommunications—ESMT. translation software. research institutions and health facilities should be paramount and could be achieved through active promotion of alternative infrastructure. satellite and cable networks. and more). and services to provide back-office support to international clients may still be untapped markets. the availability of specialist training in infrastructure operations and installations and competition regulation is extremely limited. users or potential users will naturally be unable to take advantage of the infrastructure. The commitment to provide faster and cheaper Internet access to schools. Extensive focus should also be placed on developing goods for the advanced markets of the North. tele-education. health.166 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Specific programs and projects utilising ICT applications in areas like education and skills development.

but you change it to “brain-export”. A number of telecommunications operators also maintain their own training schools. there is a trend towards closing these down as a downsizing and cost-cutting exercise. Africa can do this and even develop research and nascent manufacturing industries in ICT. as these entities are progressively privatised. leading to a culture of poaching among the operators and regulators within countries and cross-border. Furthermore. Africa should learn from India that rather than trying to legislate against staff poaching and brain-drain. a program is required to support an Africa-wide network of training and research and development institutions (both virtual and physical) to develop and share resources. for Anglophone countries— currently provide some training for ICT.Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 167 AFRALTI. in Kenya. you not only reduce the impact of the brain drain. The failure of existing institutions set up for this purpose needs to be examined. That way. including international and multilateral organisations. crucial that the sector reforms address this issue of basic training and developmental training so as to ensure the existence of sustainable quality facilities accessible to all in the sector to ensure continued and improved availability of the requisite professional and operational human resource. Such institutions . taking advantage of the many assets in the continent that give us advantage over the more expensive economies and congested environments of the Northern and Eastern countries. It is. Here. therefore. instead over-train and re-train. strong collaboration and partnerships are required between the public and the private sectors. but these suffer from lack of financial resources and are inadequate to meet the urgent requirements of the industry. and utilise better and motivate. To this end. There is also reluctance by the new private owners of operating entities to give basic and even further developmental training for their staff. Human Resource Development (HRD) as well as Research and Development (R&D) in Africa should of necessity be considered an investment and not an overhead cost in all sectors and by both local public and private investors as well as civil society.

Partnering with mature training institutions is one of the mechanisms that could drive such a process. Embryonic initiatives of this kind are emerging at training institutions throughout the continent and these should be formalised into clear plans of action. . as well as research and development the ability to “cheetah-pole-vault” so as to catch-up with the rest of the global community. writing and arithmetic) to a higher standard that can be referred to as “LNCI” or Literacy—reading and writing. not only computing). experiences and lessons between African policy makers and regulators. Again.168 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development should be equipped with sustainable training resources and research programmes. Finally. there is a need to promote general ICT diffusion and raise awareness and appreciation as well as e-literacy among our populations. It will give Africa’s education. I believe. This should be coupled with efforts to demystify and de-demonise ICT for people to accept it as an everyday tool and not an end to itself. Success in this would give Africa the required pool of people to develop higher skills to use efficiently and productively in the competitive and technologically fast knowledge-based economy and society of the 21st century. policy and regulatory capacity development can be a phase of an ongoing programme to develop ICT skills and applied research regionally or continentally. especially children and youth. This can be done by targeting and ensuring that basic education and literacy change from the traditional “3Rs” (reading. human resource development. Such programmes should be accredited and reciprocal to facilitate mobility with a common market framework. ICTs (inclusively. Communicacy—communicating effectively. including cross-border use of local experts and professionals. An additional approach to capacity building and institutional development is through frequent exchange of information. Numeracy—working with numbers. Key institutions in the major regions could be identified to develop co-operative programmes and to co-ordinate efforts and resource allocation within the region. can be used to improve the level of basic education and literacy of African children and youth. Innovativeness/Initiative.

continental and global levels. c. Specific initiatives in this regard should involve the following: a. an effort should be made to develop comprehensive and active websites for governments in phases until all governments are covered. Coordinate and synchronise rural connectivity initiatives and activities at national and cross-border levels. increase citizens’ participation in decision-making and facilitate good governance. Implement best practices and learn from “worst/bad” practices in national and cross-border rural connectivity programs. Accelerated Rural/Universal Connectivity Universal national and cross-border rural connectivity in ICT is a compelling obligation if Africa is to fulfil its responsibilities to all its people. To accomplish this. which will be updated on a frequent basis and serve as a reliable and current data source for stakeholders at national. . regional. cheaper and faster government services and information electronically. b. and between agencies and customers. Develop and promote use of rural connectivity tool-kits. Government-on-line (e-Government) There is also a need to promote the use of ICT to provide better.Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 169 Development of ICT Performance Indicators There is a need to develop consolidated ICT performance indicators relevant to the African environment. Establish innovative funding schemes to facilitate SMME participation. Such websites would provide facilities to enable interactive consultation among agencies. and enable the public to offer structured feedback on policy issues. and d.

which could qualify for ‘smart subsidies’. Identify sponsors for funding. related services. Develop a framework for effective development of ICT cities. b. and c. and resource base that can effectively target offshore outsourcing markets. b. Collate best practice experiences at the national and sub-regional levels.170 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development “Smart Subsidy” Initiatives There is a need to develop result-oriented funds. to be used as subsidies to kick-start targeted ICT projects that are commercially viable. Develop transparent guidelines for the management and distribution of fund. cut across borders and are particularly beneficial to rural communities. “ICT Cities” Initiatives We should develop in each African country. networking of schools and youth centres. Develop a methodology for the analysis of ICT projects. for example: a. promote local ICT hardware and software manufacturing. e-Schools and e-Health There is a need for computers for schools and youth centre modules for digital training and general ICT literacy. This could include the following specific actions: a. develop and trade-in local ICT (digital) expertise and local content. a critical mass of ICT industries. and access to cheaper and faster Internet and multi-media . Identify technical assistance and partnerships. We could. and c. which do not distort the market.

c. remote areas and the under-served poor urban areas. we should also reflect on what Africa expects from the rest of the global community as partners and fellow members of this Information Society. Improve the cultivation and use of agricultural inputs (seeds. Improve information on market prices and marketing of agricultural products. It is. Secondly. proper that we reflect first on what Africa has to do to propel herself into the Information Society and hence become active and benefiting players in globalisation. Tuberculosis. amongst others). Info-Communication (ICT). e-Agriculture We could greatly advance agricultural productivity through the extensive use of ICT and electronic media to. Improve weather and other natural forecasting information. Improve delivery of rural products to markets in rural. and d. We should also develop the capacity for extensive and intensive use of ICT in preventive and curative health in general as well as in specific programs. and Malnutrition. urban cross-border and international markets. fertilizer. Electronic linking and virtual networking of health clinics/centres. such as HIV/AIDS. for example: a. Conclusion We start the Year 2003 looking forward to the World Summit on Information Society in Geneva in 2003. as .Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 171 facilities. medicines. therefore. and Tunisia in 2005. particularly for rural productive areas. is one way to approach this. b. tools/plants. Malaria. especially to rural communities. hospitals and laboratories nationally so as to provide improved and advanced health access.

in that by transcending the barriers of the digital divide within and between communities. community. communities. The WSIS. cultural and political development as well as for improving their quality of life. countries and regions. economic. development is first internally intended and pushed. economic and cultural development as well as for all human activity. is not an end by itself. It is a business. We expect that WSIS will bring into focus how information and knowledge exchange and related digital opportunities can be harnessed to become one of the facilitative tools in addressing the numerous objectives and declarations of the many Global Summits that have taken place over the last two decades. we shall be able to empower humanity to participate fully in their own development and in positive globalisation. means each and every citizen. . country. This. At the end of the day. effective and mutually beneficial. of course. regions and continents in their struggle for social. then externally facilitated and assisted through mutually beneficial partnership with equitable sharing of responsibilities. not a philanthropy.172 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development stated earlier. all aimed at addressing the many problems that our planet and its inhabitants face. countries. private and civil society. This chapter is a humble attempt at putting these ideas and vision together. The African Connection and similar African initiatives are Africa’s ambitious and courageous attempts and commitment to address this challenge. corporate and moral will and commitment to make ICT that crucial tool in reality and for the Information Society to be inclusive. ICT is one of the critical tools for empowering individuals. It is hoped that the WSIS will be able to develop a shared vision and mutual political. region and continent takes full responsibility for the exercise while recognising and facilitating mutual partnership. we believe. This is not an attempt to raise all the issues nor answer all the questions. with partnerships from outside Africa. but one of the means or tools for social. It is intended to trigger debate that may hopefully lead to development of some coherent strategies and actions by Africa’s public. is a recognition of this fact as well.

org .Info-communication for Development in Africa ✦ OleKambainei & Sintim-Misa ✦ 173 N OT E S 1. and to the African Connection Secretariat for use in this chapter of various presentations we have made in the past and to Ms. online publishing and postal services. for her leadership. 3.africanconnection. information technologies (IT). www. radio and TV broadcasting. including the ultimate multimedia. professionalism. I would like to dedicate this chapter to the African Ministers of Communications for their African vision and African Connection initiative in 1998. Info-communication and ICT have been used in this chapter interchangeably to signify the combination of all those areas traditionally known as telecommunication. Mavis Ampah Sintim-Misa. commitment to Africa and leadership of the African Connection secretariat as its Chief Executive Officer. 2.

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and effective mastery of the facilities of information and communications technologies. This chapter presents a vision of the eAfrica Commission of NEPAD as it relates to Internetworking and Software Systems covering a period of 10 years. 175 . Internet & Software Development 10 Africa’s Digital Rights Today. The Internet and related software have become driving elements of worldwide ICT and ought to be the priority ingredient in all Information for Development visions. which are a local interconnection among providers to increase their local speed of communication and reduce somewhat what they pay for International traffic.CHAPTER Dr. Though exchange points are good. unless it acts proactively to acquire access to. we do not see this as a good measure. — N I I N A R K U Q U AY N O R A Vision for Information Freedom Africa faces a threat of extended economic oppression and strangulation in the new information-intensive global economy. Nii Narku Quaynor1 eAfrica Program Commissioner. the new buzzword in describing the state of the Internet in Africa is the number of exchange points.

6 1.1 278. In other words.3 452. population have an income equal to that of the poorest 43% of the world.4 63.1 65.1 9.3 1.3 million at the start of the 1990s to 300 million at the end (See Table 10–1).5 114. and the quality of life of its very poor people is getting worse.3 83.276.8 242.2 879.0 495.1 5.198. the quality of life has actually regressed. In Sub-Saharan Africa.9 980.304. of people living on less than $1 a day (millions) 1987 1990 1993 1996 1998 1999 Sub-Saharan Africa East Asia and the Pacific Excluding China South Asia Latin America and the Caribbean Eastern Europe and Central Asia Middle East and North Africa TOTAL Excluding China 217.3 289. • The income of the world’s richest 5% is 114 times that of the poorest 5%. How we ensure that ICT is engaged to reduce poverty and prevent technical know-how from becoming a tool of oppression and further colonisation of the people of Africa is of paramount importance to the development community.0 5.9 265.5 55.190. The same Human Development Report also reveals some startling statistics: • The world’s richest 1% of people receive as much income as the poorest 57%. 127 countries.5 1.151 936 Source: World Bank Poverty Site.8 24.S.7% in per capita incomes.4 92.1 474. The number of people living on $1 a day or less.4 915.9 273. UNDP HRD Report 2002 .9 955.3 1.7 522.5 985. the income of the richest 25 million Americans is equal to that of almost 2 billion people.0 5. • The richest 10% of the U.0 290. Table 10–1: Worldwide—No.3 23.7 1.9 431.7 300 260 46 490 77 17 7 1. which is needed to halve the share of people living on or less than $1 a day.2 18.183.0 78. have not grown at the rate of 3.176 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development According to the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report of 2002. with 34% of the world’s population.1 531.8 76.1 505.2 417.0 5.1 73.8 7.7 1.0 70. increased from 242.

0 4.9 21.0 17.2 32.0 5. Add to this.8 100.0 3. Furthermore. 2002 As things stand at present.7 100.9 5.0 7.5 19.2 Source: “Monitoring the Digital Divide”.8 18. It is therefore certain that unless Africa takes drastic steps to overcome these deficiencies.3 28.5 100. Orbicom-CIDA Project. the glaring absence of industrial capacity for the synthesis of new materials and advanced information technologies that are now becoming an activity of competitive advantage in a global economy in relation to knowledge services.6 33.0 19. Africa does comparatively little manufacturing or processing and can hardly count on reliable utility services.8 2.5 3.2 20.9 27.9 21.7 25.1 100. it is doubtful whether any competitive advances would be possible in the new global knowledge economy.4 114. it will be very difficult for her to meaningfully participate in the emerging new economy.6 32.0 10.0 4. the various infrastructure and info-structure needed for such competitiveness would not be available. water supply and telecommunications.8 31.7 24.3 100.1 4. without addressing the lapses in the functions of the industrial economy that preceded it.8 3. therefore.8 27. such as electricity.5 107.2 16.2 14. with which to undertake these processes as well as enjoy quality life.7 2.2 97.9 25.7 28. The study also said “it could literally take generations before a substantial narrowing of the Digital Divide takes place without further intervention.0 7.6 101. and using Canada as the benchmark. The solution for us.1 28.0 9. Basically.3 32.Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 177 A recent study by ORBICOM on “Monitoring the Digital Divide” in 9 sample countries.3 3.” Table 10–2: The Evolution of the Digital Divide 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Canada China Colombia Finland India Malaysia Mexico Senegal South Africa 100.9 28.6 7. and we have a serious problem. is to seek to bridge the .0 4.0 7.6 108.1 18.9 91. concludes that progress in narrowing the Digital Divide is unsatisfactory (see Table 10–2).

an eAfrica Agenda is defined that identifies the key components to be strengthened in order to be able to implement the vision. Africa can bridge the digital divide given its history of strong elements of Information Processing tools. developed in pace with the rest of the world. in recent times and given the acceleration of new electronic technologies. The core digital rights principles and an implementation framework is specified to ensure satisfactory footprints of the ensuing interventions of the eAfrica Commission. A major strategic initiative under the Global Bridge the Digital Divide (BDD) Program must focus on twin strategies: 1. the common method of describing the state of Internetworking of the African continent was simply whether there existed an . multiplication and division of up to 10 digit numbers. Thus. A set of calculating boards readily record information. The synergy of the components is relevant in creating good dynamics for development. These board instruments had supported early African societies with such calculations as addition. Internet Measures In the early 90s. BDD for economic empowerment via e-commerce. subtraction. though Information processing is not foreign to the African society. such as its calculating board instruments. This chapter first presents a proposal of a preferred measure of progress of ICT development in Africa using the Internet as a vehicle. and 2.178 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development digital divide by deliberately utilising the advantages of the Internet and software technologies. To accomplish this.2. it has not. An ICT vision for Africa is thereafter articulated showing the transformation from a learning society to a learned society. BDD for social upliftment and e-enablement. in which knowledge products with secured intellectual property are primary outputs of industry.

We have had to contend with a new measure of aggregate bandwidth in any given country as the indicator of Internet development on the African continent. and the measure quietly disappeared from the literature. the entire continent soon gained full connectivity within a decade. Due to the concerted effort of indigenous enthusiasts with some overseas assistance. email only. Today. but it soon became obvious that many developed societies did not have access in all their secondary cities. but they had no connection to the international public Internet network. This was at a time when the international connectivity bandwidths of several countries were sub-rates of the common basic unit of bandwidth of 2 MBPS. many of the countries on the continent have in excess of 2 MBPS public Internet bandwidth Figure 10–1: Interconnection to the Global Internet .Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 179 interconnection to the global Internet.3 These were often shown on maps that used colors to distinguish between no connections. There was mention of access from secondary cities as a new measure. or full Internet availability (see Figure 10–1). There were some developing countries with effective Intranets.

The United States of America has only a handful of Internet exchanges to which the entire global community connects. we wonder why the developed countries do not have many exchange points and yet they seem eager to want to mislead us in this direction. Though exchange points are good. Therefore. in-country and in the termination country. .180 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development connectivity to the Internet. In fact. Likewise. Thus this has now become a beauty contest of who is willing to pay more money to the International community. we do not see this as a good measure. During these times. which are a local interconnection among providers to increase their local speed of communication and reduce somewhat what they pay for International traffic. The proliferation of Internet exchanges needs to be based strictly on local traffic in order for costs to desired locations to be meaningful. This is thus more a measure of capital flight than of how ICT is advancing the social development of Africa. the new buzzword in describing the state of the Internet in Africa is the number of exchange points. we at the eAfrica Commission do not consider the number of users to be a good measure to characterise Internet development in Africa. which changes rapidly as users depart the service and new users enter into service. the number of users is a volatile measure. In any case. These international Internet links require that the country seeking a connection pay for both half circuits. Today. at unusually very high rates. it did not capture the numerous occasional users who often used universal access services. with calculations of penetration described in colorful charts showing how poorly Africa was performing in accepting the Internet and its promises. These claims of the number of users doubling every few months have all been demonstrated to be mere marketing spins by corporations in developed countries to enhance their exploitation of the global economic system to the disadvantage of Africa. the continent was ridiculed with acclaimed high growth rates the developing countries were supposedly enjoying. several times larger than same bandwidth purchased in the developed countries. The focus turned to the number of users.

This is better as it relates to the fundamental workings of the Internet technology. which are address registries that ensure uniqueness of the blocks allocated to providers in the region. We recognise that domain name as a measure is fuzzy and is a mixture of global names. With respect to Internet addresses.4 the status of Africa may best be understood by consideration of Figures 10–2 to 10–6. Furthermore. amounting to approximately 256 million addresses. as well as countrybased domain names. The allocation within Africa. and 4% of the addresses respectively. The allocation of the addresses is also managed regionally by regional organisations. This amounts to 2 million addresses. as shown in Figure 10–4. Although the emerging African Address Registry. The addresses on the other hand have been specified to be within regions of continental sizes. . which can be operated from anywhere. AfriNIC. We look to these two structures as a way of defining measures of Internet for the eAfrica Commission. is not fully established. the allocations are based on the demonstrable use of previous allocations and the presented network plan of organisations. 4%. Europe and Asia Pacific have since allocated 6%. This great flexibility in the domain name system reduces the efficacy of the names as a measure of Internet development in Africa. whose destinations cannot be traced easily to Africa.Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 181 Internet Domain Names and Addresses The Internet info-structure has two main parts: domain names and addresses. such as information flows. a continent yet to have a Registry. This measure lends itself to similar detailed analyses of all the other measures including per capita studies and other higherlevel functionality. About 43% of possible addresses in Ipv4 address space had been pre-allocated prior to systematic allocations through Regional Internet Registries. information from existing registries covering the Africa region provide precise data on progress in Africa. The three Registries located in North America. The eAfrica Commission will use addresses as the primary measure of growth in Internetworking in Africa. is included in the figures of the three registries.

000.000.000 35.000 20.47 2002 2.000 30.000 5.000. which had previously been allocated to non-African countries.79 0.000. the three Registries have allocated less than one percent of the addresses directly to ISPs or organisations in Africa. (pre-RIR) 43% Unallocated 37% Figure 10–3: IPv4 Allocations per RIR 1999–2002 40.000.000 0 0.182 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development In other words.92 0.000 25.69 RIPE NCC APNIC ARIN 1. Note that this percentage is significantly less than one percent when one includes the pre-allocated addresses (43% of the addresses).92 0.51 2. Figure 10–2: IANA Allocation IPv4 Address Space RIPE NCC 4% APNIC 4% Muliticast 6% ARIN 6% Other Org .57 0.29 2.47 2001 5.000.25 1999 2.50 1.000.71 1.000 10.37 .05 1.000.000 15.61 2000 4.52 0.

continues to grow and is depicted in Figure 10–5.187. Figure 10–5: ISP/LIR Growth 100 79 80 60 40 27 20 0 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 15 86 51 .750 The number and geographic distribution of organisations in Africa that have received allocations is shown in Figure 10–6. as shown. It comes as a real surprise. Nigeria. Algeria. but this measure observes their progress.250 110.840 2. The number of organisations receiving these addresses directly from the Registries. Observe that the six leading countries in Africa. according to this measure of the number of organisations receiving addresses directly are Egypt.888 1. Kenya and Ghana. because few cite Nigeria or Algeria as making progress with respect to Internet or ICT.Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 183 Figure 10–4: Region Summary Source Countries ISP/LIR Addresses CIDR Block Revenue USD APNIC ARIN RIPE NCC AfriNIC TOTAL 1 4 21 26 1 19 69 89 8.192 933.129.500 52.920 /19 ~/12 ~/12 ~/11 2. South Africa. This is contrary to what is usually expressed by earlier more subjective measures. This illustrates a growth from 15 organisations in 1998 to 86 organisations in 2002.000 164.

as an empowerment tool. The eAfrica vision is a three-step vision. to a “Wise” society (see Figure 10–7). in particular the Internet. reinforce the people to become critical players in the social and economic transformation of the continent. and through that.184 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Figure 10–6: Member Distribution 26 Countries/89 ISP/LIR 2 9 1 1 1 31 1 10 1 RIP NCC 21 /69 1 1 2 1 1 ARIN 4 / 19 1 15 APNIC 1/1 7 1 1 2 21 1 1 There is available. The registries allocate other number spaces. which is intended to transform Africa first from a “Learning” society to a “Knowledge” society and. but it suffices to work with the Ipv4 allocations in this instance. such as Ipv6 and ASN numbers. a block of 37% of un-allocated address space and a 6% space reserved for multicast applications. finally. Such a transformation needs to generate actions on both the economic and social axes in order . The ICT Vision for Africa The ICT vision for Africa is to establish ICT.

Africa exhibits similar structures. In this phase. in the second phase. A society with a culture of learning is the result. knowledge products and services are focused on as the economic output of ICT institutions in a sector. and access for learning is achieved in the societies. Subsequently. The prevalent structure of society reflects those who have a means and those who do not. except that the “haves”. Figure 10–7: eAfrica Vision 2005 Sustainable Knowledge Economy Economic 2008 Wise Society 2010 Knowledge Society Knowledge Products Learning Society ICT Institutions Social Learning & Access Culture & Innovation Quality of Life The first phase is to empower the people while ICT is positioned as a management instrument for economic development. a sustainable economy is built around knowledge products by securing the Intellectual Property that is uniquely African while ensuring that the quality of life is enhanced socially with the benefits of ICT. The vision may thereafter elaborate on other axes of interest. A knowledge society is the result. are insignificant in .Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 185 to leave an acceptable footprint. even though they are ineffective “haves”. In the third and final phase. the use of information and the culture of innovation and creations are encouraged as social values.

workers. the urban poor. nonetheless important sub-groups may be identified. • Richer lifestyles and life fulfillment through culture. The need. The indigenous population. the very few that are well-endowed economically are equally poor in information know-how. is an at-risk group who need special attention. therefore. In fact. street hawkers.186 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development number. • Good governance through consultative decision-making and partnerships. however. on the whole. • Enhanced social and economic development through carefully engineered productivity improvements. The fact is that the “economic-haves” do not have impediments beyond a value appreciation of ICT. is to define specific programs in ICT that focus on these groups. and SMEs. They are only apparently excessively endowed economically in a people-centered information society. . For those who may question the basis for this caution. to utilise ICT in poverty reduction will lead to gross inequities that will fuel global unrest and threaten peace and harmony. This necessitates making the inclusion of ICT into society an Information Right without which there will be further deprivation. senior citizens. whereas the “information poor” have insurmountable barriers to participating in the new information economy that is emanating from the barriers that poverty imposes. Africa therefore survives on the knowledge of the many “information have-nots”. identified and addressed as part of the Global BDD Agenda. the disabled. The opportunities of the application of ICT in these informationpoor countries are manifold: • Improvements in overall productivity and daily routine of society. The ICT programs that focus on these groups should be clearly defined. orphans. women. even though the entire African community is at risk. These include rural communities. The failure. youth. education and recreation.

Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 187 The eAfrica Agenda The African ICT agenda on Internetworking and software is defined as having six components in policy environments. The agenda includes: • Human capital: The people are the most important currency in a knowledge economy and must be consciously developed and accounted for. All the components interact within the policy environments to achieve the vision of creating a “wise society” in 10 years. These are a very essential part of knowledge products. The preparedness of the people and the availability of adequate access to information . especially the Internet. much of Info-structure is non-existent in Africa and must be established as part of the development dynamic. These interrelated areas complement each other in ensuring an adequate footprint in all interventions in ICT. infrastructure. regional and national policy frameworks (see Figure 10–8).6 All the components are important and the degree of emphasis would vary as the scheme is adapted from location to location for Africa’s advancement. Aside from the tangible human values essential in knowledge development. These particular components. info-structure and content with applications. institutions. institutions and info-structures make the eAfrica Commission agenda distinct from other proposed agenda. The ICT agenda is implemented in an environment of global. enterprise.5 The Components of the Agenda The components contemplated include human capital (people). among others. In this environment the role of global policy organisations is as important as that of nation states as well as that of international development partners with complementary agendas. Several facilities considered prerequisites for rapid assimilation of ICT do not exist and hence institutional development becomes an essential piece of the agenda. Likewise. they come with their own norms and values reflected in ethics and language.

tax regime. market development and stimulation of demand. Institutional capacity is relevant for sustenance of ICT development in Africa.188 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Figure 10–8: The eAfrica Agenda Global Policy Environment Human Capital Institutions Enterprise Info-structures Content & Applications Infrastructure Local Policy Environment services would lead to the desired innovations. These have suffered in . • Enterprise: The growth of ICT is led by the private sector in a policy environment with the non-profit organisations. indigenous participation rights. computer science leaders and entrepreneurs must be created for sustenance. This community needs to be strengthened with the keys to business. There is the need to build and support institutions in the public. • Institutions: ICT must be supported and fully established. • Infrastructure: We must continuously enhance the Infrastructure to transport knowledge products and services. including property rights. private and non-profit sectors. Knowledge workers. many of which have very weak ICT focus. finance. These institutions will then become repositories of knowledge and behavior as well as enforcers of key processes for society.

certificate authorities. requires preparation. the eAfrica vision is crystallised. The more transparent and inclusive the policy regimes. Examples of these include Internet names and numbers registries. the more they attract participation from the components of the dynamic. During the preparatory phase. • Info-structure: The logical structures that utilise infrastructures to make the knowledge services seamless have in the past been performed on behalf of Africa outside of the continent. which may be global. An adequate regulatory framework needs to be created. therefore. regional and local. An important part of this phase is the initiation of an Observatory function to keep track of all on-going ICT activities.Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 189 the past because there has not been sufficient coverage of the demography to be effective in reaching the majority of the community. legal framework and others. Implementing the eAfrica Agenda This approach offers flexibility in the emphasis on the policy environments as well as the components of the development dynamics. The end result is that the info-structure of the developed countries is enhanced at the expense of Africa’s own info-structure development. development of an implementation plan and an associated footprint analysis to keep the implementation goal-oriented (see Figure 10–9). . • Content and Applications: The content and applications that will enable the realisation of the desires of the people and institutions. To derive an implementation framework. • Local/Global Policy: ICT is developed within a framework of policies. Various national and regional eStrategies are harmonised for coordinated action in Africa. and clear development goals (probably related to the Millennium goals) are determined. for quality use of the infrastructure and the related info-structures. secure-key escrow. but this must be flexible to admit newer technologies knowing full well that policy lags behind technology advancement.

but they are also dependent on acquiring further services from the developed countries. We find this inadequate because. every sector strives to apply more and more ICT while ICT is developed as an identifiable sector. Given the eAfrica commitment to ensuring that every intervention leaves behind a satisfactory “footprint”. to name a few sectors. In all these cases. all the interventions will be continuously assessed along both the economic and social value axes. . This may be an unfortunate form of dependency that may be reduced with the careful utilisation of ICT. priorities and specific interventions that match available funding are initiated. In this regard. as well between Africa and the developed societies. and is a measure of how much of an economy is derived through ICT. Digital Rights Principles The digital divide has often been defined in terms of ICT gaps between one society and another more developed society. We note that there are gaps in agriculture.190 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Figure 10–9: Implementation Strategy Preparation Vision Goals eStrategies Observatory Plan Priorities Interventions Fund Raising Footprint Economic Social Subsequently. The preferred definition of the digital divide is self-relative. not only are the products and services under-developed. manufacturing. education and health. or between a community and another considered more developed. for it to be meaningful. it must be normalised and applied to all other sectors of development. in the planning phase.

institutions.Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 191 The goal will be to provide basic ICT access to all institutions including the at-risk groups in the society. art. • Utilise all resources and stakeholders—public. non-profit and traditional institutions—to mobilise attention to the deployment of ICT in African societies. music. and content/applications) would be desirable. private. among others. in the meantime the few qualified resources must be made to serve more people with use of the Internet and ICT to accelerate development. Intense interaction among the five elements and the environment would be key to achieving the goals of the Africa digital rights vision. any value that accrues as a result of African heritage is protected for the benefit of its impoverished peoples. Currently. . Accepting the interests of these varied groups will moderate the goals and expectations of the programmes. Yet successful implementation depends on local national environments and supports. info-structure. infrastructure. • Balance in national policy and global policy is essential because much of the policy and standards pertaining to the transport of information services is determined globally. culture. Despite the need to produce more well-trained human resources. enterprise. Internet and Software Development are applied to address the Millennium Development goals in poverty reduction. • Preservation of the intellectual property in language. • Establish policy and implementation coordination guidelines for the African region to make easy interconnections and cooperation in ICT deployment possible. a fair amount of genuine African Intellectual Property is in free use through a variety of schemes. • Ensure that ICT. • Synergy within the six components of the environment (which are the people. medicine. to ensure that in the anticipated global knowledge economy. while making global information available to all for competitive knowledge creation: • The scaling of the little local expertise through the utilisation of ICT in enhancing their impact on the community in all aspects of society.

