ICT Indaba: more than 80% broadband by 2020
By now, the world has heard of Africa’s plan for 80% broadband penetration by the year 2020. Such was the dominant message taken from the inaugural ICT Indaba conference held in South Africa just three weeks ago. However, this “medium-term target” – heard during the closing remarks – only represented part of the conference.
In this connected future, all of Africa’s major cities, towns and villages will be connected to affordable Internet, thereby facilitating the continent’s mass entry into the knowledge and information economy” – SA Communications Minister Dina Pule
Although the African ICT Ministerial Declaration sums the conference up nicely, we’ve taken the liberty to a couple of additional highlights from the two dozen or so speeches and presentations.
- “We must remain aware that the biggest commodity in the world today is knowledge, and the ability to generate, access, and distribute knowledge have become key determinants for a higher developmental trajectory for any nation.” – Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe
- “Clinics that are connected to the internet can also act as community Internet Cafes that connect our people in remote areas to the knowledge and information superhighway. This can empower small businesses in those areas to grow much faster than they would without internet access because they would be able market their services or advertise their businesses to wider audiences.” – Minister of Communications Dina Pule
- “By 2015, entry level broadband services should be made affordable in developing countries through adequate regulation and market forces (for example, amounting to less than 5% of average monthly income).” – ITU
- “Its not about the phone or the computer, its about the applications and the information they deliver” – Tim Kelly, Lead ICT Policy Specialist, World Bank
- “Governments have an important role to play, in creating an enabling environment and in acting as a lead client for large-scale ICT-based programs.” – Tim Kelly
- “Emerging international experience in the telecom sector shows that the use of PPP is the best solution to guarantee the interests of the government, private partners and consumers in frontier markets.” – Tim Kelly
- “These significant economic returns on broadband investment amplify the need to move ahead with ambitious broadband plans through growth and innovation geared political and regulatory frameworks which foster large-scale private investment.” Willie Oosthuysen, CTO, Altech
- In the G20, the average contribution of the Internet economy to the GDP was 4.1% in 2010, expected to grow to 5.3% by 2016. This compares to SA’s 1.9% in 2010, 2% in 2011, and an expected 2.5% by 2016. – Boston Consulting Group
For the full list of presentations, head over to the ‘Presentations & Speeches‘ section of the ICT Indaba site.