Points from ‘Africa’s infrastructure: a time for transformation’
Published in 2010 by The World Bank, Africa’s infrastructure: a time for transformation, although addressing the macro theme of infrastructure, relays a few interesting points about Africa’s information and communications technology growth. The book is available in its entirety at Google Books and is worth a glance, even if the majority pertains to electricity and transport. Below are some facts (current as of 2008) relating to African ICT investment, network coverage, and outlook.
Goals for 2015 (pg 52):
- Complete submarine cable loop around Africa and 36,000-kilometer fiber-optic backbone. All national capitals are to be connected. Voice signal and public access broadband are to cover the entire rural population.
Potential geographic coverage for GSM/WiMAX (pg 57):
- Assuming no market barriers, 95 percent of Africa’s population could see GSM coverage. Bringing voice coverage to the remaining 5 percent is not cost effective.
- Similarly, WiMAX coverage could potentially extend to 89 percent of Africa’s population.
- 70 percent of the population in the DRC lives in areas that are not commercially viable for mobile service.
Costs of investment to bring aforementioned coverage to Africa (pg 58):
- A complete submarine and intraregional fiber-optic backbone would need a private sector investment of less than $200 million annually.
- A higher level plan connecting the next tier of populous cities would cost twice as much.
- Urban markets essentially need $9 billion annually to function: $7 billion for growth and another $2 billion for operational costs.
Numerous other publications from The World Bank and other sources exist on the subject of African ICT. Check out the Articles page for more insights.