These are not intended to be specific projects. • Provide Internet and Software Development Services support to all the programs of the eAfrica Commission. access. The scope includes activities in community development. • Establish an integrated platform for learning based on the Internet. followed by managers of money and finally users of money in ICT services. See Figure 10–10 for the scope of actions within component areas of the eAfrica Agenda. Implementation Framework for Action The Implementation Framework is organised along the components of the African Digital Agenda. The role of national and regional policy in stimulating the intended development of these six components is emphasised as being the “middleman” and a source of energy for growth. • Incorporate a business model approach with community participation in all pilot projects so as to ensure project sustainability and potentials for project upscaling and replicability. and open standards in order for the community to enjoy the rights to lifelong learning through formal and informal activities. Africa is able to produce professionals to the highest of levels of specialisation as needed and must resolve retention of capacity and engagement of the Diaspora. industrial development. institutional development. Similarly. connectivity. • Leverage on the other eAfrica Commission programs to enhance Internet and Software Development. donor organisations have unique contributions in shaping the actions stipulated. • Identify and implement relevant pilot projects and incubate innovation centers of Internet and Software Development. . • Incorporate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to assess the effectiveness of the proposed pilot projects.192 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • Prioritise educational and training programmes to first create the creators of money. and content and applications. The global policy as pertaining to the Internet and other software activities are very important to the success of the actions. but a framework within which specific projects may be defined to meet digital divide needs.

• Identify the key players (public. private and civil society organisations) and the leaders of the targeted community. Awareness. as follows: Plan • Identify the real needs of the targeted at-risk community. • Propose pilot projects. and others who have genuine interests to assist. Do • Describe the problem/issue in terms of seriousness and magnitude. and action plans.Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 193 Figure 10–10: Scope of Implementation Framework Community Development Capacity. expected deliverables/outcome. IPR Demand Payments Content & Applications Local Content Community Applications Global Policy Framework for Action The proposed framework for implementing the Africa BDD Agenda is based on the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action) Cycle. Certification Access Equitable Access to ICT Services Industrial Development Finance. Software. . Standards. Training. Skills Change National & Regional Policy Regional Policy Regulatory Harmonization Connectivity Affordable Connectivity Where Needed Donor Coordination Institutional Development Internet. leaders of the target community. • Formulate a thesis statement. and • Form a Programme Planning Implementation Team comprising of members from public. private and civil society organisations.

• Determine a standardised project-reporting format. Unicode (character representation standards). Action • Document all project reports. • Identify sources of funding and obtain the necessary resources required. and • Take appropriate action to overcome the weaknesses or shortcomings identified. ITU (link level standards). • Publish and publicise successful projects. and • Plan for project upscaling and replication in other areas. such as the Internet. • Determine the scope of work and terms of reference for team members. There are also donor agencies that are supporting Africa’s digital divide initiatives through mainstreaming ICT for development. • Identify weaknesses and shortcomings. Check • Set up a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to review stages of project implementation. experiences and lessons learnt. a number of these forums are relevant and include ICANN (policy & coordination). The initiatives include: . In the Internet community. Global Policy A lot of the standards activity and policy for a global network. • Form Project Implementation & Management Teams. IETASK FORCE (IP standards). W3C (web standards) and others. project managers and various project partners (content and technology). is developed globally by participation in several International forums.194 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • Identify project champions/promoters. and • Implement pilot projects using the integrated project management model.

Internet and software for Africa is to be developed. maintaining contacts with organisers. considering the inter-relationship of economic and . track and report the progress made in ICT. and • Enhancement of African participation in Internet/software Global policy Forums by assisting in reducing barriers. • Establishment of relations with various silicon valleys and cyber villages in Africa for maximum technical exchange and networking. maintaining contacts with organisers. • Establishment of relations with various silicon valleys overseas and cyber villages for maximum technical exchange.Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 195 • Identification of important forums. • An Observatory to study. This effort would also evaluate the footprint of various interventions. Some initiatives are: • Identification of important forums. Enterprise The private sector’s role in the diffusion of ICT and the Internet cannot be underestimated. • Coordination of country programs and donor programs to achieve optimum benefit for the region. Local/Regional Policy Local and Regional policy has a compelling impact on the acceleration of ICT and Internet advancement. They also form an industry body that gives input to policy makers on proposals. Many countries are continuously evolving their national policies and strategies. • Networking and Software associations are critical to keeping abreast of developments in the industry. These would be strengthened. disseminating such information to stakeholders and facilitating their participation. • Coordination of the various country programs for effective regional harmonisation and interconnections as necessary. disseminating such information to stakeholders and facilitating their participation.

Activities that stimulate. for competition in the global market. The unique role of the private sector in the creation of jobs for knowledge workers and developing infrastructure and info-structure are key to building a sustainable development dynamic. • The creation of an environment that attracts foreign investment without excluding indigenous players from genuine participation in the ICT industry is paramount. Internet. and Software into commercial concerns. the quality and values of human capital become a determinant of success. • Looking to incubators as a vehicle for initiating new enterprises that will keep Africa involved in ICT technology production activities. • Ensuring that electronic payments become an acceptable practice in the society in order to fuel e-commerce development. but is considered an alternative as wealth creation ventures mature. not only usage. • Intellectual property laws and other property laws that secure investment and protect the creations of Africa and its partners must be developed.196 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development social developments in the eAfrica vision of creating a wise society in a decade. • Positioning the uniquely African assets. Venture capital is scarce. Human Capital In the vision of creating a wise society. Some of these initiatives are: • Finance and Credit facilities for ICT would be developed either through specific ICT development banks or through funds exercised through the existing development banks. • Considering chambers of commerce and other business roundtables as instruments for injecting ICT. • The creation of competition among providers by funding the demand side of ICT to stimulate the market. . intellectual property.

The new subject areas of next generation Internet. • Change Management should be deployed to assist the communities being impacted by the changes caused by ICT and the Internet. especially in the newer technology fields. • Rural Internet solutions should be devised that can be readily deployed in rural communities at affordable prices. This bottleneck must be quickly eliminated by a buildup of critical mass of highly specialised professionals with international-level quality skills. Institutions Many of the necessary institutions that support ICT absorption have not been constructed in many African societies. • Support for academic programs in computer network architectures and software development. and computer science in general. genetic programming and artificial intelligence may be rewarding topics for initial exploration. Yet institutional memory is paramount for sustainable systems. . new materials. • Coordination of R&D centers in networks & software fields with interest in the more applied aspects of computing science and engineering. Some initiatives are: • Technical skills are on the critical path of Africa’s entry into the ICT. These computer science programs would be engaged in collaborative networks to share teaching methods. Internet and software arena. Some initiatives include: • Networking & Software associations. biotechnology. in particular. • Universal Internet Access services to bring the benefits to more of the people in Africa should be promoted. faculty and exchange programs. The few such professionals are overused and practically inaccessible. Sufficient graduate programs in computer science and networking should be established to meet the needs of the continent in the stipulated timeframe.Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 197 strengthen and organise human resources for action are desired.

for African ICANN (AfriCANN). • Collaboration with eAfrica Infrastructure programmes to establish terrestrial and International bandwidth needs of Internet services for the next decade. • Promotion of national Internet exchanges & regional inter-exchange carrier development to retain continental traffic completely terrestrial with minimum transit outside of Africa. Africa would prefer to participate in the development of these. • Bulk purchase of International bandwidth to reduce costs of Internet connectivity to the international backbone. including African ISP Associations (AfrISPA). Some of the initiatives include: . • Institutions for Software Development and Associations essential for promoting Africa’s participation in the industry. • Standards & certification programmes. Research & Space Communication Programmes. African Network Operators Group (technology transfer organisation AfNOG) and other trade associations. Infrastructure The Internet and software require a variety of infrastructures to operate. • Collaboration on software research with eAfrica Institution. and they must be developed to become competitive.198 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • Institutions for Internet in Africa and groups for ccTLD (AFTLD). Some Initiatives include: • Manufacture of hardware/software products to meet local needs. • Collaboration on software incubators with eAfrica business programmes. Info-structure There are a few information structures required to make the Internet function globally. thus creating possibilities for innovative products that may compete globally. for African Network Information Center (Address Registry AfriNIC).

The . Hence all the languages need to be registered and the corresponding alphabets properly included in Unicode. ceases. • The eAfrica Commission should request the Top Level Domain “. Content and Applications The principal contact of the majority of the community to the Internet and software is through access to content and the execution of applications. and this needs to be corrected.Africa” be delegated and operate dotAfrica TLD for its purpose. • Supporting the operation of a Root Server in Africa as part of eAfrica’s desire to participate in all aspects of the Internet operation. • Supporting the AfriNIC Address Registry. in particular. • African languages must be available on the Internet and useable in software applications. and also how to use Internet-enabled solutions to participate in e-commerce and e-tourism to Africa’s advantage.Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 199 • Developing the country code Top Level Domain name (ccTLD) Registries in Africa to serve the local Internet community completely and ensure that capital flight. how Internet telephony (VOIP) may reduce costs of access. which occurs as a result of residents using global (international) generic Top Level Domain Names (gTLDs). • Software development of African games is a natural point of entry for Africa into the industry and should be utilised to gain some intellectual property for these creations. a private non-profit organisation being established to allocate Internet numbers to the African community. The eAfrica Commission has initiatives to address these. • Internet and Software Laws are lagging behind the advancement in usage of these services. • Promoting the establishment of Uniform Domain-Name DisputeResolution Policy( UDRP) service providers for Internet domain name disputes in Africa. and they include: • Promoting new Internet applications.

• • • • ICT Priority Areas The details of ICT Priority Areas are best determined after an observatory is in place. and would be developed. the guideline is that projects that involve Africa in the development of technology and technology solutions should be of higher priority. hardware and software products peculiar to the needs of Africa. Small VSLI Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) are of interest in solving unique system problems of the region. Learning aids based on ICT for all levels of education should be developed specifically for Africa. art. music. Educational software tools present another opportunity for Africandeveloped software from the adaptation and creation of instructional material through stand-alone software or the Internet. Africa’s folklore. However. Microprocessor applications and instrumentation for SMEs is also a potential for innovation in simple system. culture and herbal medicine need to be digitalized for preservation and protection of the Intellectual property. Methods of access to the internals of commonly available software is a must and consideration would be given to the merits of proprietary and open source tools as vehicles to realising the objective of enabling active development of software on the continent. Design Centers and design entry are potential enterprises to be developed in support of ASIC applications. Africa wishes to participate in the advancement of the technologies as well as their usage. Africa also wants to preserve its natural intellectual property as it relates to the emerging . This database would become an asset in a knowledge society for economic purposes and for the improved quality of life of Africans and people of African descent.200 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development eAfrica would prepare for the introduction of Internationalised Internet Domain Names.

Internet and software technologies would reduce poverty and avert the potential of further oppression of Africa in the new information-intensive global economy. This chapter proposes a vision for information freedom and an agenda that will enable Africa narrow the digital divide while preserving its place in the . Content and Application Development • Relevant local content • Community-focused applications • Content management and knowledge sharing Conclusion There is hope that the application ICT. and content and application development. as follows: a.Africa’s Digital Rights ✦ Quaynor ✦ 201 knowledge industry and therefore should be the ones to develop such projects. namely. training & skills-development) • Institutional capacity building (arrangement/administrative machinery) • Sustainability (processes & empowerment) b. community development. In BDD. there should be a balanced development between three strategic elements. Community Development (Individuals and groups) • Human capability building (awareness. Each of the strategic elements will have to focus on priority areas. connectivity and access. Connectivity and Access • Affordable network access • Affordable ICT appliances • Rules and procedures c.

Accenture. Quaynor. Regional Internet Registries. J. August 2002.202 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development emerging knowledge-based global economy. William Tevie. The vision promises to initially create a learning society that can evolve to become a knowledge society and lead to a wise society that preserves its knowledge assets for global competitive positioning. ARIN. EAIF. 3. Henry Chassia. Nigeria. UNDP. 2. February 5. Clement Dzidonu. John. . 5. LACNIC. “Footprint Concept”. Pierre Ouedrago. “International Connectivity”. It further proposes a framework for action that ensures that good footprints are the result of all interventions within the eAfrica vision. AFRINIC. APNIC. “Oware: A Computing Instrument”. N OT E S 1. K. RIPE NCC. 2002. Nii Quaynor. 2002. (c)1991–1997. Ernest Brown and Mawuko Zormelo. CAN 1990. 6. Annan. I wish to acknowledge the contribution of Lyndall Shope-Mafole. Mouhamet Diop. N. Pierre Dandjinou. L. 4. Clement Dzidonu. “Creating a Development Dynamic”.J. Markle Foundation. Landweber. ISOC.

PhD President and CEO. S R . information. O K PA K U . access. given the already large numbers of leading-edge African ICT experts spread throughout the world. Telecom Africa Corporation 11 Building the Digital Bridge Challenges. opportunity and a level playing field. In a knowledge-based global environment. Introduction I want to thank the United Nations for the wisdom in convening these two informal panels in parallel with the Special Meeting of the General Assembly on Information and Communications Technologies for 203 .CHAPTER Joseph O. Sr. what it takes to do so is knowledge. Opportunities and Strategies1 The industrial world must allow for the slightest possibility that Africans might one day develop the scientific and technological capacity to compete effectively against the world’s most powerful conglomerates. — J O S E P H O . Africa’s potential in this regard is enormous. intellectual capacity. Okpaku.

all in the short span of only a few years from the formal birth of the expression. being easier to master. and especially with respect to the handicaps of information and communications technologies capacity. fall into this category. the urgency of the challenge we seek to master in these discussions. Problem-solving is more risky and promises less.204 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Development. Significantly. In fact. which I call “seemingly intractable problems”. the more we develop a dependence on them. particularly in Africa. My acceptance of the invitation is a triple recognition and acknowledgement of the honour it bestows. “the Digital Divide” in Okinawa during the G8 Summit meeting in the year 2000. has a lesser ability to attract what one might call “the ambitious realist”. The challenges of the Digital Divide are so intriguing. to some extent. that we must credit this lead 21st Century phenomenon with having created an enormous mass of scholarship. there is a part of us that disposes us to become so enamoured of certain kinds of problems that we depend on their continuing existence to give efficacy to our urgent pre-occupations. the more we invest in such problems. Some of us build major careers on our expertise on problems. since the former. and the organisers for the priviledge of being invited to participate in these deliberations. As happens in . in the short-term and. and implementing solutions to the challenges of the Digital Divide before we become so used to them that we unconsciously begin to resist solutions for the fear of the loss that subtly accompanies the prospects of problem-solving. because it is domiciled on slippery grounds. and the compelling importance of devising strategies for. the problems of development in the non-industrial world. Problem-Dependence For. in a complex way too detailed to go into here. offers a more reliable path to intellectual fame. perhaps unfortunately. consequently. perhaps romantic in a way. expertise. even an industry. not on their solutions.

is the pre-occupation of this Special Meeting of the General Assembly. the best mechanism for bridging the gap. a tremendous amount of money and resources has been engendered and spent in the devolution of this phenomenon. coming from the back door so to speak. in order to drive a direct and logical path from the problems of the Digital Divide to their solutions? How do we ensure the recognition of these gains and their entrenchment into the permanent fabric of the African society? This. for me. or need to do differently. Our Challenge The question is: What do we have to show for it? How much have we accomplished? And of what we have accomplished. and once the problems become opportunities. and the challenge to this panel and its sister panel of yesterday. in simple terms. how we define and articulate the vision of an ICT-empowered developing world . I believe. The Metamorphosis of Problem-Solving Solving intractable problems of the sort to which we have classified the Digital Divide requires a coherent process which. Our challenge here. what have we failed to do. which themselves then naturally attract the intellect. therefore.Building the Digital Bridge ✦ Okpaku ✦ 205 such dynamics. becomes how we engineer this metamorphosis. how much of it has or holds the potential to have a meaningful positive impact on the quality of life and competitive capacity of the people and society of Africa and the developing world on whose behalf all of this evolved? Furthermore. if our answers to these questions are less than enthusiastic. or done wrong. capacity and resources of problem-solving by virtue of self-evident benefits accruable from responding to them. This engineered metamorphosis of the challenge of the Digital Divide from a problem to an opportunity is. in turn we re-configure as opportunities. involves the creation of a path along which we convert problems into challenges which.

are the questions before us. and what would also be the nature and image of the end-result we seek. At global. What strategies do we develop for its accomplishment. The very fact of this gathering would seem to confirm this perception. regional. alongside the G8 Dot Force Initiative. there already exists such a large number of initiatives that the blurring and potential for acting at cross-purposes usually attendant to such circumstances have begun to kick-in. national. These.206 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development (hopefully “newly-developed world” at that time). private sector and civil society levels. Where We Are A tremendous amount of energy and resources has been committed to the definition of the reality and scope of the handicap Africa and the rest of the developing world suffer when it comes to the equity and parity of access to the facilities and corresponding benefits of information and communications technologies. so that we can identify success when we get there. The United Nations ICT Task Force at the global pinnacle. again. are but a few. what resources do we identify and mobilise for the process. what indicators and benchmarks do we construct to guide and monitor the process. chances are that our paradigm for bridging the Digital Divide needs corrective adjustments. we still have not built the global wave of indefatigable momentum powerful and relentless enough to drive a process of transformation in and with ICT. such as the e-Africa Commission of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). the Digital Divide Task Force of the World Economic Forum and the various continental efforts. The Clarion Call A prime element calling for adjustment is the need to commence the engineered metamorphosis of transforming the problem of the Digital . in spite of all of this. If.

And armed with their resources. This clarion call to the trenches. which have been major. by-products of the relentless drumbeat of impoverishment. faith and enormous passion and genius. this right and responsibility of shaping a desired future. if possible. with the help of friends. are accomplished. no matter how limited. there comes a time in the lives of a people. That world would be one in which most of the hopes and dreams of the United Nations Millennium Programme. hopelessness and disillusionment.2 Building the Digital Bridge To symbolise this paradigm shift from problem embrace to problem solving. this courage. as I have said in the past.Building the Digital Bridge ✦ Okpaku ✦ 207 Divide into a worldwide mobilisation of our global genius to use the vast capacity of ICT to build an eminently better world. only undermines the confidence and capacity of Africans and others in the developing world to dream. Those who wish to make a difference and preserve the right and opportunity to enjoy the benefits and accolades of promising accomplishments. hope. this is the singular strategic human and social resource we need to bridge the Digital Divide. This passion. faith and joie de vivre in a global 21st Century Renaissance. must engender the enthusiasm and zeal of a Renaissance. when no matter how embattled or handicapped. they must find the courage and the will to take their destiny in their own hands. in turn. to create the future of their wildest dreams. not the misery and weary-laden boredom of indifference. strike out with courage. innovation. The train of development of ICT capacity in Africa and the rest of the developing world must be out of the station. For. alone if inevitable. disadvantage and incapacity which. must be on board. a vision which encompasses the dreams of most other initiatives. this opportunity of masterminding our tomorrow. through a global rebirth of creativity. this unique opportunity to enrich our today and to leave an indelible legacy to enrich the lives of those who succeed us. even if inadvertent. I have chosen to proffer the concept of “Building the Digital .

opportunities and strategies for building the Digital Bridge. the challenges we face in trying to build the Digital Bridge fall into many categories. The Cinderella Syndrome In talking about ICT and development in the Third World. This is what gets the juices of incurable problemsolvers flowing. just because they are small? Some problems are simply big. ideological. allowing each society to choose the gap. The Challenges Contrary to common wisdom and therefore to the assumptions which we take into the exercise. In fact. “to crawl before you can walk”. The notion is that big initiatives are ambitious or presumptuous and guaranteed to fail. The question is: On what evidentiary basis do we assume that small initiatives have an inherent capacity for success. we almost automatically focus on pilot or experimental initiatives and couch this inefficacious notion under the guise of the need to be “realistic”. it is the very enormity of big problems. most of which are neither financial nor technological. cultural. In fact. and sets the necessary psychological stimulus and environment for a relentless effort to overcome them. they are primarily philosophical. Let us look at a few of them. I know. my humble submission that one reason we have not made the progress we need to make in building the Digital Bridge is that we are totally mired . are the following: 1. as opposed to big and bold initiatives. Big problems sometimes demand big solutions. I will. Amongst the assumptions we take to be axiomatic but which are at best debatable.208 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Bridge” to replace that of “Bridging the Digital Divide” as the proper proactive vision. river or gorge over which to build it. devote the rest of this presentation to the challenges. therefore. intellectual and conceptual. because I am one of them. therefore. It is. This includes Africa’s development problems. which ignites the genius of the bold and innovative. or other reasonable facsimiles.

They merely rotate frenetically around a vortex which will ultimately swallow them up. surprise and magic. international organisations or corporations. with regard to ICT and development. have no prospect of reasonable impact without the bold efforts that must first be made. Bureaucracy and Innovation: Water and Oil We are entrenching the management and prosecution of ICT in development with bureaucracies. What Jack Can Do. SMEs are unsustainable.Building the Digital Bridge ✦ Okpaku ✦ 209 in a plethora of small initiatives which. 4. The quintessence of bureaucracy is to maintain the status quo by preventing change. whether of government. Jack Can Do Why do we presume that Africans lack the same ambition. possibilities and expectations. initiatives. they must. break out of the bondage of constrained dreams. without building core ICT industries in Africa and the developing world. 3. So. If Africa and the rest of the developing world are to enter the fraternity of the mastery of ICT for social and economic transformation. 2. There is hardly a single significant ICT . SMEs are satellite operations. to unleash their genius and passion for the transformation of their own societies and our common world at large. This is strategically and conceptually flawed because. though they give us comfort. first and foremost. especially industrial. This is an intellectual oxymoron. genius and dream for innovation that their western counterparts have and with which they have built their own societies? How realistic was Bill Gates’ dream to build Microsoft? How realistic was the dream to create the Internet? These are some of the major innovations that have created the core of ICT. which dance around core industrial enterprises. The Vortex of SMEs Correspondingly. virtually all the initiatives in place. by definition. hope and expectations in the process. focus on small and medium enterprises with an almost visceral disdain for major. gulping an enormous amount of scarce resources.

Systemic Exclusion of Genius Most importantly in this regard.210 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development innovation from the industrial world. may not need more than a mere handful of significant innovations to drive the massive transformation of their economies and societies to the desired high quality existence. which is the product of a bureaucracy. the validity of the old concept of the “mad scientist” to whom we owe most of our current development capacities. hence. So stated. at the risk of being misinterpreted. in fact. It is for this reason that at the Telecom Africa Corporation. by the very manner in which we are prosecuting our intervention in ICT for development. outside bureaucracies and sometimes outside the most logical. we have sought to undertake a Global Human Resource Survey of African Male and Female Expertise in . genius. and for that matter. we run the full gamut of bureaucratic intervention from donor to recipient. The Narrow and Dysfunctional Definition of Wealth and Poverty: The Primacy of Africa’s Global ICT Intellectual Wealth and Capacity There is a flawed asymmetry in our emphasis on material resource and. We should remember that quantum transformation is not an normal or routine process. tends to function best outside the system. the enabling capacity for innovation. most developing nations. 6. but one of the exceptional. the assumption of Africa’s merely insipient capacity for driving quantum ICT development becomes questionable. even stability. excluding the very genius that we need in order to make the critical difference. as necessary or ideal requirements for quantum development. literarily freezing out residual creative value. The problem is that we have not tried to quantify and qualify Africa’s global ICT expertise (both male and female) as a strategic tool for driving the continent’s development and transformation. Africa. It is my submission that we are. The most important ingredient for ICT for development is intellectual capacity and the knowledge that goes with it. And yet when we talk about bridging the digital divide. 5.

And should we get there by accident. That was always the American paradigm in which the sector was inaccessible to foreigners for a long time. 7. Without a fully defined destination. important to us. after all. How then do we know what we are looking for or recognise it when we find it? It is like going to the airport and asking for the next flight to anywhere. Recognising the Digital Bridge When We Cross It It is more than a bit of intellectual curiosity that we talk so much about bridging the digital divide. Tomorrow does not just happen. it has no inherent logic or validity. we will continue to search because we failed to define what we were looking for in the first place. it is created. It is this indigenous capacity which becomes the foundation. therefore. like Aenid’s Julius Caesar of old. of that nation’s competitive capacity in the global context. down the road. no matter how utopian in scope. a priori. It is. the ultimate goal of all our efforts at bridging the Digital Divide. or in the Middle-East oil countries where this is a basic partnership paradigm. this bridge we seek to throw across the river. Regulators for Whom? It has come to be presumed to be axiomatic that the role of regulators in the sector is to facilitate easy access to the markets of the developing world for large global corporations. And . to attempt to define. Such empowerment then makes local sector players attractive to global players as partners without whom they cannot access these markets.Building the Digital Bridge ✦ Okpaku ✦ 211 ICT as a key element in our strategic toolkit for building Africa’s global competitiveness in the sector. The first responsibility of any regulator is to mastermind the local development of the ICT sector using its regulatory powers and resources (such as spectrum) to empower the growth of indigenous capacity in the sector. but we never define what the bridge looks like. Besides the fact that this has no historical precedence in the developed world. We end up nowhere of any significance. it is difficult to derive or ascribe value to our journey. or is it not? 8. which is.

the brandishing of this long list of conditionalities becomes little more than a faint excuse for avoiding or postponing a commitment to assist in the development process. hold no precedence as incentives for investment or development. one can argue that economic development.3 9. Nobody ever required a particular type of Government or leader in the U. we will find that not everyone wants the same tomorrow. or. will. in the People’s Republic of China. as a condition for investing or engaging in business in these countries. Never in the history of human development have so many requirements been placed on a people in dire need of self-development. Conditionalities Which Effectively Inhibit Development It has always been my belief that when in doubt about what is good for others. . while good capacities in themselves. more pertinently. reduce the stress and anxieties which inevitably create an environment fertile for conflict and political instability. But any casual study of the long grocery list of pre-requisite conditions for investment in Africa will reveal a striking semblance to the characteristics of Utopia. This is particularly critical in our electronic age. This is not to suggest that Africa does not need to entrench good governance and accountability for its own human and social benefit and internal strength. which by definition. or Europe. Social.S.212 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development if we take the trouble to define our desired tomorrow on the basis of our most treasured dreams and expectations. The concerns that drive investment and development are not necessarily the same as those of good governance or excellent civic leadership. much of what is said to be necessary before there can be ICT (or other) development in Africa. and that which ICT development can greatly advance. On this basis. simply interpose what is good for you. political and economic development goes hand in hand. not in tandem. are unattainable. Africa’s recognition of this is important for finding the courage for selfdevelopment and competitive capacity building. On the other hand. or that their tomorrow be a sullen imitation or replica of our own checkered yesterday. Sometimes. in fact.

or whose ancestors. energy. like it or not. resource and genius. I have arrived at this notion as a result of a strenuous effort on my part to address the issue of the risk of frustration on the part of those. is the fact that those who seek to help. cannot but totally depress and incapacitate Africans. it is difficult to understand why we do not see that the constant badgering of Africans. especially by those who. even by their most ardent well-wishers. who have devoted so much time. first and foremost. trying to help achieve Africa’s development. mere bystanders and observers of the alien evolution of their own future.Building the Digital Bridge ✦ Okpaku ✦ 213 10. On the contrary. irrelevant and destitute of the right and responsibility to mastermind and shape their own destiny. it often has the effect of acting like spraying a room of hungry people with debilitating vapor in advance of bringing them food. This is not meant to be unkind at all. played a not insignificant role in creating yesterday’s nightmare! While many may require this relentless recitation as a studied prerequisite for justifying support. It is my submission that. People cannot dream about a better tomorrow if constantly confronted with an emblazoned litany of woes from a painful yesterday. in my case much of my adult life and a fair bit of my informed youth. those whose lives we seek to improve. take inappropriate ownership of the problem. Ownership of the Challenge of the Digital Divide Perhaps the most important of what I consider our strategic flaws in seeking to build the Digital Bridge. with the worst case scenario statistics of a lack of capacity and the long list of failed or unfulfilled dreams. leaving the stakeholders. and . The result is that we run the risk of carrying on so gallantly with a massive Big Band Parade of commitment to transform peoples’ lives while they themselves resign themselves to stroll or sleepwalk down the alleyways of our digital highway. From Handicapping Pessimism to Empowering Optimism From a psychological point of view. like all of us here.

a memory long-forgotten.4 Building the Digital Bridge After having raised all these problems. which said. In saying this. It is simply axiomatic. In the 1960s and early 1970s. Industrialisation The Telecom Africa Corporation. in the United States. what do I offer as solutions other than to plead that I have run out of time and would have loved to oblige? Actually. The bankruptcy of this paradigm.214 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development whatever their weaknesses might be. such as in Nigeria. what has my own company. especially with regard to ICT. that one does not learn to drive by sitting in the passenger seat. in response to my brief for this presentation. “Go Greyhound. from its inception. and in the introduction to this volume. is attested to by the fact that the Greyhound Bus Company’s African initiative. as a lead strategic African private sector institution. the only paradigm of development that has efficacy. Telecom Africa Corporation. jumps to mind. one more representative of our approach to African development than one would think. 1. created for the precise objective of helping drive Africa’s relentless search for global competitive capacity in ICT. of the importance of building industrial capacity in ICT in Africa. I have discussed this issue more extensively elsewhere. has sought to persuade Africa and the global support environment. quickly collapsed. as the key to building the . and incontrovertibly so. is that in which a stakeholder takes the driver’s seat from the word go. done or is trying to do to effect a coherent and efficacious model of an ideal strategy for global partnerships to transform Africa in and with ICT capacity? A few examples will suffice. there was a ubiquitous advertising jingle. and leave the driving to us”.

you cannot begin to design the Bridge we all want to build. Telecom Africa continues to explore partnerships for industrial projects in Africa.Building the Digital Bridge ✦ Okpaku ✦ 215 Digital Bridge. This is an area in which the ITU. not an altruistic pastime. Research and Development Science and Technology have no staying power without the backstop of a robust research and development capacity. most probably in Namibia. This is a commercially attractive and strategic opportunity. for similar efforts with respect to mobile communications equipment and handsets. 2. It is working with on prospects of manufacturing optical fibre equipment and cables in Africa. Telecom Africa continues to search for those leading companies in ICT which will have the “generosity” and courage to partner with us in setting up active research and development laboratories in Africa. Global Human Resource Survey of African Male and Female Expertise in ICT I have referred to the primacy of undertaking this study. Specifically. . the UN ICT Task Force. 3. In respect of this. This not only creates a basic indigenous science and technology capacity in situ. UNDP. but offers the only way to effect affordability through local manufacture. Without knowing what and whom you have to work with. Telecom Africa is also in discussions with China’s leading mobile telecommunications manufacturer. foundations and other institutions can be eminently and beneficially helpful. the main ingredient in ICT capacity. We need to make handsets cheaper in order for Africans to afford them. We need to customise our solutions to our specific environment. we are setting up the Telecom Africa Virtual Research Laboratory. with the promise of technical support from UNESCO. creating the large market we need from the economies of scale. and to mobilise Africa’s global intellectual resource in ICT. We need to create intellectual property.

incubated primarily in Bangalore but now spread throughout the sub-continent.org A New Partnership Model Partnerships are the critical vehicles for building our Digital Bridge. and international agencies and organisations. a project to create high-level software development capacity in Africa along the same lines as the Indian model. That model.216 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development 4. is embarking on creating the Digital Factory. in partnership with Sun Microsystems and the State of California Technology. its configuration. Telecom Africa has designed a satellite-based continental network. we must eliminate the costly practice of transmitting intra-African traffic through overseas hubs. corporations. to deliver direct access between countries for voice. The precise kind of partnership. the Telecom Africa Continental Telecommunications Network. 5. Africa should not seek partnerships just for partnerships’ sake. the Digital Factory is expected to service not only the African market. Designed as a public/private initiative. In this regard. global institutions. Details of these and other initiatives of the Telecom Africa Corporation are available from projects@telecomafrica. Internet and multi-media capacity. governments.org or www. The Digital Factory The Telecom Africa Corporation. not only in the short-term but also in the . The Telecom Africa Continental Telecommunications Network For purposes of continental integration as well as for compelling ICT capacity building. but also the global market. Trade and Commerce Agency. through outsourcing and sub-contracting from major software companies. This offers a unique opportunity for profitable partnership and investment. the benefits it accrues to Africa. has seen India become a major global player in the software development market. data.telecomafrica.

through an internal African public-private partnership. are also critical. It is precisely such an eventuality that would result in condemning Africa permanently to ICT dependence. would simply have the effect of destroying Africa’s nascent ICT private sector. “I want to empower my people. For this reason. would then enable the African private sector companies to mastermind an effective private-private partnership with their global counterparts. Without this carefully thought-out approach. . we believe that Africa’s strategy should not be so much to build a partnership between African governments and the Western private sector. and shared experiences and practices. including South-South partnerships.” he said. the words of President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal.” Internal. Regional and South-South Partnerships As important as global partnerships are to the building of our Digital Bridge. under the aegis of NEPAD’s e-Africa Commission). at the Telecom Africa Corporation. 2002. ill-formulated partnerships. This. not only tactically but also strategically. without reciprocal benefit and capacity-building. is very important. both for empowerment through strength in numbers. in June. internal and regional partnerships.Building the Digital Bridge ✦ Okpaku ✦ 217 long-term. become most significant and efficacious. in a special luncheon in his honour at the United Nations. for example. and deprive the people of the enabling opportunities of using ICT capacity to create the wealth and resources to kiss economic embattlement goodbye once and for all. in turn. but rather for African governments to empower the African private sector. “so that they can form good partnerships with the Western private sector. especially those that position the Western private sector merely to reap the commercial benefits of the market opportunities inherent in Africa’s ICT demand. In this regard. as well as for expanding the foundation for global competitive capacity-building. The empowerment that this creates. is what will ultimately build Africa’s global competitive capacity. as identified by African Governments individually or as a whole (such as.

That is our dream at the Telecom Africa Corporation. serving as mentors. replaced by a more refreshing dialogue on how to share the opportunities of the global market more equitably. which will trigger other such corporations and stimulate and sustain numerous small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as a response to creating the products. to re-create a facsimile of his or her own dream. the corporations of the CEOs will have a lot to gain not only through the vicarious invigoration which comes from new ideas and enthusiasm. and. who know what it is to want to make a major impact. Some of the most important help the Telecom Africa Corporation has received from global corporations like Nortel. if one hundred. most important. but through working . has been the recognition of the enormity of our the Telecom Africa Vision. with one to two hundred major corporations in Africa with global competitive capacity. the Aerospace Corporation amongst others. quick reference points. then. even if only in our conceptual phase. once themselves incurable dreamers. This is what Africa badly needs. CEOs adopt an equal number of African entrepreneurs and chaperon them through the labyrinth of entrepreneurial and corporate development. In a less than ten-year period. or even fifty. we would have twenty five to fifty core ICT industrial institutions in Africa allowing for fifty percent success.218 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development The World Economic Forum CEO Charter The recently launched World Economic Forum CEO Charter has the unique advantage that it is driven by CEOs. Siemens. services and capacities to service their demand. IBM. and grooms him or her over several years. It is these major African corporations. In the process of such mentoring. and the confirmation of the possibility of its realisation. the notion of assisting African development would become history. My prescription for the success of the CEO Charter is to create a Mentorship Programme whereby each CEO adopts an African entrepreneur. and who believe in taking on big problems with passion. Essentially. points of last reference before succumbing to the not infrequent pressure to throw in the towel just when things might just be about to turn the corner.

even social environment with the benefits of ICT capacity. what we commonly call utilities. which . creative. one which can compete with our human culture with devastating consequences.Building the Digital Bridge ✦ Okpaku ✦ 219 partnerships with companies with lower overheads with which they could more profitably compete for global opportunities. Our Ultimate Goal If our ultimate goal is for Africa and the rest of the Developing World to develop their capacity to become globally competitive. and a respectable and eminent partnership for development in what I call: “Building the Digital Bridge across the Information and Communications Divide”. while preserving the primacy of our culture from the potential threat inherent in any inadvertent mistake of allowing ICT itself become a culture. The Shape of My Dream Digital Bridge I had maintained at the outset that we must define our dreamland so that we can recognise it when we get there. joining the backdrop that is the proper home for enabling facilities. We would have infused our educational. This is the formula for both a win-win situation. administrative. strategic. There are many such visionary initiatives by Africans and other developing world people. which offer tremendous opportunities for partnerships and investment. What then will the Digital Bridge look like? We would have achieved our dream of building the Digital Bridge when we have a situation in Africa and the Developing World in which the empowering capacity created by ICT would be so common place that ICT itself would disappear from our everyday consciousness. Telecom Africa has set out on this mentorship path as well.

220 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development means getting a fair share of what is currently controlled by the industrial world, logic suggests that at some point we must break away from the tutelage of the industrial world in order to build the smart capabilities to compete with it. At some point, when we believe we are ready to sink or swim, we will be compelled to kiss our helpers goodbye with affection, and say, “thanks, love you, see you on the global field of competition”. It is the logic of history, and a major tenet of African cultural tradition, that if we do our job of teaching and training well, that is, of mentoring, those who come after us must transcend us. If they do not, then we have not done our job; we have not taught them well. The industrial world must therefore allow, at least psychologically, for the slightest possibility that Africans might one day develop the scientific and technological capacity to compete effectively against the world’s most powerful conglomerates. In a knowledge-based global environment, what it takes to do so is knowledge, information, intellectual capacity, access, opportunity and a level playing field, not legacy capabilities, entrenched economic and media dominance, political power and military might. Africa’s potential in this regard is enormous, given the already large numbers of leading-edge African ICT experts spread throughout the world. The Essential Principles of Globalisation In the event of such a desirable eventuality, in this future dispensation, we must modify the rules of global trade to include what at the Telecom Africa Corporation, we have chosen to call “The Essential Principles of Globalisation”. Simply put, it is my fundamental belief that: Trade amongst nations must be: 1. Fair and Equitable; 2. Involve mutual access to each other’s market; and 3. Enhance global competitive capacity, in the absence of which, it must

Building the Digital Bridge ✦ Okpaku ✦ 221

4. Promote the development of such global competitive capacity through dedicated Affirmative Action programmes built into trade agreements.

Conclusion Finally, from all I have said, one might ask: Have we accomplished anything at all in all our collective efforts at promoting ICT development in Africa and the rest of the Developing World? Eminently so. We are today, quite a long way from where we were when we started to talk about the need to bridge the Digital Divide. We can take heart in the knowledge that we have done much, even though we have a long way to go. We must now change tune and shift our gears to the proactive mode of Building the Digital Bridge together. For those who might have wondered if I would conclude that we have been wasting our time, how could I say so when I have been an integral part of this global effort? I thank you for your intellectual indulgence.

N OT E S

1. On June 17–18, 2002, the United Nations held a Special Meeting on Information and Communications Technologies for Development as part of the 101st Plenary of the 56th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which also included two concurrent Informal Panels. This chapter was an Address to Informal Panel 2: The Role of the United Nations in Supporting Efforts to Promote Digital Opportunity, on June 17, 2002. 2. There are lyrics from the Negro Spirituals of the African-American heritage, which capture this compelling clarion call. 3. See Joseph O. Okpaku, Sr., E-Culture, Human Culture and In-between: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century Digital World, ITU Conference on Creating New Leaders for e-Culture, Coventry, UK, August 20–24, 2001. 4. See Joseph O. Okpaku, Sr., Ownership of Problems, Intellectual Property and the Digital Divide—The Enabling Challenge of Solutions, WIPO Second International Conference on Electronic Commerce and Intellectual Property, Geneva, September 19–21, 2001.

CHAPTER

12

Dr. Akhtar Badshah and Justin Thumler1

Digital Bridge to Africa— The Digital Diaspora Network for Africa (DDN-A)
Skyrocketing demand for information and communications technology personnel makes top scientists and technologists globally mobile. When they come from developing countries, their global dispersal creates Diaspora that can become valuable networks of finance, business contacts and skill transfer for their home country. — U N D P H U M A N D E V E L O P M E N T R E P O R T 2 0 01

The Digital Diaspora Network for Africa (DDN-A) is an initiative designed to tap the value of Diaspora communities in service to Africa. DDN-A also addresses the bigger challenge implied: The best and the brightest from developing countries are being drawn away by greater opportunities, perpetuating a systemic imbalance in favour of the prosperous to the detriment of their indigenous societies and communities. 223

224 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development The trend is not likely to end in the foreseeable future—let alone reverse. DDN-A is a collaborative effort among the United Nations ICT Task Force, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), The United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), Digital Partners, and Gruppo CERFE, which promotes development in Africa by mobilising the technological, entrepreneurial and professional expertise and resources of the African Diaspora. Since vital expertise is unlikely to “go back,” DDN-A is to serve as an effective and efficient means to “give back.”

The Challenge

Given the speed with which Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are developing and the breadth of their socio-economic impact, it is imperative that some means be developed now if Africa is not to be excluded from the technological revolution. The use of ICT has been integrated into virtually every aspect of commerce, education, governance and civic activity in developed countries and has become a critical factor in gaining access to information and wealth worldwide. Yet in Africa, ICT has barely taken a foothold. Inadequate computer literacy and the lack of access to ICT are widely recognised as an increasingly daunting obstacle to the economic, civic and political development of Africa. Many potential ICT entrepreneurs in Africa are limited in their actions by a lack of information about opportunities, potential partners, institutional contacts and resources. On the other hand, many Africans in the United States, and many others who feel committed to the development of Africa, have important skills and access to a wealth of human and material resources but perceive few avenues to apply them to benefit sub-Saharan Africa.

Digital Bridge to Africa ✦ Badshah and Thumler ✦ 225

The Opportunity Many Africans in the United States and abroad, and many others who feel committed to the development of Africa have important skills and wealth in terms of human and material resources that could effectively address Africa’s challenges. Nevertheless, few avenues exist to apply these resources to the benefit of sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, many potential ICT entrepreneurs in Africa could benefit from increased opportunities to meet and work with counterparts living outside of Africa. According to Zachary2, Diaspora networks can be an effective mechanism for promoting economic development by: • Creating a new mode of foreign assistance and investment: economic stimulus through self-organising Diaspora networks, spawned by civil society and the private sector but legitimised and sustained by government and multilateral institutions; • Altering the terms of trade in human talent, by encouraging “brain circulation” in addition to brain drain; • Strengthening support in rich countries for continued and deepened ties between ethnic communities in these countries and their countries of origin as a matter, not only of human rights, but of economic and political significance; • Creating recognition within developing countries that overseas communities deserve political, economic and social means to maintain their links with their home country including support by their home society and government for ongoing, albeit episodic involvement of nationals who chiefly reside outside of the country; and • Helping the Diaspora to play a more effective role in leveling the growing imbalance of power between wealthy and poor nations. Zachary further notes that “political and social policies aimed at harnessing or managing Diaspora communities are in their infancy. There

226 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development are no multilateral agencies or international treaties concerned with the peaceful, voluntary movement of people across borders, and the subsequent transnational associations arising from these movements.”

A New Model for Development

The benefits of traditional top-down development mechanisms are often lost in the complexities of government and corporate interests. DDN-A offers a new model of development based on engaging the motivations and interests of Individuals rather than institutions. Over 350 individuals from the worldwide Africa Diaspora joined DDN-A after its inaugural meeting at the United Nations in July of 2002. These individuals have corporate, academic and government interests, which they will inevitably bring to bear as the Network continues to develop programs and projects for Africa that are of interest to them. Brought together with the growing number of organisations, corporations, foundations and academics promoting the application of ICT to assist Africa’s development, members of DDN-A can provide a rich source of ideas, skills and support for promoting digital opportunity in Africa. As the Digital Diaspora Network for Africa (DDN-A) continues to reach out to Africa’s scattered community in the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, it will serve to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information to help ICT entrepreneurs create opportunities and find the partners and resources they need to make use of them. The development of the Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is instructive in terms of what is possible for Africa. TiE was started in 1992 as a small Indian-ethnic organisation of people eager to contribute to the cause of entrepreneurship among the Indus people in the Silicon Valley. TiE now has over 8000 members in 40 chapters worldwide and hundreds of successful TiE-inspired startups, many directly benefiting India’s economy. Most inspiring to the concept of the Digital Diaspora Network for Africa is the fact that TiE has now assumed a broader role for itself to foster socio-economic development globally.

and explores models that are profit-making and financially sustainable. the projectdevelopment methodologies. and where entrepreneurs in the US. . The workshop particularly emphasises the role of social entrepreneurs who are using ICTs to open new avenues in markets. e-commerce. the funding mechanisms and the myriad of other development basics that evolved during the Industrial Age have not been updated to reflect the opportunities and challenges of the Information Age. DDN-A seeks to start where TiE took 10 years to arrive: where economic development is not disengaged from social development. and information sharing. and • Capital—developing financial resources focused on ICTs in Africa. DDN-A developed three programs designed to address critical elements necessary to activate the potential of the African Diaspora in service to Africa. Networking and Coalition Building Digital Bridge Africa is an annual workshop that seeks to enhance the bridge linking ICT activities in North America and Europe with emerging activities in Africa. personal. The intermediary institutions. thereby enhancing entrepreneurship and development.Digital Bridge to Africa ✦ Badshah and Thumler ✦ 227 In many ways. cultural. or otherwise—in a broader goal of supporting development activities in their home countries and are willing to commit time and resources in support of such development activities. be it business. Mechanisms for Impact A development model based on the use of ICT and the engaged interests of individuals is new. Its general focus is on two main components: • Capacity—developing the entrepreneurial and technical capabilities within Africa. Europe and Africa create a network interested—for whatever reasons.

A goal of the meetings is to link local entrepreneurs with technology and business mentors. 4. multilateral institutions. These are: 1. and develop options for financing and investment. and 5. including managers of global programs and foundations. including representatives of such people’s organisations. such as innovators in the corporate sector. 3. Government officials at all levels. Funding The Social Venture Fund for Africa was launched by Digital Partners to provide financial support for entrepreneurial projects developed or supported by DDN-A following the first Digital Bridge to Africa workshop. Academics and scholars who are studying the practice and promise of ICTs for entrepreneurship and development. promoters of digital technology and e-commerce in African communities. Leaders among the donor community and international organisations experienced in implementing projects and generating resources on a large scale.228 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development The workshops bring together five groups that are critical to advancing ICTs for entrepreneurship and development. Internet start-ups and incubators from local communities. IT entrepreneurs and individuals with technical skills. Leaders with practical experiences in working for the empowerment of the world’s needy. explore potential synergies to companies and activities abroad. 2. Participants at the first Digital Bridge Africa workshop set a goal . These workshops lay the groundwork for larger meetings that will bring together some of the world’s largest social venture capitalists and industrialists to focus on issues of ICT and entrepreneurship in Africa. and social and economic entrepreneurs. and local underwriters of venture capital.

Modeled on Digital Partners’ Social Venture Fund for South Asia.Digital Bridge to Africa ✦ Badshah and Thumler ✦ 229 of USD 500. foundations or development organisations that invest in the fund get a tax write-off. Project Development The Social Enterprise Laboratory™ (SEL) is a process developed by Digital Partners to bring ICT and market-development experts together with poverty-alleviation experts to create new social enterprises and promote a new generation of IT-empowered social entrepreneurs. It provides a structure for social and IT entrepreneurs to learn from each other and to incubate outsidethe-box solutions to the unmet needs of the poor. foundations.000. corporations. and traditional foundation grants and investments. the Social Venture Fund for Africa is an innovative financing structure developed to provide “seed capital” for initiatives providing modest financial returns with high social dividends. further leveraging each dollar contributed into the Social Venture Fund. The workshops and meetings will serve to support the development of a large social Venture Capital fund targeted at African ICTs. development agencies and corporations. Digital Partners pools the donations to invest or provide long-term loans or grants. While started with modest initial aims.” the Social Venture Fund provides support for pioneering non-profit organisations and for-profit businesses capable of fostering commercial markets serving the poor. The Laboratory is a comprehensive package of services catering to international social entrepreneurs to increase their skills and provide . Individuals. the fund is designed to grow into a collaborative effort supported by individuals. Building upon the current practices in “venture philanthropy. Returns from the investment or loans are re-invested to support other projects. other social funds. The fund particularly supports innovations that have profit potential but need financial support and incubation to get them to the point where they can seek more traditional forms of market support. Digital Partners’ model meets an as yet un-bridged gap between traditional venture capital funds.

Projects developed through SEL have come from South Asia. it is immediately reviewed to ensure that all relevant background information has been provided and that it meets specific minimum . industry professionals and graduatestudent teams from leading US and developing country graduate programs in business and IT. The goal of the Social Enterprise Laboratory is to catalyse the potential of IT-empowered entrepreneurs in developing economies: • Those who seek to serve markets at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Latin America and Africa.230 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development them access to opportunities to raise funds for their IT-enhanced social enterprises. • Those whose vision and business models could help achieve connectivity for the rural poor. Once a proposal is received. It includes the hands-on participation and assistance of business executives. To help target high-quality applicants. and • Those who creatively use Information and Communications Technology as a tool for empowerment.3 In addition to supporting individual entrepreneurs and organisations through the Mentoring Program. venture capitalists. A significant component of the laboratory is the Mentoring Program. the Social Enterprise Laboratory™ also works to increase the local capacity to provide on-going assistance to the SEL entrepreneurs and to serve as a foundation for generating increased social entrepreneurism. the Digital Partners’ worldwide network of individuals and partner organisations is engaged to solicit requests for proposals utilising ICT in social enterprises. The SEL Process Identification of Social Entrepreneurs and Social Enterprises The SEL application process is open and web-based.

Digital Bridge to Africa ✦ Badshah and Thumler ✦ 231 requirements. Consideration is also given to those enterprises that Digital Partners feels it can best help. Additional information is requested as needed and background research conducted in preparation for presentation to the selection committee. and/or civil society collaborations beneficial in increasing its impact and building capacity to support similar efforts. • Market-Based for Sustainability—The concept must show the potential to generate a market-based revenue stream (must have a demonstrable revenue-based business model) to ensure sustainability. • Bottom-up—The concept should be initiated and benefit those at the grassroots level to assure that real needs are being met with customised solutions. The bottom line of the entire selection process is to find the diamonds in the rough—the projects that show promise to lift individuals and whole communities out of poverty and effectively leverage the opportunities provided by ICT and the digital economy to create systemic change at the bottom of the economic pyramid. given the needs of each enterprise and the resources (such as DDN-A members and student teams) it is able to draw on. • Partnerships—The concept should show the potential to foster public. The committee for African projects consists of seasoned ICT and business veterans and experts from the development field who are part of DDN-A. private. • Quality of the Management Team—The management team should demonstrate the expertise and commitment necessary to enhance the concept’s chance of success. . • Scalable/Replicable—The concept must show promise to be broadly scaled or widely replicated to serve much larger constituencies. They individually review each project to select the enterprises based on the following criteria: • IT-Driven—Innovative use of information technology must be an integral component of the business or project model.

and corporate sponsors provide the funds as a tax-deductible donation through Digital Partners’ Social Venture Fund. foundations. and • Re-write their proposals into business plans capable of convincing potential financial supporters of the project’s viability. • Gain access to potential sources of funding. • Think through their business model. • Develop funding proposals. The Mentoring phase provides the social entrepreneur with a well-crafted proposal or business plan suitable for raising additional resources. The financial support provided to the projects is not intended to fully fund the long-term needs of any one project. impact.232 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Mentoring Social Entrepreneurs and Social Enterprises The selected projects are assigned a team of DDN-A members and graduate students from prestigious universities to assist the social entrepreneurs to: • Effectively incorporate ICT and market mechanisms into their enterprise. marketing strategy. such as their business strategy. social investors and other investor forums. Individual DDN-A members. The ultimate objective of the mentoring process is to develop highquality business plans or proposals that are suitable for funding from the Digital Partners’ Social Venture Fund. Funding of Social Entrepreneurs and Social Enterprises The refined project and business plans are presented again to the selection committee from the DDN-A for possible seed funding. sponsors of a particular Social Enterprise Laboratory™ foundations. corporations. and sustainability. Seed capital supplies . and target market.

. Examples include the following: E-Academy. The due diligence provided by SEL is expected to lend credibility to the projects and increase “investor” confidence. ‘Best brains’ in their particular fields will be responsible for the development of quality courses in the Kiswahili language. E-Academy requires development of a business/project plan and assistance with its marketing strategy. All returns will be reinvested to support the development and funding of other projects. Tanzania E-Academy will address the high cost and inadequate quality of education in Tanzania via the creation of an on-line e-learning initiative that will make teaching materials developed by the “best brains” in the country available in the local Kiswahili language.Digital Bridge to Africa ✦ Badshah and Thumler ✦ 233 the initial monies needed to at least pilot the project and provide resources while additional funds are sought. affordable education through e-learning to facilitate greater reach while establishing higher standards and creating Kiswahili content. while CD Rom-based education will be available to reach those without an Internet connection. Currently. DDN-A Supported Projects in Africa The DDN-A is now taking the lead on all projects being developed and supported in Africa. Digital Partners helps with introductions to suitable contacts and assistance to the entrepreneurs in their longer-term fundraising efforts. Financial support from Digital Partners’ Social Venture Fund is given either as outright grants. long-term low-interest loans or even as equity investments. E-Academy also aims to take advantage of the mushrooming of cyber cafes throughout Tanzania to provide Internet connectivity to subscribers of E-Academy. the Fund primarily provides grants. E-Academy aims to provide quality. It is expected that as more social entrepreneurs enter the field. further leveraging each dollar donated to the Social Venture Fund. a larger percentage of loans and investments will be made.

Nigeria YTF’s TechPreneurship Program for Rural Women will equip women who run small businesses with the technology training they need to run their businesses more efficiently while promoting co-existence within religiously heterogeneous communities. In a country where many health workers do not have access to a telephone. The organisation is looking to refine its business plan. The TechPreneurs Program will teach participants the technology skills to manage their businesses effectively to enhance the Nigerian woman’s personal status and her contribution to national economic development. Building on its experience implementing a PDA project in Uganda and Kenya. The application will allow the women entrepreneurs to track their inventory. potentially life-saving resource. microcredit facilities and credit programs. Participants in the program will learn to use YTF’s business management software and database application locally developed by YTF youth program members. The program will assist women to develop their personal talents. and contribute meaningfully to the public life of their communities while harnessing peaceful co-existence within religiously heterogeneous communities. Workshops will be offered on writing successful business plans.234 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Youth for Technology Foundation. HealthNet Uganda is poised to . The TechPreneurs Program at the Owerri Digital Village attempts to address the failure of womenowned businesses due to lack of knowledge of implementing sustainable business models and lack of access to resources. SATELLIFE and HealthNet Uganda. information for decision-making is a scarce. the PDAs and Better Health In Uganda project will improve the decision-making capacity of health professionals by arming them with PDAs that will provide them access to the information they need to make timely diagnoses and provide appropriate treatments. increase their family incomes. stimulate export demand. meet local market demand. Uganda In an area where access to information is a scarce and potentially lifesaving resource. revenue and expenses for their small and medium businesses. let alone the Internet.

and private practitioners. customised local content. and customised survey instruments. and can hold large quantities of timely. universities. PDAs can be used in the most remote locations. are easily customisable to meet the particular needs of individuals and institutions. SATELLIFE and HealthNet Uganda have a competitive advantage in the introduction of PDAs because of their understanding of the real data and information needs of health professionals and their ability to work with the government. relevant. technical support and training. but also stimulate the PDA market for the private sector. AfriShare is envisioned as a web-based platform to serve as a tool for collaboration and a knowledge-sharing facility. In addition to project design. Previous web-based efforts have taken a “build it and they will come” approach and have had limited impact in their effort to be all things for all users. HealthNet Uganda seeks help making the transition to a sustainable enterprise that weds its humanitarian mission with sound business practices and may include development of a business plan. a countryspecific essential drug list. SATELLIFE provides a powerful combination of content. The implementation strategy is to respond to the needs and capacity of DDN-A as the network develops. tuberculosis. have the computing power required for simple but essential functions.Digital Bridge to Africa ✦ Badshah and Thumler ✦ 235 introduce this technology on a wider scale. the World Health Organisation Essential Drug List. NGOs. medical references. Matching Skills with Need Taking full advantage of the Internet to virtually eliminate location as a constraint in matching ability and resources to need. A skills and interests database of DDN-A participants and password-protected sites for enterprise development were the initial . a multi-functional medical calculator. and HIV/ AIDS. including country-specific clinical guidelines for malaria. and appropriate content and facilitate rapid data collection and analysis. The project partners hope that this activity will not only improve HealthNet Uganda’s potential for sustainability.

Nigeria. a collaborative learning platform developed by Digital Partners. • A Digital Bridge Africa workshop is scheduled to be held in May 2003. • Members also self-selected to serve as mentors for projects chosen for support by DDN-A through the Social Enterprise Laboratory process. members working with GE Capital. Other members working with Microsoft Africa secured free software. . • Commitments were also made to link the schools in Africa with schools in the US through Global Classmates.236 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development components identified by the membership as the first capacities to be developed. with key partners to develop an action plan for DDN-A in assisting the effective development of ICT in Africa and lay the groundwork for its presence throughout Africa. and Tanzania. arranged to have high quality used computers shipped to schools in Ghana. in Ghana. Early examples of members acting on their own initiative to mobilise partnerships for Africa demonstrate the potential of DDN-A as an individual-centred development force: • Within weeks of the launch of DDN-A. The committee identified presence in Africa as critical for the effectiveness of DDN-A. DDN-A in Action The true value and impact of DDN-A will eventually be told by the web of connections and projects that will organically develop through the personal interests and connections of its members. Other members decided to serve on a Steering Committee to ensure that DDN-A maintained its momentum beyond the initial enthusiasm of its launch. • A larger Advisory Committee was also established to take on broader roles and responsibilities. Individual champions within the network took the lead to establish Digital Partners/Ghana and Digital Partners/Nigeria to support the on-the-ground activities of DDN-A in these countries and in the region.

Digital Partners mobilised the effort and modeled DDN-A on its successful South Asia effort in North America. it requires the support of several key partners and organisations. the United Nations ICT Task Force mobilised an effort to create and launch DDN-A by establishing a collaborative framework among other UN agencies. and social empowerment of . programme countries and other relevant stakeholders in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions through its various Regional Networks and Working Groups.Digital Bridge to Africa ✦ Badshah and Thumler ✦ 237 The Collaborative Partners of DDN-A For an effort of the scope and range of the Digital Diaspora Network for Africa to be successful. Since its creation. DDN-A was launched with a clear vision and leadership provided by the United Nations ICT Task Force that was convinced that without the active participation of professionals from Africa itself. The objective was to expand the efforts of the individual organisations in order to have a much larger impact. whereas Gruppo CERFE was instrumental in launching DDN-E (Europe). no projects undertaken will take root and become successful. UN ICT Task Force The UN ICT Task Force was established to provide overall leadership to the United Nations role in helping to formulate strategies for the development of information and communications technologies and putting those technologies at the service of development. such as the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the United Nations Fund for International Partnership. UNIFEM The United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM) promotes women’s empowerment and gender equality. UNIFEM has supported numerous projects and initiatives throughout the developing world that promote the political. With that in mind. private industry and financing trusts and foundations. donors. economic. The Task Force focuses on forging a strategic partnership between the United Nations system.

to invest in and incubate new initiatives designed by ICT and social entrepreneurs to trigger solutions to problems of poverty.238 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development women. UNFIP The United Nations Fund for International Partnerships promotes new UN partnerships and alliances with a variety of sources. Digital Partners Digital Partners is a Seattle-based not-for-profit organisation working on utilising the benefits of the digital economy to benefit the poor all over the world. Recently. and is in the process of developing a similar network of entrepreneurs in Latin America and Africa. specifically in Europe. . including companies and foundations. Digital Partners provides professional services and financial support to visionary social entrepreneurs interested in effectively utilising ICT to benefit the poor. Gruppo CERFE Gruppo CERFE is an association of European researchers belonging to non-profit institutes. whose purpose is to conduct a scientific research programme on the current situation of human societies around the world. “Bridging the Gender Digital Divide in Africa through Strategic Partnerships”. as well as bilateral and multilateral donors. The program seeks to empower African women through innovative uses of Information Communications Technologies (ICT). in furtherance of the Millennium Development Goals. The organisation has expertise in research and analysis of the needs and issues of the African Diaspora. The organisation has specifically been involved in development issues for many years and has supported initiatives such as the development of a network of African Habitat Professionals. They have created a venture capital fund model. a social venture fund. UNIFEM launched a new program. Digital Partners has already developed a network of IT entrepreneurs in India.

3. 2. as part of the Nautilus Institute’s “Virtual Diasporas and Global Problem Solving” Initiative. the University of California. Theses (France) and Thunderbird. “Diaspora Capitalism and Exile as a Way of Life: Some Observations on the Political and Economic Mobilisation of Dispersed Peoples. . www. San Diego.org. Participating schools in 2002/2003 include Harvard Business School. Pascal Zachary.nautilus. David Feige and Deepa Ghosh provided research support for this chapter. the University of Washington.” by G.Digital Bridge to Africa ✦ Badshah and Thumler ✦ 239 N OT E S 1. David is a Program Officer at Digital Partners and Deepa is a Master of Public Administration Candidate at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

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a middle-aged mother from one of Nairobi’s most troubled and troublesome slum areas of Korogocho. technical manager and founding partner of a local Internet Service Provider housed on a bustling market street in Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria. Denmark and other western markets. hand-crafting the most basic footwear from discarded rubber tires to the sizes. Canada.CHAPTER Crocker Snow. Jr. shapes and styles ordered over the Internet by overseas consumers in Australia. holds an all too rare job as a sandal maker. quite 241 . Adapting. Yasser Loutfy. struggles to adjust his business model to a new national law providing free Internet linkup and. and Advancing Appropriate Information Technologies Roselyn Egosangwa. Special Report for United Nations ICT Task Force 13 Tip-Toeing across the Digital Divide African Entrepreneurs Applying.

But well beyond the bright lights of the big cities of the African continent. an early computer geek at Uganda’s Makerare University in Kampala. Billboards and signs promoting computer training. Loutfy. quite often. Meddia Mayanja. Their unique. for-profit telephone booths are today almost ubiquitous. and positively impacting living conditions. in the process. advanced information tools are being wielded by the alert and the inquisitive to address the need and try to fill the void. . Yasser Loutfy and Meddie Mayanja are at the vanguard of this creeping revolution as they strive to utilise telephony. utilising and channeling one or another form of information technology to their own needs and. others. locally conceived. for society’s benefit. In examining their experiences—and that of their known and unknown counterparts throughout Africa—several common characteristics and conclusions shine through: • Demand drives supply—Where a gaping vacuum exists in areas such as communications. develops a valued and possibly valuable website for the deaf in the process.242 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development implausibly. As a rule. Egosangwa. information technologies are spreading downward and even backward to the grass roots. community development or merely survival skills in nations across Africa are hard at it. Roselyn Egosangwa. education. demand-driven applications are starting to have an effect on the quality of African life in ways that were truly inconceivable a mere five years ago. works a kind of “bush connectivity” for the purpose of administering an online educational system that currently runs a common curriculum through 15 sites around Uganda that is dedicated to spreading knowledge and creativity simultaneously for a fee. health services or jobs. store front advertising for an array of cyber cafes and roadside private. Mayanja and many more with business. In their widely differing environments and activities. It is no surprise to discover hard evidence of the information revolution in African national capitals and urban centres. the Internet and other key outriders of the information revolution to help themselves and. inspiring whole villages and communities.

developing and applying information technology strategies themselves—the spirit of the self-motivated—is critical to the drive. But many African IT entrepreneurs cannot scale up for lack of financing or human capacity. their most practical applications are almost always selftaught. dynamism and ultimate success of the undertaking in question. “Buckle up” safety steps are often required. “Ownership” is essential—Almost universally for the poor and the professionals of Africa alike. Their ability to be flexible and adjust to conditions encountered in implementing a project (rather than as imagined in the planning stage) is critical to their initiative’s survivability. can be fickle in the long run and can either overwhelm or vanish altogether. Learning (and adjusting) by doing—As Africa’s entrepreneurs acquire basic computer skills through schools and training programs. When successful. the drive to be sustainable and even profitable by developing reliable revenue streams is. for most. essential. often critical for their projects at the outset. Africa’s IT upstarts discover that donor monies. cell-phones and computers become coveted items in the context of the continent and magnets for straightforward. the most realistic and persevering of them see this as a plus.Tip-Toeing across the Digital Divide ✦ Snow ✦ 243 • • • • • demand-driven initiatives are working. externally encouraged applications often are not. Accordingly.” Think offline security—Africa’s IT applications mean telephones. The money motive matters—If the continent’s IT entrepreneurs have most always been saddled by insufficient funding in the early stages of development. Even those who can are unconvinced. In the words of a successful Egyptian ISP operator. the sense of creating. “My company was much more fun and more responsive when we were so small that everyone was one shout away. on the spot and under pressure. offline crime. . the “bigger is better” syndrome arises. Small can be desirable—Most IT-facilitated startups begin as a small idea to address a local need or opportunity.

if not yet abundant. not at online opportunities. based on highly individualistic. driven by doing. The stories of their trials and tribulations are both wholly unique and generically revealing. single-minded yet not smug. Africa’s budding class of IT entrepreneurs are young. socially beneficial applications of communications systems throughout the continent. but at the hopeless living conditions of Nairobi’s slum area of Korogocho. Benson Wikyo. that IT as a tool can be a tool with a heart. New and quite used information technologies alike are proving to be an effective tool not only for development. an American. Mathew Meyer was on a junior year-abroad program from Brown University. IT-facilitated. The common threads listed above (and doubtless additional ones) are weaving the fabric of entrepreneurial-driven. a reverse exchange student. motivations. not without. As a later chronicler of the conception of the company that became known as Akala (“rubber shoe” in Swahili street . studying Swahili and living on the outskirts of one of the city’s most notorious and violent sections to which he was drawn by a new friend and social worker. The evidence is clear. they engage in the application of computers or telephones or the Internet for their own varied selfish and social reasons without worrying it too much. Individually. was looking. Their drive comes from within. but also for productive profiteering as well. Egosangwa. Loutfy. TURNING DEVELOPMENT UPSIDE DOWN: Recycling Waste Rubber and Selling Online Provides Jobs and Danger in Kenyan Slum Seven years ago when Internet access was first pioneered in Africa by three Kenyan exchange students at Boston-area universities to create a company now known as Africa Online. undeterred by setbacks and quite often seeking a higher social purpose. Mayanja and their counterparts are doers more than thinkers. flexible.244 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Africa’s IT Entrepreneurs As a prototype then. even existential.

Today the little company is viable by the standards of many in the area. In 1998. to launch a community-based business making rubber sandals from used rubber tires. proved a saving grace. accounting and management skills were not.00 apiece.00 US). Most of all. coupled with a second grant for a mere $1500. there is palpable pride among the workers for their products. and had to be learned or acquired by painful trial and error. designing a website—Ecosandals. A few sandals were sold. . The two inputs prompted Meyer to utilise his college computer skills to try something quite new. and the horizons and ambitions of the subsistence economy of the sandal-makers involved. The material and human resources necessary were available in abundance in the form of discarded tires and workers eager for any job. But the continued commitment of the workers. Benson Wikyo was a young Kenyan who lived that way. Still. Monthly online orders from western markets of one of the eight sandal designs offered range from 80 to 800. Collectively. It worked. The project effectively died its first of several deaths. they can produce about a dozen new sandals a day. Meyer and Wikyo persevered. but footwear techniques. the two friends landed a $3000 grant from the small Samuel Huntington Foundation in the U. initially to friends and acquaintances and through international refugee organisations for $2. Matt Meyer was back in the US doing graduate studies when cofounder Benson Wikyo died suddenly of a series of treatable medical failings. Another ten Korogocho dwellers have qualified through a threemonth training program and work on commission as overseas orders ebb and flow.com—to promote the rubber sandals online. if to a modest degree. It was a giant step of faith in broadening the tiny project’s market reach. their jobs and their demonstrated survival skills.Tip-Toeing across the Digital Divide ✦ Snow ✦ 245 slang) Designs put it: “Mathew Meyer was a student who believed something was wrong with our world for people to live this way. A few people were engaged as designated “sandal makers” for jobs fetching 150 Kenyan shillings a day ($2.” Dreaming and working together. Eight people are employed full-time.S. The enterprise was a struggle from the outset. basic equipment like peddle sewing machines or the most rudimentary sales.

He chose a different route. gave up this secure job to join a partner to establish the city’s second ISP. four years ago. The “all you can eat” flat fee system was abandoned. like his friend in Cairo. saw the base of their businesses undermined. Bichara had the resources to acquire eight different content-driven enterprises.” However. offering everything from job search to life style information. In concert with the Chamber of Commerce. went into effect on January 14. The future looked reasonably rosy. Dialing in per se no longer mattered from a revenue point of view. Glob@lNet announced “e-Alexandria”. has become the country’s fourth largest ISP while joining the ranks of the established in the eyes of the national press. got his first job at the US Consulate in Alexandria as a communications technician. and changed things. founder of LinkdotNet. In Cairo.” the energised young entrepreneur remarked in an interview. 2002. He is in the process of consolidating under his single LinkdotNet brand name. holding customers online for minutes or more at a time did. 40 years old and entirely educated in Egypt. sensed the value of the Internet and.246 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Egypt’s Newly Legislated “Free-Net” Prompts Fresh Thinking In Alexandria—And A Soundless Approach Yasser Loutfy. The competing providers were forced to vie for numbers and for content to keep their customers coming and staying. Suddenly. Glob@lNet was founded in 1999 and within two years had 40 per cent market share of the city’s several hundred thousand Internet users. “We had to move very quickly to gain content as a way to keep our subscribers on our system rather than just using it to dial up and go elsewhere. initiating some web-based hosting and page design. “It was our only option. Jordanian entrepreneur Khaled Bichara. has managed a major advertising campaign and. Fortunately. He learned the field from a practical point of view. . The strategy is working. Yasser Loutfy in Alexandria had no such option: no available financing nor a sufficiently large market base. Loutfy and some 60 other small Internet providers throughout the country. in the process. until a rumored government decision legislating free Internet for all. we had some bank financing by this time to do this.

is unable to communicate with them in sign language. their employee. a number of the city’s deaf people came to the training programs. and they proved to be particularly adept and attentive at the computer. They discovered to their surprise that there were several hundred thousand deaf people living in the Alexandria area alone. They have stumbled onto something that is proving to be needed. he tells them. set up for and by the city’s deaf people to serve them fully online for their unique interests. form the content and act the parts with sign language for CD ROMs. Bush Connectivity In Uganda Comes With Great Risk—And Rewards Meddie Mayanja has been involved in information technologies and the Internet in Uganda since its very inception when he was a graduate .Tip-Toeing across the Digital Divide ✦ Snow ✦ 247 a weeklong computer online training program based on UNESCO’s Information Communications Driving License (ICDL). “There’s high interest in the site. They are excited by the process. About a dozen of Alexandria’s deaf population are employed to work the site. Yasser and his partner were struck by this and looked into it further. Through an intermediary who can. that their specialised web content is catching on much faster than he expected. EgDeaf. Yasser Loutfy. Yes. wanted and useful. He plans to take out some national promotions to attract more users and has had queries from ISPs in East and North Africa about hyper link connections.” he reports. They hired several and gave them their head. It was oversubscribed.00 US. Loutfy and his partner decided that only deaf people could know—and provide—what was needed. in their “staff meeting” shortly after the launch.com. The spontaneous market research indicated a new online market where none had been known to exist. and are producing highly specialised content that is the very definition of sustainable social development. eager to join the information revolution. for less than $5. More important. however. they got new customers who tended to turn to Loutfy’s ISP first. The result is a new website. needs and concerns.

248 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development student at Makerere University.com in Nairobi. of SchoolNet in Uganda and of the people most centrally challenged and engaged. of EgDeaf. They now count 10. a spin-off of the international enterprise World Link that spreads common curriculum in disparate developing countries. Though not a teacher by training. Mayanja. applying the most basic or sophisticated information technologies to run a project. “You can see for yourself that this makes a big difference. the philosopher. Mayanja is preoccupied with the inherent educational aspect of the computer and Internet revolutions. “The Internet seems to make facts and concepts much faster and more flexible for the students to absorb.com in Alexandria. if not particularly profited from it. and promoted it. make a business and in the process do some social good.” Can steady online access also create false expectations in countries as underdeveloped as Uganda? Can computers generate a different type of unrealistic “power surge”? “Not all of us will be thinkers. “But I have discovered that access to information is a re-orientation of your mind.” he remarks.000 Uganda students as having access to online information in a systematic way never available before. The computer makes things more creative too. worked. goes further. He has been administering 15 sites around the country since the launch of the service in 2001. are presumably mirrored by countless others in African cities and towns. He has studied. and before you know it they have begun to create it themselves. Is there anything wrong with that?” Need-Driven And Market-Based The tales of the Ecosandals. Currently he directs a project called SchoolNet. Students want to see something new on the screen.” Mayanja replies. based on $200 monthly charges for the school systems that sign up. This is the professional speaking. .

energies and experience of people like Roselyn Egosangwa. associations like the International Telecommunications Union and a variety of Non-Government Organisations can only help fire imaginations and seed projects like these and others. The interest. outside push and experience of multilateral development agencies like the United Nations. It is equally clear that the entrepreneurial spirit in Africa is alive and well and indeed charged by the opportunities that new technologies can offer.Tip-Toeing across the Digital Divide ✦ Snow ✦ 249 It becomes important from such a sampling that international donor agencies are ever alert to this and do their very best to foster it. Yasser Loutfy and Meddie Mayanja utilising new technologies in their own chosen fashion are ultimately what will make the difference and put real life to the abstract concept of ICTs as a true “tool for development”. . The native talents.

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251 . Gillian M. analyse the endogenous factors that influence their ability to accumulate technological capabilities through relationships with suppliers. The analysis presented here suggests the processes through which developing country firms can acquire technological capability inputs from external sources when these firms take account of the industry-specific nature of technological change. Marcelle 14 From Technology Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Technological Capabilities Lessons from African Information and Communications Technologies Firms Introduction This chapter will argue that developing country firms can move from ‘technology transfer’ to strategic acquisition of technological capabilities from external sources.CHAPTER Dr. and design specific requirements relevant to the industries in which they operate.

and 5. These insights emerge from the application of the technological capability building (TCB) system approach. and the processes by which they built TCB systems. This approach further suggests that in an ideal system for TCB. Tanzania and South Africa. and codified knowledge systems). Ghana. defined here to include both person-embodied and non-person-embodied capabilities (such as capital equipment. sequential or orderly and which is not necessarily overly influenced by exogenous or contextual factors. management practices. which is not linear.1 In this approach. allocation of financial resources. are centre-stage. defined as a set of integrated processes and mechanisms that are used by firms to build technological capabilities over time. Firms are the unit of analysis.252 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development It argues that the requirements for service sector firms will differ from those of manufacturing firms. It is treated as an investment activity. 3. namely: 1. practices to establish and maintain facilitating leadership and organisational culture. systems and decision-making rules. software. 4. accessing external technology capability resources from suppliers. which was the conceptual framework developed in a study of technological capability accumulation by twenty-six firms in the telecommunications sector of four African countries—Uganda. The conceptual framework suggests that a firm’s TCB system consists of five components. 2. A welldeveloped TCB system is necessary and sufficient to increase the existing stock of technological capabilities in a firm. TCB is understood as a process of assembling or accumulating technological capabilities. accessing technology capability resources from the innovation system (local and global). Firms with underdeveloped TCB systems are expected to perform poorly in capability accumulation. there is a systematic and balanced operation of these five elements. .

the term technology transfer is retained to reflect the usage by contributors to this field. and the insights that emerge from this analysis. Existing Concepts and Evidence of Technology Transfer Technology transfer: A Misnomer Despite its widespread usage. The study offers insights into technology acquisition processes of developing country firms. . impose a frame in which the role of developing countries is that of a recipient of imported technology (usually equipment). and commission equipment and related services from international suppliers. conventional researchers. rather than that of an active economic agent searching for technological solutions. perhaps inadvertently. Farrell2 and Vaitsos3 criticise the implicit assumption of passivity on the part of the recipients and purchasers of technological inputs and offer an alternative—commercialisation of technology. the term technology transfer is problematic since it suggests passivity on the part of firms. In the rest of this section. more commonly referred to as technology transfer. an exposition of the process of technology acquisition suggested by the TCB system framework. test. an analysis of the performance of twenty-six African telecommunication operating firms in acquiring technological inputs from external sources in light of the TCB system approach. install. The TCB system framework prefers the term technology acquisition and defines this as the range of activities that are likely to be necessary for firms in developing countries to source. The chapter is organised into four sections: a review of the dominant theoretical explanations of what developing countries can do to improve their performance in ‘technology transfer’. and the research themes explored included the firms’ relationships with external suppliers. By using the term transfer rather than acquisition.From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 253 This framework was applied in the empirical study of capability development by developing country firms. purchase.

management contracts. adapt. franchising.5 Pavitt5 points out that technology transfer is best understood as a process involving the cumulative flow of codified and tacit knowledge. These authors also point out that the environmental conditions facing developing country firms. Reddy reports that technological equipment (artefacts) transferred by international firms were. four times older than those used in the home country of the transnational corporations (TNCs).254 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Deconstructing Technology Transfer Processes Technology transfer usually consists of commercial transactions in which a bundle of technological inputs—equipment as well as technical services. marketing and . such as technical assistance. recipients would normally be obliged to devote substantial resources to assimilate. are not conducive to sourcing external technological inputs. construction. on average. It is not only developing country researchers who have provided fuel for a less than positive assessment of the results of technology transfer. Bell and Pavitt6 take the implications of these characteristics further by suggesting that since tacit knowledge transferred is usually “firm-specific information concerning the characteristics and performance properties of production processes and product designs”.7 Technology transfer takes place in a variety of modes and at different levels within recipient firms. engineering and related services — is exchanged. Research conducted from the point of view of the ‘home country’ of the TNCs has also suggested that only mature technologies should be transferred. Studies of technological capability development in sub-Saharan Africa amply demonstrate this point for firms in this region.4 The prevailing view in academic literature is that developing country firms do not fare well in these transactions since equipment suppliers often lock developing countries into contracts of long duration and provide technical services at inflated rates. and improve upon the original technology. The main distinction is between equitybased (direct foreign investment and joint ventures) and non-equity based (licensing. such as poor supply conditions for resource and knowledge inputs and institutional immaturity.

From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 255

technical service contracts, turnkey contracts and subcontracting) modes of technology transfer. In the former, technology transfer takes place via intra-firm relationships and, in the latter, it is characterised as an arms-length relationship between the recipient and transferring firms. Empirical trends for the 1980s showed that Direct Foreign Investment still accounted for the largest share of technology transfer, as measured by receipts for technology royalties, fees and technical services in the 1980s, although the context in which technology transfer takes place has changed significantly.8 Technology transfer also takes place through trade by importing machinery or by exporting to buyers who provide expertise.9 Developing country firms are likely to face specific barriers since they often engage in technology transfer across national borders. They must respond to the need to adapt technologies to local conditions as well as the differences in infrastructure between home and host locations, and distance and communication costs.10 Critical Success Factors in Technology Transfer Hoffman and Girvan11 argued that greater selectivity in policy intervention and improvements in the management of technology transfer at the national level within developing countries were possible solutions to the risks associated with the lack of genuine technology transfer. These authors also consider technology transfer to be a variegated process involving exchange of information, materials and people and explicitly recognise that the outcomes produced in technology transfer processes vary. Studies of technology transfer suggest that firms that have been able to successfully manage technological acquisition incorporated the following elements: • Training and learning components in technology transfer agreements and an explicit focus on acquiring various combinations of design, engineering and project management technologies.9,12

256 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • Sponsoring or otherwise encouraging overseas postgraduate training and work experience for engineers and managers, enabling them to acquire problem-solving skills and aptitudes and to gain access to informal international networks.13 • Establishing knowledge-acquiring operations, such as R&D centres or technological learning outposts, overseas.9 • Using management practices, corporate culture and leadership styles that facilitated efforts to jointly manage technology importation and local capability development activities.14 Although many studies indicated that there are likely to be long-term benefits from implementing complementary approaches, empirical studies are still relatively rare.15 • Concentrating on a wider range of activities than those associated with passive importation of technological inputs and having an awareness that passivity might lead to increased domestic production output and improvements in static efficiency but unlikely to make a contribution to learning activities. Bell and Pavitt6 argue that it is possible for firms to develop effective systems for importing foreign technologies in combination with efforts to develop local technologies and to build technological capability. In their ideal-type, imported techniques and practices do not “crowd out” local technology and domestic capability building. However, these authors noted that few countries were able to implement policy regimes that supported complementarity between domestic technological capability development and acquisition of technology from abroad; instead, the majority of developing countries approached these modes of capability development as substitutes. Bell and Pavitt6 present a wide range of sources of imported technology, including direct foreign investment (joint ventures), sub-contracting, original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreements, licensing, and contracts for know-how, designs, equipment and services. They observe that capability development may involve intensive efforts to improve and develop what is initially acquired, or more passive adaptation or minor modifications of imported inputs.

From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 257

Linearity Assumptions Lall16 characterises technology transfer as a process in which recipient firms, through a cumulative process, acquire capabilities of increasing levels of complexity. He suggests that firms move through four levels of technology transfer and acquire the associated capabilities, as shown in Figure 14–1. This sequential approach to technology transfer forms the basis of much of the conventional academic and policy writing on this important subject and has been influential in policy development. It is complementary to the linear view of technological capability development developed by the same author.
Figure 14–1: Levels of technology transfer in Lall’s framework
INNOVATIVE (advanced design) ADAPTIVE (technological self-reliance) DUPLICATIVE (intermediate) OPERATIONAL (basic level) Ability to develop next generation system Ability to adapt product designs or reengineer production processes Ability to expand output without further foreign assistance Ability to manage/operate production facility designed and built by foreign partner

Source: Author, based on Lall,16 (Lall, 1992:167, Table 1), and Lall (1987:18, Table 1.1)

Stewart17 appears to accept this linear model and uses it to offer a pessimistic view of the impact of technology transfer on development. She argues that technology transfer between industrialised countries and developing countries is not well-suited to promoting equitable development and balanced growth in the importing country. For Stewart, since transfer involves the importation of technologies that have characteristics more suited to the home market where the technology was developed, the process can (and often does) result in the development of a dualistic society. She also argues that since only a few developing countries have been able to manage technology transfer effectively, technology transfer does not result in increased productivity, support for local technological effort and/or distribution of benefits to the majority of the population. Based on evidence from the 1980s, she also states that sub-Saharan African countries present the most

258 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development obvious example of the negative consequences of technology transfer. Stewart17 concludes by suggesting that developing countries should adopt a staged process to improve their management of technology transfer. Borrowing from Lall, she argues that a linear model of capability development and technology transfer is useful since it defines, for the developing country firm, the objective of moving phases of transfer: “[mounting] the ladder of full assimilation . . . because higher stages permit more efficient operation of technology . . . indicates increased local technological capability, and therefore increased ability to assimilate other technologies efficiently and to acquire and bargain over new transfers, and . . . to control the direction of technological change.” (Stewart17 p. 309). As will be discussed in greater detail in the next section, the TCB system approach, consistent with work by Bell and Pavitt,6 Ernst et al.,18 and Kim,10 adopts a non-linear process of technology acquisition. In this approach, the balance of interest between suppliers and buyers of technological inputs is assumed to be forever changing. This theoretical position is supported by evidence in Hoffman and Girvan,11 which shows that recipient countries have exercised greater degrees of freedom in managing the terms and conditions of technology transfer.

Technology Acquisition in the TCB System Approach

The TCB system framework draws on insights from existing research and carefully considers, in particular, theoretical contributions from Bell and Pavitt,6 Hoffman and Girvan,11 Lall,17 and Stewart;18 reviews of research on technology transfer from Boseman,19 Kumar and Siddhartan,20 Radosevic,21 and Reddy;4 and empirical work reported in Kumar.8 It is worth noting that much of this research is located within the manufacturing

From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 259

sector and does not extend to intra-firm processes. The study on which this essay is based specifically focuses on aspects of these lacunae, by examining intra-firm processes of service sector firms. This conceptual framework also builds on insights from an emerging body of work that recognises that intra-firm learning processes and the experiences of nontechnology-producing users may have important lessons for understanding the capability-building processes of developing country firms.22 Technology Acquisition as a Non-linear Process The TCB system approach accepts the notion that levels or stages of technology capability may be useful as an organising rubric to describe distinctions between kinds of capabilities, but regards the stages model of technology transfer as being less useful. Several reasons are advanced in support of an alternative model of technology acquisition, which relaxes assumptions of linearity associated with the stages model. First, by refuting the assumption that developing country firms have an inevitability or increasing desire to move to ever “higher levels of transfer”, it allows consideration of capability development objectives, other than generating technology. Second, it provides for a wider range of policy guidance, augmenting the recommendations that focus only on how developing country firms can gain access to the proprietary technologies associated with “higher stages” of transfer. In the non-linear TCB system approach, there is a focus on policy interventions that can provide incentives for technology acquisition and increase mutual benefit to the actors in technology transactions. Third, the TCB approach focuses on what recipient firms must do to progress from operational to innovative levels of technology transfer and considers what specific factors limit or facilitate such movement at the intra-firm level. Fourth, the foreign partners in the TCB system approach are not considered, by definition, to be detrimental or beneficial to the accumulation of more advanced abilities by developing country firms. Instead, their role is considered to be an input to a process of capability development. The relationship between developing country firms and foreign

260 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development suppliers is considered to change over time; for example, it is assumed that the knowledge, skills and equipment provided “with foreign assistance” can be substituted by local capabilities as firms acquire more advanced capabilities. Fifth, in this framework, the nature of the technology plays a crucial role in defining the transfer relationship. In many early studies, the imbalance in capabilities between recipient and transferring firms, rather than technical change, was the major focus of attention. By not including technology specific factors, several important aspects of technology acquisition and the potential for strategy on the part of recipients were missed. Finally, the TCB system approach regards variation as important in the ability of firms to manage technology transfer. When acquisition of technology takes place in a context where technological knowledge is mature, unchanging, and available from public sources, and the technological frontier at which innovative activity takes place (defined as the ability to generate next generation systems) is within the grasp of developing country firms, some of the assumptions of linearity hold. However, in more challenging contexts of technological change, alternative explanations are required. In light of these observations, the conceptual framework for understanding technology transfer relaxes most of these assumptions of linearity and is therefore more likely to be relevant in a wide range of contexts. Integrating External and Internal Capability Development Processes The TCB system approach recognises that, for the majority of developing country firms, importation of technological inputs is a major source of capability development. Internationally operating firms or local branches of such firms are the main source of supply of technological inputs, and developing country firms use a variety of mechanisms to acquire technological capabilities from external sources. The types of mechanisms include: selecting suppliers; procuring equipment and services from external suppliers under suitable terms and conditions; and

From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 261

integrating this supply process with other aspects of technological capability building. Reliance on imported technological inputs is considered necessary, because the local innovation system in the majority of developing countries does not provide adequate sources of advanced technological knowledge, equipment, software and technical services. The TCB system approach emphasises the need to balance indigenous capacity development with the importation of know-how and suggests that to effectively manage the interface with suppliers, firms must draw on many other capabilities. It is expected that firms that have developed capabilities to manage and process change, to develop leadership and culture that support learning and specific management practices to manage learning, will be more adept at acquiring technological inputs from external sources. In this framework, the ability to deploy cultural, leadership and change management strategies, is referred to as “internal processes” for building technological capabilities. In the technology transfer literature, these capabilities are referred to as “absorptive” capacities, or the ability to “manage technology transfer”. The TCB system approach extends the concept of absorptive capacity by specifying mechanisms used to manage boundary relationships, such as those with suppliers, and mechanisms that improve the ability and willingness to search for technological sources, and the ability to integrate new varieties of technology. The framework also extends the understanding of critical success factors for acquisition of technology by focusing on the individual human aspects of technology acquisition processes. These features have been treated extensively in the organisational development literature, but have received relatively little attention in the ‘technology transfer’ literature.23 Constrained Agency Arising from Technical Change and Industry Features The effectiveness of developing country firms acquiring technologies is considered explicitly to be under the partial control of these firms. Other important factors, such as the willingness and ability of external

The limitations and opportunities for making effective use of supplier relationships for technological capability building are expected to be derived from the nature of the specific technological inputs being sought and the willingness and ability of supplier firms to provide these inputs. Many of the early studies of technology transfer focused on the manufacturing sector. but they are also not fully in control of the extent to which they can maximise capability development objectives using externally acquired inputs. The secular trend of the increasing concentration of innovation activity is not questioned here. and emphasises industry specific factors as one of the explanatory factors. many of the capabilities that are required by developing country firms are likely to be unaffected by concentration in innovative activities. In the conventional technology transfer field represented here by Lall17 and Stewart. where firms in developing countries were seeking to produce the same output (at a lower cost) as their suppliers.6 The amplification provided by this approach is that it provides a detailed analysis of the conditions that influence the acquisition of different types of capabilities.18 developing country firms are often assumed to have less access to technological inputs as a result of the concentration of innovation activity in the industrialised countries. will also matter. The trend for radical innovation and incremental innovative activity to be . It is argued that while the inputs for generating radical innovation may be affected by this trend. Therefore. but an alternative reading of its consequences for developing country firms is offered. The firms are not completely passive actors at the mercy of TNCs.262 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development suppliers to play a role in capability development and the nature of the technological inputs that the developing country firm is seeking to acquire. the technology acquisition process is considered to be a boundary relationship in which developing country firms exercise constrained agency. Therefore. the majority of developing country firms that do not operate at technological frontiers are unlikely to be constrained by the increasing concentration of innovative activity. This characterisation has features in common with the treatment provided by Bell and Pavitt.

In the telecommunications industry. and that seek to appropriate returns through the enforcement of intellectual property rights. By presenting a more detailed analysis of the types of technological capabilities that are likely to be desired by developing country firms. The TCB system approach also considers that technological change has implications for the relationship between suppliers of technological inputs and their customers. This threat of the extension of proprietary rights to production technologies may have been overstated. etc. a specific technological change. Other factors that may facilitate access to external inputs include increased international migration of skilled labour and information and communication technologies that assist in the technological search process. but cannot provide the supplier management capability that firms require to integrate these inputs. etc. is therefore reduced. In service sectors. particularly for processes other than radical innovation. For instance. The approach specifically considers that international suppliers can provide only a subset of the capability inputs required from external sources.. the purchaser of imported inputs often does not directly compete with their suppliers. They note that this has led to an increase in the sources of technological inputs. and by considering the constituent elements of technological capabilities. would have an impact on the manufacturing sector. there are many more suppliers of codified knowledge and there have been increases in the number of specialised suppliers of equipment. is the increases in the embeddedness of knowledge within equipment. A fully operational capability to manage supplier relationships requires . transnational corporations that invest heavily in professional R&D facilities and other supporting infrastructures.From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 263 increasingly concentrated in large.. which has major implications. Suppliers operating in commercial markets are likely to be able to supply tacit and codified knowledge. equipment.6 such as the increasing specialisation in many technological markets.24 This approach takes account of the trends identified by Bell and Pavitt. and the threat of non-disclosure of technological functionality. software. the TCB system approach provides a more nuanced analysis of the technological acquisition process.

Effectiveness in managing supplier relationships includes the ability to search for alternative sources.264 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development active investment and components that cannot be provided by suppliers.25 Conventional studies of technology transfer often do not adequately take these factors into account. product functionality. technical support. The sample firms with well-developed TCB systems expressed the importance of having defined criteria and supplier selection systems that included technology assessment and evaluation mechanisms. There was a reasonably good fit between the criteria reportedly used by operating companies and the perception of their suppliers. Another key feature of the TCB system approach to understanding the role of technological acquisition in capability building is the emphasis on understanding how the changing nature of the relationship between supplier and user and the technological characteristics of the inputs affect the process of technological acquisition. track record in similar markets and speed of delivery to be among the most important criteria. For example. sector specific studies on capability development in the telecommunications sector provide useful insights into how the acquisition of capability inputs from external sources is impacted by industry-specific factors and technological change. depth of technological knowledge. The analysis of empirical results also confirms that operating firms did not consider the ability to generate products with a high . whereas firms with underdeveloped TCB systems did not. Evidence from African Telecommunications Firms Supplier Selection Operating companies in the sample considered cost effectiveness. to negotiate supply on appropriate terms and conditions and to integrate external inputs from a variety of sources.

Tadiran.From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 265 degree of technological novelty as an important criterion. NDS. insofar as the company placed its emphasis on . Irridium N=16 operating companies 4 2 1 Specific Mechanisms for Acquiring Technology from Suppliers Eleven firms provided data on the specific mechanisms used to acquire information. Divicom. Wherever there were technical criteria. BT. Cisco. Embeddedness of knowledge and information in equipment was one of the features of technological change in the telecommunications industry that influenced the acquisition of capability inputs from suppliers of equipment. ITELCO. one large national telecommunications company reported a very different pattern. know-how and skills from their suppliers of equipment and services. Mitsubishi. Nortel. long-term attachments at the suppliers’ site and interaction through social networks were among the mechanisms that were each used by one firm. MCL. Digital Equipment Corporation. these data are presented in Figure 14–3. Figure 14–2: Identifying important suppliers of equipment and services Company Name Number of operating companies Ecrisson Alcatel. Fujitsu. according to the size and level of development of the TCB system. BBC. Airspan UK Ltd (formerly DSC). Analysis of these data suggests that the formation of joint network design teams with suppliers. MSI. For example. Scientific Atlanta Advent. The companies reportedly used as suppliers are shown in Figure 14–2. NEC. as well as tendering and bid evaluation processes. Varian. MAS. were used by the highest number of sample firms for technology acquisition. Exclusive product demonstrations. Lucent. Iredeto. NTL. they were in terms of the functionality of the equipment that would be supplied. AT&T. There were variations among firms. Plessey. Siemens. but placed more emphasis on commercial abilities and the execution abilities of their suppliers. Hughes Network Systems.

Designation of executive with overall responsibility for managing supplier relationship 12. Training on specific equipment provided at supplier premises in Sweden 8. Training on specific equipment provided at supplier premises in South Africa (REGIONAL CENTRE) 7.266 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development transfer during field trials and procurement. Technical support services provided by supplier staff on operating company site 9. Shared social networks 14. Short-term contracts for expatriate engineers from supplier companies during testing & commissioning on site in African country 6. Long-term attachments with supplier companies on their premises 13. Tendering and bid evaluation processes including development of technical specifications 3. . Figure 14–3: Specific routines used for technology transfer from suppliers Technology Transfer Mechanism Frequency (# of firms reporting usage) 1. rather than via provision of regular training programmes. Exclusive product demonstrations N= 11 operating companies 4 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 Specific and Complementary Routines for Managing Supplier Relationships Firms are not born with the ability to manage supplier relationships. General technological training courses organised by suppliers and delivered overseas 10. Intensive use of supplier technical support hotline 4. Regular communication at functional middle-level management with international and local divisions of supplier firms 5. Formation of joint project teams for network planning 2. The development of boundary management competencies required active investment and the implementation of routines to strengthen: • the ability to evaluate technological capability requirements. Know-how transfer projects managed as part of procurement and equipment trial processes 11.

but were obliged to use the suppliers named by the financiers. Only seven out of twenty-six firms used formal evaluation and/or scan and search routines. South African operating companies were the most intensive users of formal technology search and evaluation techniques. These two firms were outliers in their active approach to capability development. This company was part of a group of companies founded . The Ugandan company had a technology and operational strategy that was closely influenced and directed by its major shareholder—a large South African company with operations in other parts of the continent. It may be. as reported by the interviewees. and they also paid attention to the integration of all capability development activity. and the ability to select high-quality sources of technological inputs on appropriate terms and conditions. and • the ability to integrate external inputs. a small Tanzanian data-communication company. the implementation of formal search and evaluation techniques was linked directly to the corporate culture of the firm. In the case of the other outlier. consisting of a wide range of TCB mechanisms. The relatively large size of the South African companies may be an explanatory factor here. with five out of the firms operating in South Africa reporting the use of these mechanisms. whereas in Uganda and Tanzania. the large public network operators did not operate independent search and scan mechanisms. that these firms were not able to exercise a choice in the selection of suppliers. which incorporates the ability to investigate and understand technological trends. This characteristic was also the case for the Ghanaian public operator prior to privatisation. since scan and search activities require a critical mass of highly skilled technical personnel. two other companies in the sample reported using formal search and evaluation techniques. In addition to the South African companies. These seven firms had well-developed TCB systems.From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 267 • the ability to scan and search. The other distinctive feature of the large South African operating companies is that their network development was funded independent of bilateral or multilateral development assistance.

Ghanaian and Tanzanian firms. including MIT engineering graduates. The pattern for use of informal mechanisms differed from that for formal mechanisms in so far as there was wider representation from Ugandan. For the former. The background of the founder of this business was as a professional engineer with more than 20 years of private sector overseas experience in the United States and active involvement with the United Nations development agencies as a technical assistance provider. The owner of the firm. If informal scan and search routines. their interest in technological sophistication. the explanations for the observed patterns differ for these two groups. This may account for the permeability of this firm’s organisational boundaries and its high propensity to be actively engaged in technology scanning and search activities. working parties of regional and international organisations) are included. which he used as a foundation to expand into telecommunications. trade associations. active participation in industry associations . a technological pioneer in Tanzania. This firm was an active participant in technological development at the regional and international levels.268 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development by young Africans. reported that he took direct and personal responsibility for this activity. the number of firms increases to eighteen. and their direct involvement in influencing technological strategy had enabled this small company to extend its boundaries beyond the limits imposed by its small size and the deficiencies of the local innovation system. their vision in promoting innovation. The other intensive users of these informal mechanisms were large public network national operators in Uganda and Tanzania and the national mobile operators in South Africa. a small Tanzanian private network operating company reported that its owner used trade fairs and exhibitions as a cost-effective mechanism for acquiring technological information. whose spokesperson reported an exceptionally high usage of these informal mechanisms. drawing on his technological background in aviation and aeronautical engineering. The background of the founders. such as attending trade fairs and exhibitions and participating in different communities of interest (professional bodies. For example. Another example comes from a small Ghanaian data communications company. However.

was reported to be an important means for independent assessment of technological trends and the evaluation of suppliers. The foregoing analysis suggests that variations in the use and implementation of these mechanisms are related to features. These regional and multilateral bodies were considered by interviewees to be ‘honest brokers’ since they did not fund network development. such as size. but instead were mandated to share information about appropriate technological choice and to provide information on equipment standardisation. participation in industry associations was said to focus on groupings such as the GSM Association. organisational culture and leadership. where employees engaged in the development of standards for particular technologies on an equal footing with the other participants. particularly in Ghana. which appears to have been an important source of external inputs. is the strategic investors and shareholders in the operating companies. Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation and the International Telecommunication Union. that used formal mechanisms for acquiring technological inputs and expertise from shareholders and strategic investors. The TCB system approach suggests that the ability to integrate externally sourced technological inputs is likely to require complementary . Conversely. Even companies with only moderate development of their TCB system and those with no discernible TCB system reported that they maintained regular communication with regional headquarters. Another community of interest. The relatively strong standing of the South African participants is demonstrated by the fact that employees of one of the operators had held international office in the GSM Association at the time the data was collected. the evidence drawn from interviewees shows that the sample firms engaged in activities that were designed to develop their scan and search capabilities. There were some large companies. for the two national mobile operators in South Africa. sister companies and shareholders as a means of gaining external technological input. In summary. including long-term attachments for local staff at the site of the investors and formal training courses organised by the investor companies.From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 269 and in the working parties of the African Telecommunication Union.

In particular. training course materials. There was also a large Ghanaian firm that had focused its competitive strategy on the development of the technological competencies of its people. Similarly. these features tend to be discussed in organisational development theory. This company focused its evaluation efforts on formal needs-assessments. software. In particular. While the majority of the sample firms used traditional delivery mechanisms for accessing codified knowledge and information. Traditional and computer-assisted mechanisms seem to . these contractual relationships were used to acquire equipment. contracts usually included elements of non-embodied capability. as discussed earlier in this section. sample firms were found to be ineffective at supplier management when complementary aspects of technological evaluation and integration were not in place. such as a clear definition and assignment of responsibilities. reinforcement of knowledge and promotion of higher-order learning were better able to integrate external inputs. firms that demonstrated a high level of competence in integrating external inputs were also those that exhibited advanced competencies in management development and practices. Although the equipment component typically accounted for a large percentage of the reported financial cost. maintenance procedures and protocols. Empirical evidence supported this proposition.270 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development capabilities if firms are to benefit from boundary relationships. a few firms augmented these with information technology tools.26 As noted in the earlier discussion of the conceptual framework. firms that created conditions for experimentation. but ignored by economists examining technical change and innovation. such as hotlines and web-based technology support. Role of Human Factors in Accessing Tacit Knowledge Evidence from the sample firms confirmed that supplier relationships were an important source of technological capabilities. and codified knowledge and information in the form of equipment handbooks. Among the sample firms were those with explicit technology strategies. which considered themselves to be worldclass as well as the technologically active outlier firms.

From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 271 have provided operating companies with access to factual information on equipment functionality and specifications. • Ensuring that there is regularity of contact over all phases of network development and operation and not limiting the tacit knowledge and information exchanges to commissioning and testing phases. Tacit knowledge and information exchanges require trust between parties. which ranged from formal classroom-based instruction at the operating company site to long-term attachments of operating company staff at the site of the supplier. Other mechanisms used by the sample firms included visiting supplier premises and reference sites. included mechanisms for: • Selecting training instructors and “experts” who had up-to-date knowledge sets. and their effectiveness of exchange appears to have been highly dependent on design and implementation. the design of the exchange mechanisms that was sensitive to these characteristics would require considerable skill on the part of both the operating companies and the supplier firms. and using consultants and specialists from suppliers on short-term technical assistance assignments. maintenance routines and equipment and software upgrades. The features of technology acquisition exchanges that appeared to improve effectiveness. Embodied capabilities were provided when suppliers organised training courses and technical support and services. The most significant characteristic of these mechanisms was that they involved the exchange of tacit knowledge and information between supplier and operating company. establishing joint project teams for network development. and experience in similar operating contexts. particularly for transfer of tacit knowledge components. As a result. good communication skills. Due to the importance of the tacit component of knowledge flow. A variety of mechanisms were used for the transfer of embodied capabilities. and shared meanings. . sound fundamental technological training. acknowledgement of the contextual characteristic of knowledge and information. these exchanges took place using both formal and informal mechanisms.

such as through equipment trials. The involuntary lack of control over choice of suppliers. which reportedly contributed to the effectiveness of the sample firms’ TCB efforts. had the same effect as weak scan and search capabilities by artificially restricting suppliers. • Implementation of mechanisms that foregrounded joint learning. and • Implementation of tendering processes that resulted in maximum disclosure of codified information and provided opportunities for intensive communication between suppliers and users. Smaller firms in the . ranging from global executives to local managers. This lack of control over the design of technology acquisition projects appears to have limited the effectiveness of the exchange of codified and tacit information flows and. hampered the flow of tacit information. particularly. prior to full commercial deployment. where suppliers and operating companies were actively involved in understanding technology requirements and specifications. Another important design flaw was caused by the misconception that technology acquisition was limited to commissioning. on the part of the operating company.272 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development • Organising joint ownership of the technology acquisition objectives expressed in the design and staffing of project teams and the breadth of the activities that are assigned to buyers of technological inputs. the operating companies in the sample were less able to select suppliers that were skilled in the design of technology dissemination projects. • Maintenance of regular contact between the staff of the operating companies and the supplier firms at all levels of hierarchy. included: • The ability of personnel in the telecommunication operating companies to maintain strong social networks with the staff of supplier firms. Other characteristics of managing supplier relationships. When there were weak search and scan abilities. testing and installing equipment.

which has led to the need for regular. suppliers appeared to have been forced to become more expert in helping their customers to understand and use this sophisticated equipment. continuous interface between suppliers and operating companies. This increasing embeddedness of knowledge in equipment has meant that the supply of embodied and nonembodied elements of technological capabilities in the telecommunications industry has become increasingly coupled. As a result. While this characteristic of embeddedness has the effect of making knowledge required for network management increasingly product (equipment/application) specific. Impact of Technological Change The sample firms’ reliance on global market leaders as an important source of external technological inputs appeared to be related to the following features of technological change in the telecommunications industry. This trend has had the effect of reducing the importance of intermediaries and information brokers as sources of external technological inputs. in that it has created artificial crises spurring operating companies into continuous rounds of technological upgrading and “improvement”. it also increases the possibility for fine-tuning network performance characteristics through software changes. As more knowledge and information is encoded or embedded in equipment and software control algorithms. The pace of change has also had some negative consequences. There has also been a rapid and accelerating pace of technological change in telecommunications systems. Telecommunications operating companies expect their suppliers to design and support equipment with appropriate functionalities and to understand the operational context in which that equipment will be used. the high levels of software controls used in the switching and access networks and the high information and knowledge content . subsystems and sub-components.From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 273 sample reported that they were hampered by their lack of critical mass of qualified and experienced personnel and their inability to make appropriate selections to staff technology acquisition projects.

The single source of supply is likely to allow operating companies to take advantage of the coupling effect of having access to non-embodied capabilities and embodied capabilities.) in the equipment industry. especially for firms without technological evaluation capabilities. etc. as measured by R&D. These long-term. are required to have high levels of IT literacy. such as those in the sample. but did not necessarily lead to the deleterious effect on access to technological capabilities that was implied by conventional studies on technology transfer. insofar as the operating companies could be persuaded to make regular upgrades in technological inputs at a pace determined by their supplier. to be more likely to use a single supplier firm as a source of external technological inputs. patents. including those with extensive search routines. The evidence does not provide support for a view that developing country firms were active in diversifying their suppliers.274 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development coded in equipment (devices and components) have resulted in IT and project management becoming core competencies for telecommunications network operating companies. the effect of technological change in the telecommunications industry has led developing country firms. such as network management and optimisation. All professional technical employees and particularly those in specific functions. rather than at a more measured pace in line with their capacity to direct and absorb the integration of these inputs. one-stop supplier relationships were common among the sample firms. Technological change also led to the emergence of at least two areas of core competence—IT and project management. frequently used global market leaders as their suppliers (these firms were those that had led the trend to concentrate innovative activity. The qualitative accounts suggested that the operating companies in the sample did not favour smaller or alternative . The suppliers used by the sample firms mainly included market leaders and second-tier equipment suppliers. In summary. There appeared to be potential shortcomings in the single-supplier mode. Impact of Specialisation and Concentration of Innovative Activity The findings confirm that the sample firms.

This may be explained by the interest of the global market leaders in increasing their effectiveness as suppliers of non-embodied and embodied capabilities. This pattern is consistent with the nature of competition in the telecommunications equipment supply industry. The telecommunications operating companies in the four developing countries in this study selected a limited range of companies to supply their key technological inputs.From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 275 sources of supply. the Israelibased company. were used. the global market leaders were willing and able to provide the operating companies with access to up-to-date equipment and the technical services required to efficiently develop. This is the same outcome as if they had been explicitly interested in choosing only those companies with relatively strong innovation performance. The qualitative accounts. however. The suppliers to the sample firms appeared to perceive that their success in winning business from the telecommunications operating . this was involuntary and was imposed by multilateral agencies and heavily criticised by the purchasers. Where small companies such as Tadiran. for the operating firms where there were multiple sources of technological inputs. The limited range of suppliers does not appear to have affected the ability of these developing country firms to exercise ‘constrained agency’ in acquiring technological inputs from these firms. these global market leaders were the suppliers of choice of the operating companies. Therefore. deploy and maintain networks based on that equipment. While the operating companies appeared not to have an interest per se in the innovative performance of the supplier companies. their keen interest in functionality and standardisation of equipment led to a de facto limit on the range of supplier sources. these firms were often niche market leaders in specific segments. such as wireless in the local loop access network components and systems. Put simply. The evidence from the sample firms does not support the view that implementing search routines leads to greater diversification. Ironically. do support the argument that the firms that had developed routines for technology needs assessment and integration of external inputs were better able to manage their single-supplier relationships.

The organisational innovations. and had applied these business processes in developed markets. • documenting the best practice mechanisms for knowledge dissemination.27 The evidence from this research suggests that this company was extending implementation of these business processes to its developing country markets.276 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development companies in Africa was dependent on their responsiveness to the business needs of these companies. What is perhaps even more interesting is the evidence that the supplier firms were themselves investing in organisational systems that may improve their ability to be responsive to the technological development objectives of their developing country customers. For example. The perception that it was important to have joint ownership of technological development objectives between suppliers and operating companies was indicated by the inclusion of such features as the ability to jointly plan and manage network deployment and operation among the list of critical success factors reported by suppliers. This company had also developed mechanisms whereby the employees of their customers could undertake formal certified training courses to achieve comparable levels of skill and expertise as the career network specialists of the supplier firm. There is also corroborating evidence that suggests that this company considered its ability to design these technology dissemination mechanisms as a source of core competence in all market segments. include: • undertaking investments in their internal technological learning and facilitating knowledge dissemination. • adapting business processes to increase knowledge and information flows between suppliers and users. . one of the supplier firms provided evidence that it had developed specialised career paths for technical assistance experts who were deployed to assist customers with network deployment and management. • regular and continuous interfacing with customers through a variety of formal and informal mechanisms. which were perceived by supplier firms in the sample to be most effective.

but were regarded as being less effective as sources of knowledge about fundamental scientific principles. The operating companies also had needs for this type of knowledge and information. as well as from policy and regulatory bodies. . Competitive success was considered to be increasingly dependent on the ability to assist customers in achieving their objectives and was believed to require organisational innovation to improve and maintain levels of responsiveness.From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 277 • improving account management. Private sector equipment and service companies provided non-embodied and embodied technological inputs that were required by operating companies. there are indications of some types of knowledge inputs where these private sector companies were less useful. basic technological training and understanding about the nature and direction of technological trends. and • using computer-assisted tools for dissemination of information. the changing nature of competition appears to be closely associated with the technological features of the products offered by these firms. In summary. This “know-why” was probably more effectively sourced from innovation system institutions. This result suggests an interesting line of further research that would investigate whether relationships similar to the ones exhibited in the telecommunications industry are present in other sectors. it would appear that the global market leaders were satisfying their developing country customers in terms of their levels of responsiveness. The empirical evidence also suggests that international and regional bodies might play a useful role in providing this information and knowledge. such as universities. training colleges and research labs. On the evidence. which could not be satisfied through their relationships with suppliers. Limits on Suppliers as Source of Technological Inputs Although equipment and service suppliers appear to have been an effective and significant source of technological inputs for the operating firms in the sample.

such as the level of development of the firm’s technological capability building system. operating companies had to have routines for evaluation and for searching and scanning. also referred to as “know-who”. the results suggest that African ICT firms should improve their capability to manage supplier relationships. Making these improvements is likely to influence whether developing country firms are able to benefit from access to external sources of technological capabilities. as were specialist information providers and organisers of trade fairs and exhibitions. Conclusion Several key insights emerged from the study with relevance for public sector bodies as well as for strategic management of African ICT firms. The communities of interest and practice referred to earlier appeared to be particularly good at providing independent assessments of competing sources of technological inputs. When operating companies used additional sources of external capability inputs. Private sector equipment suppliers would be unlikely to be an effective source of “know-who”. the extent to which firms had acquired the specific competencies of technological . These results have policy implications for the design and functioning of national innovation systems. In particular. First. because they would be unlikely to provide objective assessments of the range of sources available. the equipment suppliers would be partners in technological choice. rather than taking direct ownership of this critical function.278 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Other communities of interest and practice also made an important contribution to supply this “know-why”. To make use of these sources of “know-who”. Effective management of supplier relationships was strongly influenced by endogenous variables. Private-sector suppliers also did not seem to be particularly effective in providing access to knowledge and information about the best sources of codified and tacit knowledge needed by operating companies.

It provides illustrations of how large and small firms in the ICT sector in Africa can interact with global market leaders to the benefit of their technological objectives.From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 279 evaluation. and others that require internal development. In addition. Second. but have to do with improving the firms’ ability to use. acquisition. An important conclusion of the study was that exogenous factors. increasing specialisation. The confluence of technological and market dynamics appears to be leading customers and suppliers to become keenly interested in the exchange of knowledge and this seems to be leading to more open dissemination and greater disclosure. such as technological change. the result that confirms that African ICT firms appear to exercise constrained agency in their management of supplier relationships is also important. . On balance. Achieving these objectives require sophisticated user capabilities. This suggests that ICT firms in Africa. operate and adapt state-of-the-art technological inputs in their production processes. the evidence suggests an optimistic interpretation of the effects of these exogenous factors. a component that is too often ignored in economics-based studies of “technology transfer”. such as those in the sample firms. it was found to be important to differentiate between the many different types of knowledge and to assess the potential value that supplier relationships can add in each case. These considerations are particularly relevant in the case of service sector developing country firms. some of which can be sourced through relationships with suppliers. Complementary competencies that relied on human factors were found to be important for effective boundary relationship management. concentration of innovation and the nature of competition also influence the contribution of supplier relationships to technological capability building objectives of ICT firms. where many components of technological capability are embedded in equipment. adopt technology strategies that are not concerned with being generators of radical technological innovation at the frontiers of technology. and integration appeared to strongly influence the ability of firms to benefit from commercial relationships with external suppliers. search.

The analysis indicates that firms can improve technological capability accumulation by paying attention to supplier management as a specific aspect of capability development. Public-sector bodies in the national innovation system can play an important role in the capability building process by supplying complementary types of knowledge. The empirical evidence has shown that African ICT firms can make this transition to strategic technological capability acquisition by being more effective in relationships with suppliers and the innovation system. These results have important implications for public policy in such fields as Science and Technology Development. These strategies are particularly relevant for firms that wish to enhance strategic competitiveness and cope with rapid and fundamental technological change in the ICT sector. To become more effective in this role. . the national systems of innovation in developing countries will require considerable strengthening in terms of the range of institutions involved and the tools used to support capability development in firms. Applying the TCB system approach can contribute to moving developing country firms from passive technology transfer to strategic technological capability acquisition. The evidence should also inform the intervention approaches of national science and technology institutions and international organisations that support capability development in ICT.280 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development The empirical study outlined here confirms insights from research within the development studies field that suggest that external sources of technological capability need not crowd out domestic capability development. to support the search and scan capability of firms. Industrial Policy and ICT policy. It also suggests that there is considerable room for improvement in terms of how organisations in national systems of innovation assist firms to acquire knowledge that cannot be obtained from commercial sources. for example. “know-why” and “know-who”. such as the UN ICT Task Force. It extends this observation by highlighting the conditions under which the acquisition of technological capability inputs can advance the technological capability development objectives of developing country firms.

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349–369). (2000). Dosi. 15. (1995). (1992).). and Levinthal. Technology Transfer for Development. London: Pinter. (1990). World Development. R. R. Bell. and Shuen. provide an early and influential treatment of these issues from the organisational development perspective.A.. T. 301–324). F. Foreign Direct Investments and Technology Transfers in Development: A Perspective on Recent Literature. Kumar defines a concept of the quality of foreign direct investment (FDI) and suggests that developing countries can influence the “quality” of FDI and make conscious efforts to determine the extent to which technologies are transferred and the extent to which there is accumulation of capability through trade and investment. Winter (Ed. (1995). In G.. Lall. 12. 627–655. N. 8. M. 13. London: Routledge. Mytleka. Technological Capability in the Third World (pp. “Learning” and the Accumulation of Technological Capability. Research Policy.. Learning to Industrialise: The Acquisition of Technological Capability by India. Technology Transfer and Public Policy. 91–107. N. 17. Pisano. When the quality of FDI increases. Technological Capabilities and Industrialisation. D.. King (Ed. 14.P. (1990). K. London: Routledge and UNU-Press. (1997).H. Oxford: Oxford University Press. London: Routledge. S. See Kumar. L. Trade and Industrialisation in SubSaharan Africa. Technological Capabilities and Export Success: Case Studies from Asia. A. (1988). Girvan. (1990). and Teece. Exporting Africa—Technology. 20(2). and Kumar. Innovation as an Interactive Process: From User-Prooducer Interaction to the National System of Innovation.) (1998). Ernst. Evenson.R. a Small Firm in a Small Developing Country. Ranis (Ed. 10. Managing International Technology Transfer: A Strategic Approach for Developing Countries. In G. and Ganiatsos. In M.. Foreign Direct Investments and Technology Flows to Developing Countries.. Technical Change and Economic Theory (pp. 11. UNU/INTECH Discussion Paper # 9606. (1990). The Nature and Dynamics of Organisational Capabilities. Rotterdam. Fransman. and Park. S. W.) (2000). B. and S. G.. In these studies. Technology Learning and Innovation: Cambridge University Press.A. See Kim. Enos. (1996). and G. Cohen. 29(4–5). and Nelson. N. (Ed. (1984). In R. technology is transferred and capabilities are acquired through trade and investment relationships. 16. J. (2000). and Marcelle. Dosi. 9. G. Ottawa: IDRC. (1987).282 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development (Ed. 18. 35. Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation. Paper presented at the Third Annual Workshop of EULDC Trade and Capital Relations Network on External Resources for Development. D. 18. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Lundvall.. Science and Technology: Lessons for Development Policy (pp. Administrative Science Quarterly. (Ed. Maastricht. Hoffman. Innovation in East Asia: The Challenge to Japan. Hobday. Netherlands.. London: Macmillan. Overcoming Technological Dependency:The Case of Electric Arc (Jamaica) Ltd. (Ed.). Boseman. et al. Nelson. 187–209). M. B. D. 165–186. Boulder: CO: Westview Press. and Girvan. and K.). London: Macmillan Press and Lall. The Adoption and Diffusion of Imported Technology— the Case of Korea. J. 128–152. N.).R. Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management. L. World Development. W. (1988). .). M. 19. Stewart.

Paris: OECD Development Centre. see for example. Innovation in Large Technical Systems: The Case of Telecommunications. University of Sussex.) (1999). M. and Whipp. Unpublished DPhil Thesis. Sweden.). (1996). McKelvey. The term complementary capabilities is used in the same sense as the notion of the reinforcing effect of primary and secondary conditioning features of capabilities. Mona. . 22. R. (p. Technology. 23. 27. (1998). Learning to Use Telematics Technologies in Service Firms: Lessons from the Brazilian Experience. which states: “although there was little intellectual interchange between the predominately economic tradition that guided technology transfer specialists and humanistic behavioural science-orientated change agents who had constructed the methodologies of planned organisational change and developed OD. In M. B. (2001). See Pettigrew. The Dynamics of High Tech Industry: Swedish Firms Developing Mobile Telecommunication Systems. Scholars are recognising the need for a multidisciplinary approach. and N. Remmelzwaal. Oxford: Blackwell. Innovation and Competitiveness in Developing Countries. 5(4). Texier. (1990). (1999). D. A. 1143–1180. with OD paying scant attention to technical change and technology transfer remaining naïve about the actuality of facilitating effective organisational development”. Rothwell (Ed. 26. Competition. Innovation in Telecommunication: Bridging the Supplier-User Interface. Technological Learning and Capacity Building in the Service Sector in Developing Countries: The Case of Medical Equipment Management. R. A. 24. S. and Hakan. University of the West Indies. See for example. Francis. London and New York: Routledge. 3). London and New York: Routledge and UNU Press. M. Dodgson.S. (1996). 21.From Transfer to Strategic Acquisition of Capabilities ✦ Marcelle ✦ 283 20. 232–242). I am grateful to Dr. University of Sussex. L. Unpublished DPhil Thesis. (Ed. Unpublished seminar paper presented November 4th 2002. Radosevic. A. SIRP at Linkoping University. these two intellectual lifeworlds remained separate. Cassiolato.. P. UK.: Systems of Innovation Research Program. Handbook of Industrial Innovation (pp. and Bessant. International Technology Transfer and Catch-up in Economic Development. J. for pointing out that the same would be true for developing country manufacturing firms that were operating at distinct positions in the value chain from their international suppliers. Gloucestershire. E. From Knowledge Accumulation to Strategic Capabilities: Knowledge Management in a Mexican Glass Firm. at CENTRIM. (1995). University of Brighton. (1997). Unpublished monograph prepared for UNU-INTECH. Louanne Barclay. Technological Learning and Competitive Performance. E. and Mytelka. In the main. G. and R. Davies. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited. (1991).. Hobday.. J. (1997). Managing Change for Competitive Success. N. Market Structure and Internationalisation. and Figuereido. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. F. Mansell. Cheltenham. Siddhartan. (2002) “Transferring Soft Technologies”. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. Industrial and Corporate Change. Dutrenit. (1998). 25. Telecommunications in Developing Countries: The Challenge from Brazil. Kumar.

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No matter how we got here.CHAPTER Joseph O. there are basic facts that constitute Africa’s development challenges. one which Africans themselves can be satisfied with. Recent developments demonstrate the determination of Africa’s leaders to 285 . if not proud of. in the perception of Africans themselves. African life and condition to a respectable quality and level. President and CEO. Such response must aim at transforming. 2. once and for all. Africans are poised to take full responsibility for transforming that condition through a comprehensive self-development effort for the long-term. the analysis and resolution of which will form the basis of a comprehensive strategic response. leaves a lot to be desired. The African condition. Telecom Africa Corporation 15 Towards a Road Map for Information and Communications Technology Development in Africa When all is said and done. Amongst these are: 1. Sr. Okpaku.

as evidenced by this book and its various initiatives listed in Appendix I. as much in international organisations and the development community as in the private sector and civil society. This is a major part of the commitment of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Africa’s friends. holds much promise in this pursuit. for mutual benefit. The commitment of the Task Force to ICT development in Africa. Africa cannot effectively embark on such a mission without the complete buy-in and full and active participation of its people. and only then. and direct the process. working hand in hand with the leaders in a fully symbiotic enterprise for Africa’s future. wherever and however they 3. The African people themselves are ready to play their part. 6. and enshrined in the vision of the African Union. . It is then. Internally. as a vehicle for mobilising all parties and resources in support of ICT development to serve as a catalyst to drive the Millennium Development Goals. The success of this global partnership for Africa’s development is only possible. Some have already been doing so and continue to do so whenever. and to shape it for a better tomorrow. have also declared their commitment to partner with Africa in this process. if Africans take charge of masterminding the strategies for such a massive effort. 5. holds much promise in this regard. is an important aspect of this. The United Nations system. The commitment of the United Nations to the implementation of NEPAD.286 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development take command of the continent’s destiny. and the benefit of all. 4. The essence of that commitment is unequivocal in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Specifically. especially to NEPAD’s ICT initiatives under its eAfrica Commission. and only in such a context. that support and assistance can be best received and most effective in its deployment. within its overall programme. 7. is doubling its efforts in support of Africa’s development. however. the creation of the United Nations ICT Task Force in the aftermath of the Millennium Summit. through the Millennium Development Goals and the various United Nations initiatives for Africa.

for that matter. Africans at home and abroad are forming various national. social and professional groupings. Pooling these efforts in some loose comprehensive set of strategies and initiatives. which reduce the waste of precious resources without stunting creative scope. Some Notable Initiatives In all of this. in particular. regional. in their versatility. individually and in corporate. . determination. The deliberate and active interest in these initiatives by Africa’s leadership (and. Here. Africans. Information and communications technologies. are moving ahead to do what they can with their own limited resources. In this regard. offer major capacities to jumpstart and drive this process of self-development.Towards a Road Map for ICT Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 287 can. there have been many initiatives on ICT for African development. penetrating even the far-flung and outer reaches of the continent. Africa’s development partners) would go a long way to reinforce the determination of these mostly young Africans to assume primary responsibility for achieving a goal we all share. they start their own initiatives and then challenge their leaders to give them a chance to address some of the major ICT challenges. is the challenge. freedom and ingenuity. In many cases. delivering resources as well as acquiring innovations for redistribution to other parts of Africa and the global community and market. which are noteworthy by virtue of the initiative. Given such a conducive environment. Africa’s already quite vast existing expertise can be mobilised quite quickly to create initial results substantial enough to propel the process and provide the reinforcement of the recognition of accomplishments to sustain the effort. trade and professional organisations and societies to address various development challenges. 8. 9. 10.

The Internet Initiative for Africa. Here are a few examples. also of AT&T. of UNDP. then . Joseph Okpaku. This group of what one might call “the Internet Troubadours for Africa”. Diane Tyson. This perception of the Internet as a potential tool for “sabotage” was a very serious obstacle to official receptivity to its introduction. of Telecom Africa Corporation. with the collaboration of African ICT experts outside the UN system. Charles Coupet. Of particular importance to the team was the need to persuade African governments that the benefits of an exponential jump in the access to knowledge and information by the people far outweighed any anxiety they may have that such access would undermine their authority. the Regional Bureau sponsored a group of African and non-African experts who criss-crossed the African continent. Dr.288 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development commitment and courage of those who have led them. who was the project officer and leader. Ms. and Richard Kerby. Sr. when the idea of the Internet was still essentially a remote speculation for much of Africa. holding public seminars that brought together government officials (including Ministers and Directors). the Regional Bureau for Africa of the United Nations Development Programme. undertook to promote its introduction to Africa. consisted of Richard Kerby. Ellen Sirleaf Johnson. who was in charge of information systems at the Bureau. was created by the then Chief Economist of the Bureau. To advance the objectives of the IIA. IIA consisted of two basic components: the promotion of official receptivity to the introduction of the Internet on the part of African governments. John Ohiorhenuan. under the Directorship of Ms. Dr. The Internet Initiative for Africa (IIA) of UNDP In 1997. Professor Raymond Akwule of George Mason University. then at AT&T. and facilitating the building of Internet nodes in countries that did not have one or needed to reinforce what existed. Amma Annan. or IIA. ICT entrepreneurs and a handful of representatives of the global industry to promote the benefits of the Internet.

consists of a dozen African ICT experts from around the world. the African Advisory Group. Pierre Dandjinou of UNDP. Roxanne McElvane of the U. Dr. statesman. who meet on an average of twice yearly for a day or two to provide high-level strategic advice to African Ministers on . resulted in an African public-private partnership in ICT that has contributed in no small measure to the united focus and activism of Africans in the sector. Some eight countries took advantage of this offer.S. B. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri. and Ebrima Ceesay. in turn. who died while on a visit to Africa. as described in the introduction to this volume. under the auspices of the Ministerial Oversight Committee of the African Connection. Gambia’s PTT. The latter initiative was named after the U.Towards a Road Map for ICT Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 289 of Oracle (now with Microsoft). then Secretary (Minister) for Communications of Gambia.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Created and primarily sponsored by the Minster of Communications of South Africa. From these and other forums. now Secretary (Minister) for Communications and Technology. In material terms. in pursuit of the second objective of the Internet Initiative for Africa. The African Advisory Group on ICT (AAG-ICT) One of the most important outgrowths of this symbiotic relationship between African Ministers of Information and Communications and African ICT experts has been the formation of the African Advisory Group on ICT (AAG-ICT). Njie. then Managing Director of Gamtel. This. which also helped to finance the establishment of Internet nodes in Africa. The IIA ran parallel to the Leyland Initiative of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). a private consultant. K. Sarah Tesfaye. Both programmes coordinated their selection of countries to fund so as to avoid duplication and allow maximum spread. a camaraderie developed between African ICT experts and African Ministers of Information and Communications. Mickey Leland. UNDP provided matching funds of up to half a million US dollars each for any African country wanting to set up an Internet node.

represents the key areas of ICT. strategy and indigenous capacity building. The Task Force recognised this potential in promoting the Digital Diaspora Network for Africa (DDN-A). These in-Africa and Diaspora initiatives hold a significant promise in capacity building and innovation in deploying ICT for African development. . NITPA’s activities include networking. The effectiveness of the AAG comes also from the fact that its membership. advocacy to help shape government ICT policy through the infusion of ideas.Nitpa.290 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development matters of policy. consulting and investment opportunities. or NITPA. which is based on personal recognition. African Private Sector Initiatives Amongst African communities and professional groups abroad. the promotion of entrepreneurial. many similar efforts with varying resources have mushroomed to promote and provide ICT services for development.org. education. mentorship and the collection and donation of computers and other tools to Nigerian schools and school children. especially by Nigerian children. Some of these have been covered in individual chapters in this volume. as well as supporting access to ICT resources. The chief executives of the African Telecommunications Union (which succeeded the Pan-African Telecommunications Union) and the African Connection are also members of the AAG. who are pooling their knowledge and resources to directly intervene in building Nigeria’s ICT capacity. NITPA maintains a website: www. in individual countries in Africa. and in various communities within these countries. This is an association of Nigerian high-level ICT experts and entrepreneurs around the world. primarily in the United States. NITPA A good example of such groups is the Nigerian Information Technology Professionals Association. discussed in full in Chapter Twelve.

Towards a Road Map for ICT Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 291 AFCOM and the African Telecom Summit A major platform for the promotion of ICT in Africa has been conferences. It is my belief that the only way to meet this challenge is a bold effort at ICT industrialisation. but will also create jobs at all levels. unless compelled by extenuating circumstances not to attend. except to state that the potential of maximum positive impact is high. Some suggestion. and . held on an average of every two years. stimulate academic interest in ICT at all levels. encourage research and development. and the prospects are good.afcomnet. promote the birth of support industries. This will not only lower the cost of infrastructure through local manufacturing. workshops. strategy. might be of value. seminars and other forums. Together with the ITU Telecom Africa Regional Conference. By virtue of the African public-private synergy in the ICT sector discussed earlier.com) and the African Telecom Summit (cordinat@ghana. which bring the African public and private sectors as well as civil society and their global counterparts together. markets and capacity building. The Road Map One cannot presume to provide an overall or commanding agenda for the future of ICT for African development.com). to dialogue on policy. Infrastructure and Access The combination of inadequate infrastructure and the high cost of building infrastructure remain a major challenge to ICT development in Africa. however. these constitute the main regular forums for public discourse on ICT in Africa. Two of the most prominent of these are AFCOM (http:///www. African Ministers of Communications and African ICT experts consider these two annual events a must.

it has always ended up costing Africa the same amount of money for access. as well as the potential downside inherent in them.292 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development encourage innovation and invention. This means that a comprehensive and innovative process needs to be designed for teaching the science and engineering of ICT and its applications at all levels of formal education. The need to modify existing technologies or create new ones to meet the specific circumstances of demand is indisputable. This approach also enables us to derive multiple benefits from the same investment. with remarkable success. This is the model that China chose. Technology The issue of appropriate technology has been a feature of much ICT dialogue with respect to Africa and the Developing World in general. Research and Development and Intellectual Property I have made the argument again and again that there can be no meaningful development without the acquisition of cutting edge capacity in science and technology. by moving the resources through industry and technology to labour and private individual income. Education The most conducive environment to the internalisation of new ideas and technologies is the creation of a pervasive knowledge of that technology and its direct implications for the general population. approximately one thousand dollars per line. Such capacity is impossible without a parallel . This should be backed up by public enlightenment programmes to increase public awareness of ICTs and the benefits they offer to society at large. The problem has been that no matter what new technologies have been offered or introduced to Africa. This means that the obvious benefit of new technologies fails to apply when introduced to Africa.

the vacuum created by a less than enthusiastic initiative in this area is not unlikely to force its compulsion through more strident policies and regulations. Africa and its partners must find the courage to address this fundamental need as a critical sine qua non for all we strive to accomplish. makes an even more appealing case. we will never derive a meaningful and sustainable momentum. It is also good strategy. because as the synergy between government and the African private sector continues to grow in the sector. with the sincere support of a global private sector. we must invest in building ICT Research and Development institutions. certainly Africa. especially self-development. Unless Africans engage vigorously in the effort to create and own intellectual property from the process of ICT development in the continent. most desirably under the auspices of the African private sector. This will put at risk all efforts made by all of us to bring about an irreversible process of possible change. To seek to build ICT capacity without a solid foundation of Research and Development is nothing but building skyscrapers in quicksand. This logic holds true more in the field of Information and Communications Technologies than anywhere else. The fact also that intellectual property is the quintessential asset in our contemporary economy makes the need for African participation in this venture most compelling. except in the Medical Sciences. Furthermore. is driven inevitably by passion for transformation. in partnership with Government. package and disseminate content based on the . regional institutions and academic establishments.Towards a Road Map for ICT Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 293 capacity in Research and Development. In this regard. with its potential as one of the last frontiers of highest demand for information and communications technologies. Content Development I believe that there is general agreement today that development of the capacity to create. which itself stands to gain a lot from this investment. intellectual curiosity and the sense of mission that comes from a personal dream and a shared common vision. If the global industry has seen sufficient reason to do so in Asia and elsewhere. development.

To seek capacity in technology without building corresponding capacity in the development of software and applications is like investing all of one’s resources in acquiring a car. technology and medicine. however. and the State of California Technology. because it is also the area in which smart people can generate incredible incomes with which to pursue their search for quality of life. A casual observation would suggest that African regulators understand this dual obligation and are determined to evolve the appropriate strategies for managing this dichotomy. is much more than to simply facilitate easy market access for global ICT companies. Africans must rapidly develop this capacity. but in literature. Fortunately. not only in craft and culture. while constituting a source of much needed revenue earnings for Africa and Africans. is a compelling priority in the best interest of all of us. versatile and flexible local and regional ICT industry. there is beginning to be a movement in this regard. Software Development and Application ICT technology is driven by software applications. African countries have embraced this notion with remarkable commitment.294 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development complete spectrum of African knowledge and experience. Rather. with no capacity to purchase the fuel. and especially in children’s playthings. . Policy and Regulation Smart and innovative policy and regulation is the key to creating an environment conducive to rapid and sustained ICT development in all societies and economies. Trade & Commerce Agency. Their role. such as in the Digital Factory Initiative being undertaken by Sun Microsystems. the Telecom Africa Corporation. and to ensure maximum services and benefits to the people at very affordable costs. Both the uniqueness of the African experience and the commonality of its human underpinnings constitute a wealth of knowledge and information with great appeal to the general global public. science. its first role is to drive the development of a strong. The growing number of Africans engaged in software development is also encouraging.

but also in the need to integrate the region for the common good.Towards a Road Map for ICT Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 295 It is important in this regard to raise a warning flag about some of the policies and procedures. which appear to have been foisted on African regulators through well intentioned. the conditions. but misguided consultant advice. goods and services is of little value without access to the broadest possible market. goods and services from it. only serve to exclude them from the only opportunities they would otherwise have to meaningfully engage in building African capacity and participation. products and services. but should concern those in the public and private sector of the global industry as well. The extent to which industry players themselves intervene in their own markets to create room for Africa’s ICT ideas. and for better global competitiveness. however asymmetrical the capacity might be. as articulated in the various debates at the World Trade Organisation. which African regulators are advised to impose on the process. by the very nature of being conditions which Africans cannot meet. It is a basic assumption in free-market economies that market access must be free and mutual. Market Access: Capacity Building for Global Competitiveness Building capacity is of little value without the opportunity to produce ideas. to that extent will the common interests of the partnership be protected and sustained. The growing frustration of Africans in this regard. This is not only because of the benefits of the economies of scale inherent in such collaboration. In almost every case. producing ideas. especially its ability . Regional Cooperation The compelling benefits of cooperation amongst African countries and players are self-evident and increasingly recognised. Similarly. for example. is a warning sign. This is not just a matter of extreme importance to Africa. The very essence of Information and Communications Technologies. which the global ICT industry must take seriously and preemptively. especially in the process of liberalisation and privatisation of networks in Africa.

Tensions and their Remedies: New Ideas for New Circumstances In all serious efforts to bring about change. Global Partnership and Cooperation The global component of such partnership not only promises benefits to all parties while supporting Africa’s transformation. candour will be important in the dialogue. which inhibit the very definition and admission of problems begging to be solved. for example. into subterranean animosities. have to understand the anxieties of the African private sector. While it might appear easier to ignore these tensions or pretend they do not exist. transforming what might have been resolved in friendly and enjoyable. We will. even if animated discourse. ignoring them allows them to fester. the presence of tension is inevitable. in deference to protocol or decorum. that the very thrust of the global private-African public partnership could serve to undermine them if not properly managed. In some manner. This would have to be addressed. but also goes a long way to making the world a better and happier place for all of us.296 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development to deliver products and services clear across the world in infinitesimal time. In order to succeed at the massive undertaking at promoting ICT for Africa’s development. The very vision of the UN ICT Task Force and the raison d’etre of this entire volume is a testament to that. makes this eminently feasible. they are important because it is in their resolution that we evolve new ideas to better address the dynamics of our new circumstances. The Future Against this background and looking into the future. one cannot but see the tremendous possibilities that a comprehensive global partnership in support of an African-owned and defined strategy for the acquisition of Information and Communications Technologies and their deployment .

whether conceptually. There is always something to do with whatever one has to give. materially or in kind. that they are also ready to go. Africans are prepared to play their role.Towards a Road Map for ICT Development in Africa ✦ Okpaku ✦ 297 for African development promises an exciting process. The African train is ready to leave the station. Our challenge is to respond to the conductor’s clarion call. The global partnership for development has also declared its commitment and preparedness. which would enrich all. African leaders have declared. What it takes to make a difference in ICT covers the entire spectrum of resource levels. through the vision of the African Union and the instrument of NEPAD. “All onboard!” .

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on its own and in collaboration with its partners.org/regional/africa/ The Digital Diaspora Network for Africa (DDN-A) O B J E C T I V E : DDN-A has been launched to promote development in Africa with ICT applications through mobilizing the entrepreneurial.org/ 299 .APPENDIX I United Nations ICT Task Force ICT Initiatives for Africa The United Nations ICT Task Force is undertaking a number of ICT initiatives in support of Africa’s development efforts. WEBSITE: http://www. and professional expertise and resources of the African Diaspora.ddn-africa. WEBSITE: http://unicttaskforce. technological. African Stakeholders Network (ASN) UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force O B J E C T I V E : To ensure that the United Nations-efforts to bridge the digital divide in Africa are better coordinated. more inclusive and reflective of the significant efforts already underway to develop an African Information Society. Some of these initiatives are listed below.

e-mail.un.org/groups/principal.unicttaskforce. WEBSITE: http://www.asp National and Regional E-strategies UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force O B J E C T I V E : Act as a catalyst and champion for stimulating the early deployment of national and regional e-Strategies and not as an implementer or operational entity. cooperation and coordination among the many existing and emerging . WEBSITE: http://www.int/UNITAR/PATIT Global Database UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force O B J E C T I V E : A global web-based database of government ICT policy makers. had its first session today at United Nations headquarters. This initiative is a step towards strengthening the Task Force’s outreach and facilitation of contacts with national decision makers. WEBSITE: http://www.asp Working Groups Initiatives ICT Policy and Governance UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force O B J E C T I V E : Focuses on ways to enhance the capacity of developing nation stakeholders to participate in global policymaking related to information and communication technologies (ICT) with a view to building a global ICT policy environment that would be conducive for the achievement of the potential of information technology by all countries. web surfing. as well as private sector and NGO ICT leaders has been built.unicttaskforce. focusing on computer and Internet know-how. Also. it should create synergies. software.300 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Training in Information Technology— ICT Policy Seminars for Ambassadors UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force O B J E C T I V E : A new training program for diplomats. linkages.org/globaldatabase/database. including hardware. web design and maintenance.

A key priority of the Group is to harness ICT for education. WEBSITE: http://www.asp Human Resource Development and Capacity Building UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force O B J E C T I V E : The group is working closely with relevant United Nations agencies and other partners from the private and public sectors to promote the use of ICT for capacity-building and human resource development.org/groups/principal. and others.unicttaskforce.asp .org/groups/principal. ITU.Appendix I ✦ 301 initiatives on the ground. WEBSITE: http://www. Working Group 5 is committed to inventing and applying sustainable information technology solutions that are appropriate in addressing the real issues and problems facing enterprises and entrepreneurs in the developing world.unicttaskforce. such as the World Bank. WEBSITE: http://www.asp Business Enterprise and Entrepreneurship UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force O B J E C T I V E : To find ways to combine the power of ICT tools with the spirit and enthusiasm of the entrepreneurs of the developing world. UNECA. WEBSITE: http://www. with particular attention to overcoming existing disparities in educational and training opportunities and achievements between males and females.unicttaskforce.org/groups/principal.unicttaskforce.org/groups/principal. UNDP.asp Low Cost Connectivity Access UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force O B J E C T I V E : To facilitate a productive dialogue among potential partners to tackle these issues and to make considerable progress in this area.

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3D technology and Multipurpose Community Telecentres (MTCs) in Uganda United Nations Educational. in Africa and abroad. organisations and institutions. undertaken by a wide spectrum of individuals.APPENDIX II ICT Initiatives for Africa There are a growing number of Information and Communications Technologies initiatives in Africa.shtml WEBSITE: 303 .org/webworld/build_info/gct/ bestpractices/virtual_reality. http://www. These websites quite often also provide information on other relevant initiatives via links to other websites. Following is a small selection of some of these initiatives. Where possible. Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) OBJECTIVE: To create a 3D and multimedia programme to help educate Ugandans about water sanitation.unesco. a website address has been provided for each initiative.

atu-uat.pdf African Cultural Conservation Fund (ACCF) ICTs to protect cultural heritage OBJ ECTIVE: To provide support to African communities that wish to implement cultural initiatives. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www. WEBSITE: http://www.doc. Programmes include Banking on Culture.org . WEBSITE: http://www. Ghanaian Weavers. harmonise and co-ordinate ICT policies and develop common regulatory frameworks and drive the African efforts to make the region a full member of the global information society.idrc.theculturebank. electric power supply projects. http://www.gov. policy and regulatory issues and to work in close liaison with the African Connection and the African Telecommunications Union.afdb.304 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Acacia Initiative International Development Research Centre (IDRC) O B J E C T I V E : To provide developing countries.za African Connection African Telecommunications Union (ATU) To provide a platform for the promotion of regional markets. and ICT to reach and interact with bank clients and stake holders. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www. the voice to shape the Global Information Society and establish the potential of ICTs to empower poor African communities. particularly in Africa.org WEBSITE: African Development Bank O B J E C T I V E : To promote telecom infrastructure projects.org/pdf/AfricanConnection.ca/acacia African Advisory Group on ICT (AAG-ICT) To provide confidential high-level advice to African Ministers of Information and Communications on strategic. finance studies (RASCOM). act as a catalyst to mobilise private capital. advisory services.

org OBJ ECTIVE: To provide public education about technology use.aolfoundation. http://www. more inclusive and reflective of the significant efforts already underway to develop an African Information Society.alcatel. and organise workshops on Internet awareness. http://www. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: www. Cyber-centres. promote policy-making that removes barriers. .bridges.org/regional/africa/ ALCATEL To promote field pilot-projects.uneca.org WEBSITE: Building Digital Libraries in Africa United Nations Educational.org/aisi/ African Stakeholder Network (ASN) of the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force (UN ICT TF) To ensure that United Nations-efforts to bridge the digital divide in Africa are better coordinated. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.org Bridges.Appendix II ✦ 305 African Information Society Initiative (AISI)—UNECA National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) Partnership for Information and Communication Technologies in Africa (PICTA) OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: To build Africa’s ICT infrastructure by 2010.unicttaskforce. E-government. http://www. and create a body of knowledge about digital divide issues. Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and its intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP).com AOL Foundation OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: To promote AOL Foundation’s Digital Grant Initiative.

ca/ Carnegie Corporation of New York P R O G R AMS I N C L U D E : International Development Program. O BJ E C TIVE : WEBSITE: http://www. http://www. and institutions).zef. help build human capital and productivity and support African governments in their efforts to achieve best practice standards of economic governance by sharing experiences. enterprises.org/ Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) P R O G R AMS Geographic Info System: Mozambique.de CEO Charter for Digital Development World Economic Forum O BJ E C TIVE : Participating CEOs agree to target at least 20% of their annual corporate citizenship and/or philanthropy budgets to support actions aimed at promoting social.acdi-cida. Centre for Development Research (ZEF Bonn) To promote ICT in low-income countries research programme (households. WEBSITE: http://www. & Information System. Kenya National Library Service. Pan African Doc.org/ WEBSITE: . http://www. economic and educational progress in disadvantaged communities through ICT. and South African Info Techno Industry Knowledge for Development.306 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development OBJ E CTIVE: To raise awareness among Africans of the availability of public information that can improve socio-economic positions as well as teach them the skills necessary to sustain the project over the long term. I N C LU D E : WEBSITE: http://www. and African Research Centre for Technology.org/webworld/build_info/gct/ bestpractices/anthologies.weforum.gc.shtml Business Endorsement of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development World Economic Forum WEBSITE: O B J E C T I V E : To develop best practice standards of corporate governance.unesco.weforum.

Izibuko Project O BJ E C TIVE : To provide schools with access to ICT infrastructure by refurbishing obsolete computers. providing relevant and empowering content through the development of a community portal.gov Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA) To promote Danish assistance.com/warp/public/779/edu/academy/ WEBSITE: Community IT Foundation (CITF).um.Appendix II ✦ 307 Cisco Systems Cisco’s networking academies O BJ E C TIVE : To develop human capacities in the developing world. Cooperation Francaise OBJECTIVE: To promote Francophone funds for networks. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www. while helping less developed countries to address the shortage of IT professionals. WEBSITE: http://www. and providing appropriate training to educators and learnerships to newly qualified IT technicians. and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) O B J E C T I V E : To give students an opportunity to interact with scientists and students in other parts of the world.gouv. The Government has conducted a critical review in order to focus Danish development assistance and environmental assistance to the developing countries and to make the assistance more efficient. http://www.globe. http://www. The pilot project involves the establishment of 8 fully equipped computer labs at schools in the Western Cape. is concentrated on promoting sustainable development through poverty-oriented economic growth.fr WEBSITE: Creating Future Scientists National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).cisco. Programmes include African Network for distant learning.dk/danida/ .cooperation. and to allow them to share their research in the Internet-based student data archive.

http://www. PROGRAMMES INCLUDE: WEBSITE: http://www. and the Imfundo project—a unique partnership between DFID. experiences and resources of the public and private sectors can be harnessed to effect positive and sustainable change in Africa. O B J E C T I V E : To explore ways in which the combined knowledge. the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP).uk Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) OBJECTIVE: To improve the living conditions and perspectives of people in developing and transition countries. Cisco Systems. raising skills levels and sharing knowledge. Marconi and Virgin—which aims to bridge the growing digital divide in African countries.308 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Department For International Development (DFID) DFID e-business strategy.devenir. O BJ E C TIVE : WEBSITE: http://www. through better teacher training. resources and tools.dfid.de WEBSITE: Development Gateway/Foundation World Bank To provide users access to information. the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).org/ Devenir Foundation (Foundation de Devenir) To promote acquisition of IT for local development purposes in Africa.gov. The pilot project will explore how IT can improve education. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www. and Gruppo CERFE.developmentgateway. into which they can contribute their own knowledge and experience.gtz.org Digital Diaspora Network for Africa—DDNA An initiative of the UN ICT Task Force in collaboration with Digital Partners. and ensure that collective knowledge is accessible through the Web. To promote development .

org WEBSITE: .org Digital Opportunity Initiative (DOI) To develop a methodology and toolkit that can be reused and tailored to developing countries with diverse conditions and priorities. and in partnership with Sun Microsystems and the Office of the Governor.org/ Digital Opportunity Task Force (DOT Force) OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: A G8 initiative to enable global opportunities in ICT-K4D. O BJ E C TIVE : WEBSITE: http://www. enterprise and development in developing emerging market economies. www.ddn-africa. subcontracting and direct contracting with industry partners. training and the Internet for learning.Appendix II ✦ 309 in Africa and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals through mobilising the technological. development agencies and international organisations.opt-init.org/ Digital Factory To create capacity in Africa for the development of software and applications at global standards to support the global ICT industry and market. entrepreneurial and professional expertise and resources of the African Diaspora. not only in terms of training and capacity-building. to greatly enhance the prospects of Africa’s ICT Development.TelecomAfrica.digitalpartnership. WEBSITE: http://www.dotforce. Trade and Commerce Agency.org Digital Partnership South Africa OBJECTIVE: To develop access to technology. OBJ ECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www. as well as meet indigenous continental demand. State of California Technology. http://www. but also in providing market opportunities for such expertise through out-sourcing.

ISTweb. and Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP). eSafety.gautengonline. eContent.310 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Directorate for International Co-operation (DGIS) (The Netherlands) P R O G R AM M E S University Support Programme. WEBSITE: www.fordfound. I N C LU D E : WEBSITE: http://www. the Internet Action Plan. Policy aspects and regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services.com .minbuza. and much more. business. International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD). OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.nl European Commission—Information Society OBJECTIVE: To address the impact of the Information Society on citizenship. INCLUDE: WEBSITE: http://www. and international aspects of the information society. education.org Ford Foundation To promote ICT as a crosscutting theme for programming in South Africa. Relevant European Commission programmes and initiatives. e-mail and electronic curriculum delivery as well as developing a model for large-scale implementation of ICT in schools. calls related to IS programmes and activities are published regularly. in collaboration with Rockefeller Foundation.org Gauteng Online O B J E C T I V E : To provide every learner and educator in all public schools with Internet access.fao. culture. Public consultations to promote dialogue with citizens. and WAICENT. IDA (Interchange of Data between Administrations).eu. such as the Europe Action Plan. FAO 3D World experience: education.int/information_society WEBSITE: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) PROGRAMMES Community Directory Server (CDS): data collection. Programmes include the Project for Information Access & Connectivity (PIAC). http://europa. eTen.

org/ GDN regional network for Africa WEBSITE: http://www. based on informal consultations. CRYSTAL.gdnet. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.org/ WEBSITE: Global Digital Divide Initiative (GDDI) World Economic Forum To build partnerships between the public and private sector to bridge the divide and to make effective use of ICTs to improve lives. http://www.gdln. WEBSITE: http://www. Products and services are being shaped to meet the demands of research institutes in developing countries. and URBANET. O BJ E C TIVE : WEBSITE: http://www. SHARED.gdnet.org/ .de Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe) O B J E C T I V E : GBDe is a worldwide. CEO-led.gbde.org Global Development Network (GDN) To provide policy researchers in developing countries access to financial support and data resources.org/africa/ Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) World Bank OBJ ECTIVE: To provide decision-makers across the developing world with affordable and regular access to a global network of peers. experts and practitioners to share ideas and experiences to fight poverty. HealthNet. and help to strengthen collaboration with their counterparts throughout the globe.Appendix II ✦ 311 German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development PROGRAMMES INCLUDE: ISAT. surveys and regular systematic feedback. WEBSITE: http://www.bmz.weforum. business initiative. established in January 1999 to assist in the creation of a policy framework for the development of a global online economy.

intel.com/europe/sites/south_africa/ International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to help communities in the developing world find solutions to social.312 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Hewlett Packard Foundation W E B S I T E : http://www. WEBSITE: http://www. software and curriculum support. and environmental problems through research.ch WEBSITE: INTEL Innovation in Education The Intel initiative “Innovation in Education” has programs that offer tools. OBJ ECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.ca . http://www. This is done by providing ICT equipment.intel.wmo.com/ High-tech weather services in Africa United States Weather Service. and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) OBJECTIVE: To create a cooperative weather observer network to help the countries of Africa better prepare for drastic climate changes and avert natural disasters. resources and programs that aim at building communities and inspiring youth through technology. economic.hp. OBJ ECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.com/education Intel South Africa Intel Teach to the Future To design an educator development program for pre and in-service Educators to integrate technology into learning and teaching. Initiatives in Africa are implemented in collaboration with Bellanet and Communities and ICTs for Africa.idrc.

Private sector partnership and Human Resources.org WEBSITE: International Labour Organisation (ILO) O B J E C T I V E : To promote and realise standards and fundamental principles and rights at work.imo.itu. O BJ E C TIVE : WEBSITE: http://www.Appendix II ✦ 313 International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) OBJECTIVE: To finance agricultural development projects primarily for food production in the developing countries.ilo. empower local organisations in using ICTs. http://www. Telecom. efficiency of navigation and prevention and control of marine pollution from ships.org International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) O BJ E C TIVE : Organisation within the United Nations where governments and the private sector coordinate global telecom networks and services. Programmes include FIDArique and Evaluation Knowledge System (EKSYST). WSIS.ifad.iicd. Programmes include: Valetta Action Plan (VAP): Rural development.int WEBSITE: . to encourage and facilitate the general adoption of the highest practicable standards in matters concerning maritime safety.org WEBSITE: International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) O BJ E C TIVE : To focus on knowledge sharing with local and international communities. Programmes include: ILOLRX and NATLEX. http://www.org International Maritime Organisation (IMO) To provide machinery for cooperation among Governments in the field of governmental regulation and practices relating to technical matters affecting shipping engaged in international trade. Technologies & applications. http://www. and help national institutions to become providers of local information and advisory services. WEBSITE: http://www.

gov. http://www. and a Portuguese development foundation.cv/ . Science.za MacArthur Foundation OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: To promote Global Security & System programming. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.html http://www. Virtual Studios). WEBSITE: WEBSITE: http://www. Learning Channel Online To provide an interactive educational website for learners and educators from grades 8 to 12.gov/leland Love Life To promote use of ICTs for sexual health/HIV/AIDS education (Call and Youth Centres. O B J E C T I V E : To evaluate and analyse ways in which ICTs can be used to improve the education and training systems in Cape Verde. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: www.learn.macfdn. OBJECTIVES: WEBSITE: http://www.314 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development ITU’s Internet Training Centre Initiative International Telecommunication Union (ITU) OBJ ECTIVE: To help people in underprivileged countries develop the skills to function in the global networked economy. PROMEF.governo. Youth and Sports (MESYS).itu.org.org/index. http://www.co.usaid.lovelife. Ministry of Education.cv/promef/contact.htm Mandatory ICT exposure World Bank.za Leland Initiative United States Agency for International Development (USAID) To create an enabling policy environment and a sustainable supply of Internet services and enhance Internet use for sustainable development.int WEBSITE: Learning Channel Campus.

schools. MultiChoice Africa Foundation-Use of ICT for Professional Development of Educators To enhance educator development and provide greater access to quality education resources in the lesser-developed parts of South Africa.co. through the use of ICT.mara. and devote the Foundation only to the development of ICTs.za/ .com/southafrica/community WEBSITE: Microsoft.htm WEBSITE: MultiChoice Africa. http://www.za Markle Foundation Partner of the Digital Opportunity Initiative.com/southafrica/press/press–403.org. http://www. O BJ E C TIVE : WEBSITE: http://www. Microsoft Digital Villages OBJECTIVE: To provide communities. WEBSITE: http://www. WEBSITE: http://www.org/index.microsoft.markle. students and entrepreneurs the chance to develop their computer skills and take advantage of the power of the Internet. schools. students and entrepreneurs the chance to develop their computer skills and take advantage of the power of the Internet.multichoice.html Microsoft Digital Bridge Programme Microsoft OBJECTIVE: To provide Microsoft software to all government schools in South Africa that give communities.Appendix II ✦ 315 Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa (MARA) OBJ ECTIVE: To promote Geographic Information System-based Net- work.microsoft. Founding partner of the Global Network Readiness & Resource Initiative. sponsor Digital Opportunity Summits.

foster regional integration and intra-regional trade.africanrecovery.nitpa.co. mobilization of accessible IT human resources resident in the US for purposes of technology transfer to Nigerian institutions (including educational. foster market conditions conducive to the provision of affordable and reliable communication services and achieve e-readiness for all countries in Africa. consulting opportunities. education.uneca.za/bus_socialinv.itu. O B J E C T I V E : To narrow the digital divide.pdf MTN Foundation Focuses on Education.org/nepad NITPA OBJECTIVE: To promote networking among members to generate synergy & promote IT entrepreneurship. project opportunity. IT entrepreneurial and investment opportunities in Nigeria and the US. advocacy (government policy influence and infusion of ideas to key IT and Diaspora agenda). O B J E C T I V E : To accelerate economic growth and development.asp NEPAD & IS PAD New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and Information Society Partnership for African Development (IS-PAD). International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and United Nations Educational. commercial and Civic institutions). WEBSITE: http://www. and excellence in IT application as a collective means for Nigerian national image-building. Science and technology.org http://www.int/ITU-D/ict/cs/uganda/material/uganda.316 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Multipurpose Community Telecentres (MCTs) in Uganda International Telecommunication Union (ITU). WEBSITE: WEBSITE: http://www. and HIV/AIDS programs.m-cell. mentoring. WEBSITE: http://www. www.org WEBSITE: . Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

org PRIDE AFRICA O B J E C T I V E : To promote Virtual Network to link clients of a microfinance programme. Open Society Foundation Limpopo Component O BJ E C TIVE : To focus on improving planning and communication between schools and districts through the deployment of ICTs. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.Appendix II ✦ 317 Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD) O BJ E C TIVE : To promote access & connection. http://www.norad.soros. empowerment in NGO programmes. http://www. content.sk/ WEBSITE: Open Society Institute (OSI) (Soros Foundation) To promote Internet Media Program (OSI-IMP): connectivity.prideafrica.ranetproject.com RANET Project United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the African Centre for Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) O B J E C T I V E : To help marginalised communities in remote locations access and interpret hydro-meteorological and environmental information. training.no WEBSITE: Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) OBJECTIVE: To promote international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.osf.unvienna.net . WEBSITE: http://www. http://www. education. and support of private sector.oosa. WEBSITE: http://www.org WEBSITE: Open Society Foundation.

providing facilities for Point-to-Multipoint voice. Internet.rbf. Projects include the Ulwazi Educational Radio Project and the Distance Project for Teacher Development.org/index. http://www. http://www. The project is being undertaken on behalf of the Department Of Informatics and New Information Technologies.html WEBSITE: SchoolNet SA Global Teenager Project (2002) O BJ E C TIVE : To promote collaboration amongst learners across the globe. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.org Rockefeller Brothers Fund OBJ ECTIVE: To improve quality & accessibility of basic education for children & adults in South Africa. and provide educators with training in the Global teenager learning circles concept.telecomafrica. data.za WEBSITE: .org. WEBSITE: http://www. Government of the Republic of Mali by Telecom Africa Corporation is collaborating with Hewlett Packard and Plessey.org Mali Inter-Ministerial Communications Network To link all the 23 Mali Government Ministries to the Presidency and the Office of the Prime Minister. train and support educators and learners to use ICT for curriculum.readinessguide.schoolnet. and video-conferencing facilities. Office of the Prime Minister.318 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Readiness for a Networked World: A Guide for Developing Countries Centre for International Development Harvard University (support of IBM) An educational resource that describes the determinants of a community’s Readiness for the Networked World and a diagnostic tool that systematically examines those factors to assess a community’s readiness.

“what” and “why” of e-readiness. transformation and competitiveness in the ICT sector.weforum. WEBSITE: http://www.org. wherever it may be worldwide. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www. thereby creating a critical database fro strategic decision-making policy and access to African cutting edge expertise.za/ Steering Committee on Education—World Economic Forum O B J E C T I V E : To promote effective and innovative use of information technology for education and training in the developing world. WEBSITE: http://www.org .Appendix II ✦ 319 Shuttleworth Foundation.tsf.weforum.org/ Steering Committee on Policies and Strategies—World Economic Forum The Committee participated with 14 governments in Southern Africa on a policy exchange on the “how”.org/ Steering Committee on Entrepreneurship—World Economic Forum The Steering Committee is now concentrating upon two areas: conducting regional pilots to connect local entrepreneurs with organisations who can offer support and resources and creating an online resource to support entrepreneurs on the ground.org/ Telecom Africa Corporation Global Human Resource Survey of African Male and Female Expertise in ICT To quantify and qualify Africa’s existing globally diffused male and female ICT expertise as a strategic toolkit for driving Africa’s global development. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.TelecomAfrica. SchoolTool To enhance admin and learner tracking. and facilitate communication between schools and DoE.weforum. WEBSITE: http://www.

org WEBSITE: Telecom Africa Virtual Research Laboratory O BJ E C TIVE : To link.za/ . http://www. with the promise of support from UNESCO.org Telecom Africa Continental Telecommunications Network OBJECTIVE: To deliver direct access between countries for voice. connectivity and an intensive educator development programme to 100 schools from the original 1000 Schools Project. Internet and multi-media capacity.org WEBSITE: Telemedicine in LDCs International Telecommunication Union (ITU) O B J E C T I V E : To develop a link which allows doctors in each city to confer with each other and share medical records to ensure that patients in their respective cities get the best possible care. Telkom Internet Project (Supercentres) To provide ICT equipment. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: www. WEBSITE: http://www.html Telkom Foundation.itu. data.co. as a satellite-based continental network. African scientific and technological research experts around the world and their global counterparts with interest in African ICT development in a secure global Intranet.TelecomAfrica. WEBSITE: http://www.TelecomAfrica.TelecomAfrica. thereby mobilising Africa’s global intellectual resource in ICT.320 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Telecom Africa Continental Internet Network OBJECTIVE: To create a continental Internet ISP franchise throughout Africa. thereby eliminating the costly practice of transmitting intraAfrican traffic through overseas hubs.int/newsarchive/wtdc2002/Internet_Health.telkom. http://www.

co. and encompasses access to advanced services.Appendix II ✦ 321 The SatCom Project OBJECTIVE: To promote distance education. WorldSpace. cultural and health development in Africa. social. UNISA. the Telecom Africa Corporation. encourage school-to-school project collaboration.za WEBSITE: The World Project—World Bank To help new generations learn about world cultures.org . Sentech. http://www. telemedicine. equipment and applications in Africa. and to avoid becoming a vehicle for dumping obsolete technologies. including the Internet.worldbank.terrapinn. a practice that would further impoverish Africa as a graveyard of technological obsolescence. Ltd. which extends beyond access to basic telephony. Terrapin.usa. Thintana iLearn Project To equip schools with computer networks (computer lab with internet access) and to facilitate an educator development programme to support teaching and learning through ICTs. RASCOM. The SatCom Project was created primarily by the conference organisers.transnationale. http://www. O BJ E C TIVE : WEBSITE: http://www.za WEBSITE: The South African Universal Agency O BJ E C TIVE : To promote the goals of universal service and access to telecommunications for all South Africans. OBJ ECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www. amongst others. to involve all aspects of satellite technology. Hughes Network Systems.org/worldlinks/english/html/uganda.htm Thintana Communications. and serve as an information channel for teachers around the world. the Global VSAT Forum and Mike Jensen Consulting.org. as well as exploit compatible non-satellite communications technologies and applications..

OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www. technical cooperation and advocacy. capacity-building. OBJ ECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.undp. Thintana MST Project To improve and support Maths.org/ United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) To promote every child with health.org/ticad/process. institutional reform.html Uganda Connect International Telecommunication Union (ITU) OBJECTIVE: To give students and teachers Internet access and connect rural communities through high-frequency (HF) radios. equality and protection. WEBSITE: http://www. Science and technology education in previously disadvantaged schools in South Africa O BJ E C TIVE : WEBSITE: http://www. and to monitor and improve the state of human settlements worldwide.unicef. education.org .unhabitat. Meena Communication Initiative.uconnect. Sara Project.322 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Thintana Communications.transnationale. http://www.” as well as emphasise South-South cooperation. Programmes include Voice of the Youth project.org WEBSITE: United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS/Habitat) To promote sustainable urbanization through policy formulation.org TICAD: IT Initiative for Africa O B J E C T I V E : To contribute to the primary theme of the Tokyo Agenda for Action “poverty reductions through accelerated economic growth and sustainable development and effective integration of African economies into the global economy. and Programme Knowledge Network.

org United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) To promote women’s empowerment and gender equality.Appendix II ✦ 323 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development To promote the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. poverty reduction.org. and Advance Cargo Information System (ACIS).undp.org United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Cisco Networking Academies To train students in 24 of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and provide skills necessary to build and maintain the Internet Infrastructure in those places. and Digital Opportunity Initiative. Programmes include Bureau for Development Policy-IT For Development Programme. Programmes include WomenWatch. Customs reform ASYCUDA. environment. Netaid. Programmes include Global Trade Point Network. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.unctad.org/unifem United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) UNDP provides a range of services to governments and to United Nations teams in the following practice areas: Democratic governance. Web Information for Development (WIDE). Trade Analysis Information System (TRAINS).undp. regional Bureau for Africa-Internet Initiative for Africa (IIA). O BJ E C TIVE : WEBSITE: http://www.asp .org/unssc1/programmefocus/p2/slowconnection/partnership_n2/knowledge_sharing/news/stories/unbusiness_partnerships/250101_UNDP_Cisco_internet. Debt Management and Financial Analysis System (DMFAS). ICT. Sub-Regional Resource Facilities (SURF System). formal agreement UNDP/ITU. Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP). UNDP Human Development Report 2001 dedicated to Technology for Development. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www.unssc. Health. and strengthening of ICT initiatives. WEBSITE: http://www.

Exchange Networks (SRDCs). http://www. Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) OBJ ECTIVE: To promote free-flow of information. Environment and Nature Resource Information Networks (ENRIN).org/webworld/index. foster regional integration.unesco. and telecentres. informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of the future generations.324 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Initiative for Africa (IIA) O B J E C T I V E : To assist 10 or more sub-Saharan African countries to strengthen their Internet infrastructures and services in order to accelerate socio-economic development. information & informatics. African Knowledge Networks Forum.html United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) OBJECTIVE: To support the economic and social development of its 53 member States.shtml WEBSITE: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) O B J E C T I V E : To provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring.unep.org WEBSITE: United Nations Economic. WEBSITE: http://www. and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development.sdnp. Harness IT for Development (HITD/SiA). Programmes include Nakaseke Telecentres programme. http://www. and Electronic Info.org .uneca. African Information Society Initiative (AISI). Environmental Information Systems (EIS). Information Technology Centre for Africa (ITCA). WEBSITE: http://www. capacity-building in communication. development of local content.org/docs/reports/maputo/rba. African Development Forum (ADF).undp. Programmes include Development Information Division (DISD). and INFOTERRIA. Programmes include Global Resource Information Database (GRID).

and international organisations. in a cooperative effort to identify ways in which the digital revolution can benefit all the world’s people. www. The Task Force has agreed to serve as a strategic partner in: supporting innovative ICT programmes and R&D in the field of ICT in Africa. especially the poorest and most marginalised groups.unites. harnessing synergies and linking the vast number of ICT initiatives both within Africa and between Africa and other continents. Programs are included in the framework of the NEPAD Initiative. skills and solidarity of volunteers around the world to collaborate with people in the South to improve their capacity to make practical use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in key fields like health. the private sector.org WEBSITE: United Nations Information Technology Services (UNITeS) O BJ E C TIVE : To channel the creative energies. income generation.org WEBSITE: . http://www.unicttaskforce.ch/business United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) O BJ E C TIVE : To lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide.unhcr. OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: http://www. representing both the developed and developing countries.org WEBSITE: United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force (UN ICT TF) OBJ ECTIVE: To bring together representatives from governments. gender equity. education. environment or humanitarian aid. providing a framework for defining collaboration between NEPAD and the African Information Society Initiative.Appendix II ✦ 325 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) To promote refugee registration system database development to assist in family reunification. Programmes include UNIDO Exchange. http://www.unido. non-profit organisations.

org/millennium/ S U B .int/ocha_ol/index.org/infotech/ WEBSITE: .org/popin/ United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) OBJECTIVE: To carry out research on the social dimensions of contemporary problems affecting development. WEBSITE: http://www.S A H A R A N A F R I C A W E B S I T E : http://www.reliefweb.un.326 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) OBJECTIVE: To promote awareness raising and capacity building activities and to assist developing countries to formulate coherent national ICT strategies and to encourage them to participate actively in the construction of the global information society.unitar.undp.org/ict/ WEBSITE: United Nations Millennium Development Goals W E B S I T E : http://www.htm United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) PROGRAMMES “First on the Ground” project (with Ericsson).developmentgoals.html United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) A guide to population information on UN system web sites to promote Population Information Network (POPIN). Programmes include INFOTECH (Information Technology and Social Development). http://www.developmentgoals.org/ Sub-Saharan_Africa. http://www. and Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN).htm N O R T H A F R I C A W E B S I T E : http://www.unrisd. INCLUDE: WEBSITE: http://www.org/ Middle_East_&_North_Africa.

WEBSITE: http://www7. global health and. Programmes include Africa Link.itu. Kellogg Foundation O BJ E C TIVE : To help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life . and USAID—Addis Ababa University (AAU). RITE. Globe Initiative.gov WEBSITE: WHO’s Health InterNetwork World Health Organisation (WHO) OBJECTIVE: WEBSITE: To bridge the digital divide in health.int/itudfg7/fg7/CaseLibrary/ShowSummary. South Africa Regional Telkom. O B J E C T I V E : To provide training for teachers and aid in the reform of Ethiopia’s primary schools as well as at university level. and GHAI. Agency for International Development (USAID) O BJ E C TIVE : To promote long-term and equitable economic growth and advance U.org Wind-up radios in Mozambique Freeplay Foundation OBJ ECTIVE: To use wind-up environment-friendly radios in order to help relay remote villages the information that could aid their safety and security. Restructuring (RTR).K. U. democracy. conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. http://www. Leland Initiatives.Appendix II ✦ 327 Updating Ethiopia’s education system Ethiopian Department of Education (DoE).asp?contrib=59 W.usaid. World Bank (under the World Bank’s Africa Virtual University (AVU) programme. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth. http://www.S.S.healthinternetwork. agriculture and trade.

org/index. and Africa Technology Forum WorldLinks for Development (WorLD).328 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development and that of future generations. WEBSITE: http://www. World Programme. Telecommunications and Informatics Programme. African Virtual University (AVU).wfp. P R O G R AM M E S I N C LU D E : WEBSITE: http://www. WEBSITE: http://www. in Botswana.wkkf. WIPO World Wide Academy (distance learning programme to increase awareness of and promote understanding of.org World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) P R O G R A M M E S I N C L U D E : Digital Agenda (to broaden the participation of developing countries).wipo. and Heath InterNetwork (with other partners). Global Development Gateway (GDG).org . Global Development Learning Network (GDLN). PROGRAMMES INCLUDE: WEBSITE: http://www. Technology Network (TechNet). intellectual property). Softbank Emerging Markets to incubate internet-related business. WIPONET (to interconnect 332 intellectual property offices in 171 countries).org World Food Programme (WFP) WFP is the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global hunger.worldbank.who. to strengthen primary health care and nurse leadership.org World Bank InfoDev. Programmes include Institute for Distance Education in South Africa and. Programmes include Vulnerability Analysis Mapping (VAM) to provide food security analysis. Global Development Network (GDN). WEBSITE: http://www.htm World Health Organisation (WHO) WHO Library and Information Networks for Knowledge (LINK) and its WHOLIS database. Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP).

org WEBSITE: World Space Foundation O BJ E C TIVE : To broadcast satellite audio and multimedia content to Africa. Participatory Communication for Democracy and Sustainable Development. and Mandate the Future.Appendix II ✦ 329 Worldview International Foundation (WIF) OBJECTIVE: To promote constant application of new communication technology to endorse sustainable human development. Knowledge on Demand Project.org WEBSITE: . http://www. Programmes include Smart Village. Programmes include Africa Learning Channel. It was conceived of and built the first ever satellite radio infrastructure in the world.wifoundation.com WEBSITE: World Trade Organisation O BJ E C TIVE : To assist with the rules of trade between nations.wto. http://www. http://www. Programmes include Information Technology and Basic Telecoms agreements to help promote e-commerce. the Middle East and Europe. Asia.worldspace.

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he has also published in numerous international journals on issues ranging from ICT and development and environmental sustainability. Zed Books London 1996. Minnesota and a Master of Science degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 331 . Annan’s report. Kofi Annan is the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations.Notes on Contributors Kofi Annan—Mr. 2001. Mr. From March 1993 to December 1996. Akhtar Badshah—Dr. formed the basis of the Millennium Declaration adopted by Heads of State and Government at the Millennium Summit. to cities and Architecture. He joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the United Nations received the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10. entitled “We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century”. Mr. he served as Under-SecretaryGeneral. Annan earned his undergraduate work in economics at Macalester College in St. Akhtar Badshah is the Executive Director of Digi- tal Partners. Author of Our Urban Future. and the first to be elected from the ranks of the United Nations staff. held in September 2000. Paul.

Ms. José María Figueres is the Chairman of the United Nations ICT Task Force and the Managing Director of the Centre for the Global Agenda. assisting in the establishment of information and communications systems over the last 15 years. . NGOs and governments in the formulation. Michael Jensen—Mr. Bounemra is a published author and member of numerous professional organisations on telematics and information technology. in Information Systems from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. he was President of Costa Rica. David Feige is a Program Officer at Digital Partners. in Paris. David Feige—Mr. Prior to joining the UN.D. management and evaluation of their Internet projects. Michael Jensen is an independent consultant with experience in over 35 countries in Africa. She earned a Ph. France. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane is Director of the Development Information Services Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). the private sector. He provides advice to international development agencies. to prepare the Africa Information Society Initiative.332 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane—Dr. he was Minister of Foreign Trade and Minister of Agriculture. Mr Figueres earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering at the US Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Law and Government at Harvard University. the blueprint for the use of information technology for development in Africa. Prior to that. World Economic Forum. José María Figueres—Mr. and a Computer System Design Engineering degree from the University of Tunis. she was the Director General of the Institut Régional des Sciences Informatiques et des Télécommunications (IRSIT). She was also a member of the high-level Working Group established at the request of the ECA Conference of Ministers. Deepa Ghosh—Deepa Ghosh is a Master of Public Administration Degree Candidate at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. From 1988 to 1990.

telecommunication companies. To this end. and has been active in the telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) policy arena for the past fourteen years. Mr. H. as part of the requirements for the award of a DPhil in Science and Technology Policy Studies. Marcelle recently completed an extensive study exploring technology capability building processes in developing country firms. culminating in hosting in Bamako. President Konaré is the Chairman of the eAfrica Commission of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). President Konaré is a leading advocate for their deployment in pursuit of Africa’s development. St Augustine and an MBA from George Washington University. Sarbuland Khan is the Director of the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Alpha Oumar Konaré—His Excellency Alpha Oumar Konaré is the former President of the Republic of Mali. regulatory authorities. and the African Regional Preparatory Conference of the World Summit on Information Society. and as a consultant. Khan holds a Masters degree in economics. Gillian Marcelle—Dr. Dr. he was the Director for Economic Coordination in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan. Mr. Prior to joining the United Nations. at Sussex University. “Bamako 2000”. Khan has held numerous positions in the United Nations for the past twenty years. . She also holds a B. the development instrument of the African Union. He directed the preparation of the Ministerial meeting of the Economic and Social Council on ICT for development and has been responsible for its follow-up in the context of servicing the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on ICT and the establishment of the United Nations ICT Task Force. with an empirical focus on the African telecommunications industry. and international forum on ICT.Sc (Hons.E. Gillian Marcelle serves on the UN ICT Task Force.) in Economics from the University of the West Indies. An ardent believer in the immense capacities of Information and Communications Technologies. working in universities. he has played a key role in developing global partnerships.Notes on Contributors ✦ 333 Sarbuland Khan—Mr.

including the official biography of President Gerald Ford by then White House Press Secretary. Prior to establishing NCS. based in Ghana. in collaboration with Prof. The Arts and Civilisation of Black and African People. Prior to that. Dr. Nii Narku Quaynor is Chairman of Network Computer Systems (NCS). and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theatre History and Dramatic Literature. He also edited and published the ten-volume encyclopedic work.—Dr. Okpaku’s academic credentials reflect the wide scope of his experience and interest. also from Stanford. a book that he edited and wrote with friends while still in graduate school at Stanford in the late 1960s. Okpaku. fields in which he serves as consultant. Nigeria: Dilemma of Nationhood. OleKambainei is Chief Executive and Program Director for the African Connection Centre for Strategic Planning. Jerald terHorst. Joseph O. Mr. a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering from Stanford University. Benjamin Oloruntimehin. Emmanuel OleKambainei—Mr. the eAfrica Program Commissioner for Internet and Software. the regional Internet Registry for . remains a textbook for graduate studies in political science.334 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Joseph O. Dr. Quaynor worked as a UNDP consultant to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. As the founder of The Third Press. Mr. is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Telecom Africa Corporation and a leading authority on telecommunications and development. Okpaku published books by leading African and non-African authors. he was Co-Ordinator (Policy and Reputation). Dr. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University. and held positions of various levels at Digital Equipment Corporation. A Nigerian. Quaynor is currently a member of the United Nations Secretary General ICT Task Force. Alfred Opubor and Prof. Emmanuel N. and the Chairman of AfriNIC. A respected scholar and expert in Futures Studies and Long-term Strategic Studies. the African Director of ICANN. Sr. Sr. a leading pioneer publishing house in the late 1960s. also of the African Connection Centre. Okpaku is the author of books and numerous articles and speeches on a wide range of subjects. Okpaku. Nii Narku Quaynor—Mr.

Crocker Snow. Justin Thumler—Mr. Dr. Prior to joining the ITU. Hong Kong and Singapore.D. after being elected to a seven-year term in . Dr. Jr. He was a Pulitzer Prize nominee for reporting from Asia for 1974 and 1976.Notes on Contributors ✦ 335 Africa. in Computer Science from the State University of New York. he has written numerous series and articles that have appeared in Boston. is President of The Money Matters Institute. Stony Brook. Pekka Tarjanne is the Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force. the Chief Executive Officer of the African Connection Centre for Strategic Planning of the African Telecommunications Union. Mr. and the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPaper. Snow.E. Tokyo. Ms. as an executive producer for an 8-part radio documentary on crime. and has won a few awards. He holds a few patents and has written articles for several publications. the UPI Tom Phillips Award. Tarjanne was the DirectorGeneral of Posts and Telecommunications in his native Finland. Before co-founding Digital Partners. he consulted for Microsoft Corporate Affairs and worked in the financial sector as an investment banker. Abdoulaye Wade—His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade is President of the Republic of Senegal. Crocker Snow.. Tarjanne holds a Ph. As a journalist. H. Pekka Tarjanne—Dr. holds a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from Harvard University.D. in 1968. Jr.. Mavis Ampah Sintim-Misa was until recently. and before that. Sintim-Ampah is a Ghanaian. Mr.—Mr. Jr. He is the Founding Publisher and President of World Times. the Minister of Transport and Communications. Ltd. from 1999–2000 and the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for two terms. including. Justin Thumler is the Managing Director of Digital Partners. Quaynor earned a Masters Degree and a Ph. Inc. He was the Vice-Chairman of Project Oxygen. Mavis Ampah Sintim-Misa—Ms. from November 1989 through January 1999. degree from the Helsinki University of Technology.

law. He has written several articles on economics. and is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. President Wade earned a teacher’s diploma in 1947. and political science. President Wade was awarded the French Legion of Honour. and is a widely acclaimed lawyer. the African Development Bank and other multilateral institutions. he attended the Lycée Condorcet in Paris. President Wade is also the Founder and current Secretary-General of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS). mathematician and economist. as well as the University of Grenoble.336 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development March 2000. He has worked as an international consultant for the Organization of African Unity. and between 1950 and 1959. France. Law and Economics. before enrolling in the Law Faculty of the University of Besançon. . He holds degrees in Applied Mathematics.

17. The. 218 AFCOM. 9. The. 304–305. 134. 142. 18. 161. the. 11. Mission and Objectives of the. 220. 289 see also African Advisory Group on ICT African Connection Centre for Strategic Planning. 151. 149. 191 Africa’s development partners. 32–33. 289–290. 121. 307 African Regional Network. the. 42. 18. 5. 91. 193 AFRICA CYBERMARKET. 40 ACTIS. 40 ADF. 334–335 African Connection Initiative. The. 203. 18. 31. 33. 13–15. 299 see also ASN African Technical Advisory Committee. 118 African Self-Development. 289 African Advisory Group on Information and Communications Technologies. 191. 3. 132. 123. 186 African Development Forum. 64 ACEN. The. 157 African Day. 119. 1. 324 see also African Development Forum Aerospace Corporation. 18. 287 African Address Registry. 42. 72. The. 18. 131–132. 11. 45. 287 Africa’s leadership. 19. 77. 27. 32–33. 291 AFRALTI. 33. 111. 272 African Information Society Initiative. 72. 173 African Connection. 251. 41 Africa digital rights vision. 304 ABC. 152. 139 African Development Agenda. 42. 141 AAG-ICT. 38. 7. 198 see also AfriNIC African Advisory Group on ICT. 156–161. 289. 133 see also AKNF African leaders. 45. 40 ACT-NET. 334–335 African Connection. The. 172–173. 324 see also ADF African Genius. 196 African ISP Associations. 32–33. 304. 131–134. 7. 133. 198 see also AfrISPA African Knowledge Network Forum. 13. 117. 18. 116–117 African Habitat Professionals. 156–157. 137. 149–150. 297 African Learning Network. 161 African Connection Program. 167 Africa BDD Agenda. 175. 291 African Information and Communications Technologies Firms. 12. 238 African ICT experts. 21 African Stakeholders Network. 47.INDEX A A Good Life. 288–289. 181. 136 see also ATAC 337 . 324–325 see also AISI African Intellectual Property. 136. 27 African Regional Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on Information Society. 107–109. 150. 126. 161. 111–113. 138–139. 142 see also Australia Broadcasting Corporation ACCT Survey. 334 African Connection Secretariat. 115. 157–158.

Ebrima. 62. 32–33. 44. Tijani Muhammed. 32. 77. 304. 110–112. 23. 168. 150 see also African Technical Advisory Committee ATU. 175 AFRICASHOP. 301. 111. 246 Bits per Capita indicator. 214. 197. 105 BDD. 335 see ATU African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD). 105. 72. 139. 106–107. 195. 184. 186. 178 Brown. Dr. 32–33. 132 Bande. 329 . 212. 156.Y. 32. 281–282. 179. 143. Akhtar. 290. 198–199. 223. 187. 77. 333 Bamako 2002. 288 Alcatel. 314. 312 Bichara. 80. The. 183. 216. 208 Africa’s vision. 288 Annan. 226. 125 Anais Network. 283. 234. 150 see also African Knowledge Network Forum Akwule. 181. 125–128. 177. 148 Bamako Declaration. 201 Africa’s March of Progress. 129. 142 Canton of Geneva. 335 AfricaOnline. 128. 202 Bureau for Telecommunications Development (BDT). 265. 193. 230. 139. 117. 124 African Union. 294. 198 see also African ISP Associations AfriStar. 291 African Telecommunications Union. 109. 175. 31. 305 Amoako. 89–90. 136. 17–18. Khaled. 183. The. 62 Afsat. 89. 34. 28. 36–37. 132. 140–141 AISI. 19. 131–132. 304. 269. 142 brain-export. 135. 53–54. 123 Africa’s Millennium Goal. the. 143. 201 Bellanet. 331 Bamako 2000. 73. 309 ASN. 49–50 Annan. 156–158. 181. 31–32. 30. 25 Channel Africa. 167 Bridge the Digital Divide Program. 150. 12. 305. Raymond. 40 AI-AIMS database. 142 AISI Radio Series. 231. 294–295. 95. 44 CEO Charter for Development. 202. 265. 171. 199. 186. 27. 189. 43. 51.. 145 AIDS. 125. 102.338 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development African Telecom Summit. 156–159. 294. 304 see The African Telecommunications Union Australia Broadcasting Corporation. 316 AISI Briefing Papers. 273. 286. 70–71 Africa’s Digital Rights. 329 applications and software development. 331 Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC). 87. 63 CEO Charter for Development and Business Endorsement. Secretary-General Kofi. 147. 200 Application. Amma. 201. 35. 191. 305 see African Stakeholders Network AT&T. 289 cellular base stations. K. 47. 91. 185. 235. 316. 14 Africa’s Problems. 49 Capacity Building. 136–138. 156–158. 14. 146. 324 see also African Information Society Initiative AKNF. 34 bush connectivity. 124. 200–201. 137. 327. 132. The. 334 see also African Address Registry AFRISHARE. 244. 120. Ernest. 326 Ceesay. 120. 247 C Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 333. 145. 299. 140–143. 150. 290–291. 21. 73 AHTIS. 297. 41 AfriNIC. 140. 133. 31. 288 ATAC. 242. 178. 286. 290. 252. 193. 142 see also ABC B Badshah. 235 AfrISPA. 200.

Henry. 237. 207–209. 212. 299. 300. 69. 81. 215. 45. 218. 288 cross-border rural connectivity programs. 237. 223. 135–136. 62. 74. 190. 72. The. 201. 199 Dream Digital Bridge. 290. 77. 131. 113. 91. 249. President. 26. 164–165. 223. 233. 49. 246–247. 295–296. 25. 316. 219. 141. 305. 54. 91. 306. 243. 299 see also Digital Diaspora Network for Africa Department for International Development. 203. 247. 199. 203. 315. 231. new definition of. 51. 206–207. Pierre. 110 Dialogue. 16–17. 8. 308. 1. 142 digital marginalisation. 88. 40. 205. 32 conducive environment. 292. 141. 96. 20. 111 dynamics of nation-building. 227–229. 307 Development Industry. 145. 241. 221. 98. 219. 324 Countries of Mutual Interest (COMI). 307–308. The. 87. 128. 267. The. 172. 233. 329 Cooperation. 26. 308 Development as Problem Solving. 323 Civil Society Initiatives. 93 Digital Opportunity Task Force. 156. The. 289 DATAFRICA. 223–224. 225. 219. 160 Coupet. 227–229. 104. 92–93. 216. 238. 8–9. 55. 221. 290.Index ✦ 339 Chassia. Clement. 96. 156. 291–292. 106 Development Assistance. 151. 128–129. 116. 1. 147. 322. 153. 294. 102. 178. Charles. 310–311 Digital Bridge to Africa Workshop. 221 Digital Diaspora Network for Africa. 201. 50. 245. 211. 108. 309 Digital Revolution. 156. 294. 17. 213–217. 211. 225. 212. 44. 305 Digital Bridge. 293. 293. 259–260. 325 Digital Rights Principles. 210–211. 169 Cyberville. 149. 81. 103. 133. 202 dotAfrica TLD. 307. 223. 12. 170. 194. 107 Dzidonu. Mouhamet. 200. 273. 239. 30. 191–192. 299. 299. 228 Digital Bridge to Africa. 213. 6. 135. 231. 11. 292 Chissano. 299. 235. 308 see also DDN-A Digital Diaspora. The. 92 digital inclusion. 6 Diagnostics. 38. The. 122. 317. 300 Content. 111. 142. 202 cheetah-pole-vault. 99. 297 Columbia University African Studies Department. 327 Digital Bridge. 102. 98. The. 24. 226. 71 Communication Programme. 103. 141. 223. 177. 45. 11. 23. 30. 93. 140–141 Comtel Project. 191. 157. 7–8. 8. 308. 28 Clarion Call. 99. 233. 231–233. 134. 296. 235–237. 204–208. 20. 190 Diop. 158–159. 207–209. 124. 187. 290. 168 China. 41. 219 Durban. 92–93. 313. 305. 84. 307. 226–228. 213–217. 235–237. 40 DDN-A Supported Projects in Africa. Building the. 202. 119. 99. 88–89. 26. The. 327 Digital Factory. 6. 2–4. 311. 31. 27. 317. 233 DDN-A. 177–178. 299. 144 Cinderella Syndrome. 26. 27. 308 Digital Divide. 5. 160–161. 205. 208 Cisco. 235. 309 Digital Illiteracy. 237. 221. 176–177. 301. 265. 309 . 80–81. 202 D Dandjinou. 70–71. 52. 324. 226. 239. 89. 297 Development. 16. 189. 108–109. 140. 82 development process. 177–178. 31. 287.

72. 199. 300 Ethiopia. 291. 125–127. 187–189. 146. 289 Gamtel. The. 113. 14. 180–181. 217. 201. 38. the. 52. 25. 159 see also Economic Community for Western Africa States E-Culture. The. 305. 332 Ford Foundation. 296. 77. 245. 314–319. 99 G8 Dot Force.com. 152.340 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development E E-Academy. 80. 206. 190. 40 Empowerment. 102. 310 foreign direct investment. 61–62. 334 eAfrica Vision. 101 E-JUSTICE AFRICA. 233. 156. 52. 124. 103–104. 58–59. 333 see also ECOSOC Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). 309 G8 industrial countries. 139 . 102 George Mason University. 202 E-Agriculture. 148. 135. 224. 183. 82–83. 310. 47. 175. 137. 221 E-CUSTOMER AFRICA. 145. 237. 17. 130. 324. 89–90. 103–104. 57. 85. The. 139–140. 139–140. 51.com. 37. 19. 54. 93. 78. 248 ECOSOC. 74. 143. 184. 57. 308. 41–44. 65. 317. 327 Evolution of the Digital Divide. 249 e-Government. 129. 242. 74. 90. 200. The. 129–130 Economic Community for Western Africa States. 90. 88. 166 e-store. 252. 289 FDI. 23 Gambia. 132–143. 25. 128. 133. 196. 135. 69. 18. 25. 83. 269. 80. 19. 192 eAfrica Commission. 57. 18. 65. 178. 305 E-HISTORY AFRICA. 332 Economic and Social Council. 10. 178 EgDeaf. 333 see also Economic and Social Council ECOWAS. 288 Ghana. 292. 125–126. 129. 128. 133 Future. 91. 152. 109–110. The. 50. 236. 103 GKP Strategy 2005. 130 see also ECOWAS economic-haves. 282 see also foreign direct investment Fifty-sixth Session of the United Nations General Assembly. 324. 159. 177 F FCC. 334 GIIC. 27–28. 72. 224. 323 E-Schools and E-Health. 189. 186. 88. 51. 21. 38–39. 71. 170 ESMT. 164. 134–135. 141. 95. 206. 230. 333 217 see also e-Africa Commission e-Africa Commission. 228. 233 eAfrica Agenda. 28–29. 247–248 Egosangwa. 254–256. 192. 290. 95. 169. 148. 33. 168. José María. 329 G G8 Africa Plan of Action. 40–41. 221 Figueres. 41 e-Initiatives. 40 Education. 325. 120. 282 see also FDI Four Foundations Partnership. The. 286. 175. 103 Genoa Plan of Action. 47–48. 77. 88–89. 156. the. 95. 175. 321–322. 152. 65. 27. 207. 178. 312. 246. 166. 186 Ecosandals. 187. 291. 150. 211. 301. 24 G8 Digital Opportunity Task Force. 171 ECA. Roselyn. 184–185. 91. 159. 324. 89. 81 e-Strategies. 241–242. 27 GBDe Steering Committee. 53–54. 163. 327–328 e-enablement. 332 Economic Community for Central Africa States (CEMAC). 178. 217 see also eAfrica Commission eAfrica Program Commissioner. 312. 148. 96. 289 Gateway Project of the World Bank. 150.

168. 237–238. 118. 146. 177. 37. 138–139. 189. President. 159 ICT Vision for Africa.Index ✦ 341 GKP. 219 information flows. 18. 198. 25. 195 global Intranet. 27. 166. 142. 147–148. 169. 114. 138 Global Knowledge Partnership. 80. 142 ICT Priority Areas. 312. 177. 194–195. 145. 272. 133–135. 132. 319 Global Information Infrastructure Commission. 300 Global VSAT Forum. 118. 220 GMPCS. 196. 30. 191. 169. 194. 112. 96. 19. 226. 196. the. 210. 163. 323. 153. 27. 304. 31. 186 global community. 159. 18. 151–155. 316 IETASK FORCE. 255. 29. 194 IIA. The. 198. 81 Horizon Map. 189. The. 131. 320 Global Knowledge Conference. 196. The. 29. 92. 45. 87. 29. 187. 296–297. 328 Glob@lNet. 133. 113 ICT cities Initiatives. 171. 150. 304–305. 301 I IBM. 319 Global Dialogue. 218. 85. 291. 89. 36. 198 Infrastructure. 234–235 Hewlett-Packard. 281 Globalisation. The. 35. 300. 191 ICT Focus Group. 321 Human capital. The. 169 Gruppo CERFE. 72–73. 310. 164 governance. 142. 306. 66. 141 IDRC. 37–39. 310. 142. 138. 191. 116. 323–324 see also Internet Initiative for Africa IICD. 140–142. 20. 25. The . 77. 306 Human Resource Development. 215. 103. The. 49 Hughes Network Systems. 318 ICANN. 39. 39. 177. 12. 24. 93. 167. 149. 9. The Essential Principles of. 161–166. 166–168. 51. 133. 191–192. 276 Information Technology Centre for Africa. 114 ICT and Modernisation. 165. 200 ICT toolkit for Africa. 41–42. 186. 287 Global Competitiveness. 246 Global BDD Agenda. 135. 96. 140. 59. 288–289. 157. 42. 184 ICTs in Mali. 97. 31. 99. 89–90. 321 Globalisation. 13. 61–63. 308 GSM Association. 286. 217. 97. 140–141. 220. 216. 181. 329 H Heads of State Implementation Committee. 238. 119. 90. 157–158. 295. 113. 224. 24. 181. 173 Information and Communications Divide. 334 iConnect Africa. 187. 126–130. 145 Global Partnership. 124. 269 Guy Olivier Segond. 139. 134 ICT Media Award Programme. 10. the. 224. 310. 8 . 158. 167. 135. 133. 145 ICT and Administration. 180. 36. 187. 211. The. 25. 45. 149. 323 Government-on-line. 17. 82. 50 Global Digital Divide Task Force. 282. 226 Info-communication. The. 140 Info-structure. 42 HealthNet Uganda. 328 Global Policy. The. 43. 282 Indian-ethnic organisation. 161. 11. 25 Global Human Resource Survey of African Male and Female Expertise in ICT. 187–189. 307. 179. 170 ICT deployment. 265. 313 India. 155. 58. 80. 137. 171–172. 114 ICT and Self-Development. 171. 103 global Internet. 25 Global Digital Opportunity Initiative. 151–153. 34. 35. 212. 150.

178. 32 ITU World Telecommunication Development Report 2002. the. 291–292. 19 Knowledge-based Economy. 167–168. 233–235. 209. 73 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit. 11–17. 28. 55. 335 IXP. 194–202. 139–140. 50. 14. 205–206. 314–315. 221. 88. 316. 164 Johannesburg Summit. 320–324. 193. 324–326. 184–188. Mike. 13–14 Konaré. 113. 246–247. The. 288 Khan. 41. 76–77. 2. 203. 18. 77. 74. 141–142 International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 87. 333 Kiswahili language. 91–93. the role of. President Alpha Oumar. 74. 95. 164–166. 135. 7. 324 ITU African Regional Conference. 246 Local Area Networks. 131. 137. 168. 5–8. 286. 150. 170. 332. 215. 287 Interconnection to the Global Internet. 50 Internet Troubadours for Africa. 17. The. 148–150. 142–143. 175. 156–157. 228. 82. 313–314. Richard. 249. 300. 54. Dr. 150. 323 Leland Initiative. 202 Johnson. 322–323. President. 28. 92–93. 7. 34. 53 Leland. 133. 194. 20. 18.. 220 knowledge-based self-development. 231. 131–132. 321 . 28. 38. 49–57. 79. Sarbuland. 102 L La Case des Tout-Petits.342 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development ingenuity. 196. Ellen Sirleaf. The. 144 Kerby. 288 Internet. 31. 200. K. the. 241–242. 124. 288 K Kagame. 31. 18. 181 Internet Revolution. Mickey. 15. 332–333 Knowledge-Based African Renaissance. 160. 323 Leadership and Governance. 335 Internet and Software Development. 156 Least Developed Countries. 288–289. 189. Yasser. 199 Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. 63–71. 60. 305. 289 Leyland Initiative. 157. 327. 136–145. 64 Loutfy. 52. 257. 124 John. 171–172. 142 International Institute for Communication and Development. 77–78. 20 leap-frog. 178–181. 317–318. 288–289 see also IIA Internet Measures. 242. 299. 181–182 ITCA. 164 Internet Initiative for Africa. Mike. 140. 208. 334 IP standards. 133. 320. 225. 310. 178. 246–248. 29. 181 Internet Exchange Points. 191–192. 179 International Development Research Centre.J. 202. 81. 151. 152. 291. 165. 157. 126. 289 LinkdotNet. 187. 38. 321 Jensen. 118.. 216. 202 Knowledge-Based Empowerment. 333 Ku-Band VSAT. 153–155. 244. 98–99. 301. 249 J Jensen Consulting. 191–192 Internet and Software Laws. 233 Knowledge. 89. 47. 241–242. 14 knowledge-based global environment. 83 LDCs. 320. 112. 118. 77–78 ITU. 31–32. 18. 194 Ipv4 address space. 316–317. 309–310. 18. 102. 72. 64. 139 Internet Domain Names and Addresses. 29. 304–305. 190–191. 183–184. 159. 54.

126–129. 333 Network for Africa. 116. 23. 142 Nation-Building. 295. 308. 118. 142–144. 177 Mozambique. 133. 173. 82–85. 140. 77. 39 NEPAD. 242 McElvane. 317. 305 Niger. 80. Ivy. 57. 159. 80. 32–33. 37. 235. 36. 36–39. 88–89. 38. 305 National Information Technology Council. 243 Ohiorhenuan. 79–80. 289. 74. Dr. 306. 97. 157–158. 238. 12. 214. 58. 39. 223. 129. 175. 28. 56. 332 Modisakgosi. 291. 17. 138. 44–45. 290. 8. 91. 316 NITC. 128. 287. 156. 332 see also Non Governmental Organisations NICI Maps and Graphs. 299. 333 see also NEPAD NGO.. 21. 99. 61. 72. 286. the. 294–295 Markle Foundation. 157 OECD. 31. 23. 131–132. 217. 138 New Partnership for Africa’s Development. 331 Ministerial Oversight Committee. The. 317 Nortel. 142 NICI. Roxanne. 138 National Public Radio. 17. 293. 297. 333 Manufacturing. 150. 110. 17. 215. 73. 291. 204 N National ICT strategies. 71. 286. 226–227. 81. 119–120. 290. 335 MIGA. 79–80. 39. 62. 138. 89. 47. 26. 72. 65. 234. 297 Marcelle. 289. 124. 150. 43. 25. 289 Medical Sciences. 286. 80. 103. 316. 331 Millennium Development Goals. Mathew. 122 NEPAD ICT Projects. 283 offline security. 252. 170. 26. 69. 37. 177. 69. 206. 14–15. 39 NEPAD Implementation Plan. 153. 140. 129. 327 National Information and Communications Infrastructure. 93 Market Access. 57. 167. 134–135. 311 New African Initiative. 126. 326 Millennium Partnership for African Recovery Programme. 95. 293 Mentorship Programme. the. 32–33. 316. 152. 117 money motive. 218 Meyer. 126–127. 160 Millennium Declaration. 137. 285. 83. 191. 315 Matsepe-Casaburri. 85. 128. 65. The. 236. the. 190. 134. 158–160. 70 Mali. 120. 41–45. 88–89. 138. 136. 216. Meddia. 326 . 158–159. 20. 14. 66–67. 290. 53–54. 144. 206. 23. 33. 97. 78. 244–245 Microcredit. 95. 243 Monitoring the Digital Divide. 111. 288–289. 309. 237. 57. 138. 140–141. 74. 37. 251 marginalisation. 57. 140. 314 MailAfrica. 325. 304. Dr. 77. 138 Millennium Summit. 291 MAP. 105. 130. 83. 66. 18. 140 Nigeria. 101. Edward. 202. 318. 31. 69. 110–111. 288 Okinawa Summit. 147–148. 209. 92 see also NGO NORAD. 315. 218. 202. 306. 300. 289 Mayanja. 72. 334 Nigerian Information Technology Professionals Association (NITPA). 53. 126. 126. 140. 66. 104 Microsoft. 33.Index ✦ 343 M MacArthur Foundation. 142. 183. 138 Non Governmental Organisations. 236. 25. 265 O OAU. 283. 27. 69. 107. 78. 258. 135. 256. 262–263. 289 Ministers. Gillian M. John. 142. 286.

45. 43. 193 Plessey. 145. 84. 25. 8–9. 333–334 PrepCom 1. 53. 69 Organisation of African Unity. 143. 207. 168–169. 205 Public Telephone Operators. 319. 230–231. 40 Pan-African Initiative on e-Commerce. 166. 58. 23. 239 Problem-Dependence. 158–163. 102. 68 Policy. 316. 309. 304. 322. 288. 23. 288. 29. 125–126. 149–150. 133 Pan-African Telecommunications Union. The. 61 PICTA. Dr. 265. 191–192. 120. 103. 91. 118. 91. 138 OosyNet.D. 40 PanAfrican Governmental Network. 120. 313 Regulator. 132 Plan-Do-Check-Action Cycle. 99. 301. 156–157 PDCA Cycle. 290 Partnership and Consultation Mechanisms. 4–7. The. 142. 304. 202 Out of Africa. 244. 25 Partnership for ICTs in Africa. 203. 35. 300. 93. 272. 259. 223–227. 141. 10. 153–154. 140. 142 Out of School Youth Network. The Metamorphosis of. 82. 202 Regional Nodes. 20. 80. 321 Re-definition of Development. Emmanuel. 123–124. Pierre. 96. 172. 17–18. 63 Q Quaynor. 90. 177 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. 12–13. 89–90. 56–57. Joseph O. 31. 21. 142 Opportunities. 327. 194–195. 18–19 P PAG-NET. 51. 159. 106–107. 4. 310–311. 2002. 141. 90 Regulation. 2–5.. Ph. 290.. The. 105. 136 R Radio Netherlands. 106–107. 204 Problem-Solving. 128–129. 88. 91–93. 1. 32. 208. 77. The. 87. 221 PATU. 32. Dr. the. 295. 334 OMEGA Plan. 136 Partnership for Global Policy Participation. The. 142. 132 problem solving. 193 PeopleLink. 32 Regional Bureau for Africa. 255–257. 133 Owerri Digital Village. 290–291. 147. 149–150. 45. 318 points of presence. 187–189. 158.344 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development Okpaku. 323 Regional Cooperation. 217–219. 289 ORBICOM. 133 Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa. 141 Partnership for Information and Communications Technologies in Africa. 163. 53. 1 Regional African Satellite Communications Organisation. 141 RASCOM Satellite Project. 122. 203. 146. 77. 221. 205. 295 Regional Internet Registries. 32 RASCOM. 262. 144–147. 280–282. 157 Ouedrago. 159. 132–133. 20–21. 181. 39. 177 Orbicom-CIDA Project. 211 . 131. 147. 32. 277–278. 314. 294. 124. 41. 130. Nii Narku. 285. 334 OleKambainei. 234 Ownership of Problems. 249. 186. 136–137. 305 Plan of Action. 24. 152–154. 31–33. 59–60. 18. 199. 24. Sr. 151. 316 Oracle. 17. 13. 118. 35. 294. The. 96. 30.

12. The. 332 South Africa. 216. 236. 157. 327–328 Southern African Development Community. 11. 10. Lyndall. 173. 33–37. 74. 20. 209. 241–242. 303–304. 335 Smart Subsidy. 186. 39–40. 234–235 SCAN-ICT. 11. 29. 142. 170. 261. 294. 155. 323. 27. 62 SADC. 31. 177. 132–133. 134. Mavis Ampah. 217. 321 SATELLIFE. 21. 289. 33. 252. 29. 33. 91. 159 Safm. 89. 10. 148. 238 strategic response. 38. 221 Secretary-General of the United Nations. 156–157. 140. 325. 294. 18. 98. 5–6. 243. 126. 119. 316 Resource Mobilisation. 136 response capacity. 137. 49 State of California Technology. 139. 166. Trade and Commerce Agency. 310 Root Server. 310. 39. 331 SEL Process. 151. 312. 119–120. 150. 131. 162. 218 SMME development. 116. 241. 126. 289. 183. 36. 19. Jr. 293. 119. 175. 309 S SABC. 17. 47. 229 Software Development. 29. 10 right of ownership of problems.. 199 Roselyn Egosangwa. 87. 153. 315. 37. 249 rural connectivity tool-kits. 134–135. The. 321 Shope-Mafole. 56–57. 12. 64–65. 216. 66. 64. 318. 217 Special Report for United Nations ICT Task Force. 31 Regulatory Matters. The. 119. 195–201. 150. 54. 30–31. 27–31. the. 315. 90. 312. 105. 135. 14. 29. 30. 300. 158. 12. 17–18. 78. 19. 228–229 Social Venture Fund for South Asia. 297 Rockefeller Foundation. 219. 169 98–102. 47. 178. 286. 4. 216. 335 social upliftment. 148. 287. 270–271. 119. 248. 194–199. 130 Southern African Economic Summit. 133. 322. 26. 19. 118 State Council. 167–168. 206–209. 28. 309 Software. 218. 17. 24–25. 141 Second International Conference on Electronic Commerce and Intellectual Property. . 299–301. 164. 333 Research and Development. 10. 42. 142. 129–130. 309 Strategic Partnerships. 130. 168–170. 66–69. 291. 229. 229–230 Senegal. Karima Bounemra Ben. The. 166. 295. 159. 294. 237–238. 334 Soltane. 4 Road Map. 78–79. 265 Sintim-Misa. 111 Sun Microsystems. 37. 19. 197–200. 178 Social Venture Fund for Africa. 71. 21. 191–192. Crocker. 137–139. 294. 266–269. 191–192. 207 Republic of Mali. 88. 150. 71. 252. 37. 45 SatCom Project. 124. 216. 202 Siemens. 291–293. 53. 234. 273. 309–310. 309. 69. 104. 115–116. 142 SatCom Africa 2002 Conference. 30–31. 30. 61–63. 62. 12. 318 SDC. 138–139. 286–287. 241 Specialised Governance Networks. 26. 318. 42–45. 5. 285 Summit of the African Union. 31 Renaissance. 263. 125. 312. 177. 175. 216. 172. 20. 74. 215. 26 South-South Partnerships. 124. 143–144. 290. 335 Sentech. 14–15. 187. 57. 29. 164–165. 81–83. 163 Snow. 45. 59. 45. 200. 327 SMEs.Index ✦ 345 Regulatory Authority. 70. 285. 49–50. 38. 140 SchoolNet.

218 Telecom Africa. 25. 19. 130. 37 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).. 157. 31. 93. 61. 334 Telecom Africa Virtual Research Laboratory Project. 294. 202 Thumler. 333 UN Member States. 105. 224. 308 United Nations ICT Task Force. 27. 165–166. 303. 316 Technotrons. 99. 266. 101–102. 321 Tesfaye. 223. 238. 176.S. 321 United Nations Agenda for the Development of Africa. 214. 308. 159 Tyson. 257–262. William. 314. 237. 77. 17–19. 285. Pekka. 308. 137. 223. 57. Scientific and Cultural Organisation. 329 Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Justin. 203. 288–289. 36. 105. 77. 198. 101. 83. 215. 199 UNIFEM. 237. 102. 117–119. 305–306. 316. the. 77. 34. 335 Task Force Secretariat. 40–41. 322–323. 320–321 Telkom S. 215. 267–268. 288. 258 Technology Transfer Processes. 36. 247–248. 77–78. 23. 224. 18. 215. 237–238. 119–120. 215. 150. 291. 279–283. 129. 150 Uganda. 148. 301. 253. 23. 288–289. 138 Swiss Cooperation for International Development. 89 UNDP Human Development Report 2001. 159. 96. 323 UNDP. 335 Tijani Muhammed Bande. 203. 305. The. 303. 87. 34. 25–26. 34. 299. 303. 92. 52. 140. 321–322 UN ICT Task Force Initiatives. 44–45. Federal Communications Commission. 18. 115 Telecom Africa Continental Telecommunications Network. 285. 104. 224. 318–321. 43. 95 T Tarjanne. 150. 9. 334 Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Southern Africa. 242. 150. 134. 89 UN Millennium Declaration. 105 Tiscali. 289 Tevie. 247. 135. 210. 18. 332–334 United Nations Millennium Summit. 216–218. 220. 301. 164. 334 UNESCO. 264. 196. 323 UNISA. 296. 31 TELEMEDICINE. 223. 74. 214–220. 325. 288. 135. 29. 251. 247. 23. 147. 1. 43. 326.. 117–120. 159. 234–235. The. 194. 307. 139. 69. 157. 89. 294. 322–324. 149–150. 1. 18. 334 United Nations Educational. 162–163. 89–91. 45. 321. 25. 202. 320 Telecom Africa Vision. 124. 36. 87. 141. 27. 286. 224. 238. Ltd. 145 TRASA. 318–319. 252. 29–30. 241. 320. 34. the. 32 Tension.346 ✦ Information and Communications Technologies for African Development sustainable development. 66. 18. 29. 253–255. 324 UNFIP. 320 Telecom Africa Corporation. 16. 27. 308 Unicode. 149. 130. 326. Diane. 29. 210. 27. 296 Terrapin. 316. 45. 91 UN ICT Task Force. 280. 96–97.A. 254–255 Technology Transfer. 215. 29–30. 322–324. 288 U U. 206. 87. 34. 274. 216. 14. 305. 176. 289 see also FCC UEMOA. 83. 137 TCB system framework. 91. 81 . Sarah. 61–62. the. 202. 316 United Nations Fund for International Partnerships.

333 University of the African Future. 165. 172. 206–207. 117 VIT. 234 Z Zormelo. 29. 110–111. 241. The. 201 Visual Identification Technology. 316. 17. 83 UN-NADAF. 31. 226. 300 World Bank Poverty Site. 335 WATRA. 133 World Economic Forum. 119–120. 150. 102. 117 Vortex of SMEs. 217. 244. 209 VSAT. 203. 232. 268. 16–18. 53–54. 176 World Bank’s InfoDev program. 206. 322–326. 73. 47. 295. 37 US Agency for International Development (USAID). 131–132.Index ✦ 347 United Nations. 333 World Trade Organisation. 60 Vision for Africa. 164 Universities. 150. 289. 85. 308. 321 Y Youth for Technology Foundation. 20. 91. 281. 217. 25–26. 327 utilities. 64. 20. 208 Working Groups. 143 World Intellectual Property Organisation. 319. 221. 235. 93. 31. 29. 311. 171. 159. 115. 202 W Wade. 43–45. 4 VarsityNet. 21. 328 Wisdom. 175. Mawuko. 139. 331 World Health Organization (WHO). 25. 14. 140. 91. President Abdoulaye. 134. 44. Nigeria. 219 Web-Sat. 148. 47 Wikyo. 83. 317. 91. 215. 329 WSIS. 18. 93 Worldlink. 164. 130 . 244–245 WIPO. Ambassador. 159. 42. 224. 142 World Summit on the Information Society. 235. 159. 321. 90. 303. 73 Wibisono. 137. 37. 133. 329 World Wide Web. 313 V Value inherent in problems. 150. 288. 184 Vision for Information Freedom. 178. 299–301. 91. 133 Virtual Research Laboratory. 221. 314. 62. 218. 313. 44. 237. 176. 124. 305. 158 WorldSpace. 331–335 Universal Service Funds. 175. 124. 87–89. 328. 113. 332 World Health Organisation. 237–238. Benson. 93. 277. 102. 83–85. 328 World Radio Network. 79. 124. 61. 249. 95–96. 27. 286. 39. The. 306. 36. 320 virtual security guards. 131. 9. 203.

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