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Updated: African Nations with Active National ICT Plans

March 31, 2011  »  ICT Policy4 Comments

Last updated: January 2012. Twenty-six African nations appear to have a recent/current ICT plan. Approximately 60% of these plans are official active through at least 2011.


Careful planning leads African nations in the proper direction

The successful implementation of a national ICT (NICT) plan, also known as national information and communication infrastructure (NICI) plan,  requires a great deal of planning on the part of the government. National ICT plans face an array of challenges including costs, stubborn government leaders, lack of infrastructure (ie. electricity), and a limited number of trained consultants. The initial process of deciding to create a plan, researching the best options for a plan, collaborating with experts and leaders, and approving the plan often takes years in itself. At that time, the country is perhaps in a different social and economic state. Plus, the government may or may not have seen drastic shifts in power. Additionally, if a plan is enacted, it can lose government support, face corruption, or lack adequate funding. For example, an article by Sylvester Ngoma describes the challenges faced in the Congo.

During the 1999-2006 period, most nations either had a plan or were in the early stages of developing an ICT plan. In 2000, thirteen countries had NICI policies and plans while ten countries were in the process of designing NICI policies and plans. To see the plans of African nations between 1999 and 2006, head over to the NICI Country Pages created by the Economic Commission for Africa – once home to the most up-to-date information on Africa’s dynamic NICI scene. For historical documents and other secondary sources, browse the vast amount of information at the ICT Observatory. A UNECA PowerPoint showing the NICI status of each African country is available as well.

nici plans uneca 2000-2004

National ICT plan progress, 2000-2004. Note the 56% increase in # of countries with finalized policy between 2002 and 2004. Click to enlarge. {UNECA}

Years later, however, the number of African nation with active ICT plans remains much the same as it did in 2004. Many nations still do not have an official government-approved plan. Other countries have seen success, but the status of their NICT plan remains difficult to pinpoint. Moreover, many of the nations that once had active national plans have failed to update, re-evaluate, or re-emphasize their plans. A plan that functioned in 1999 will not necessarily yield the same results in 2011 due to the changing technological landscape (think social media, mobile, and broadband). Accordingly, a nation with an ICT plan is not necessarily a nation with an active ICT plan.

Below you will find a list of African nations with relatively current and well-publicized ICT plans. Plans that are known to be current within the past 3 years have the greatest chance at still being effective. Although 42 nations technically have national ICT plans, fewer have modern ones. 6 countries have not yet initiated the process in the formulation of ICT policies include Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Libya Arab Jamahiriya, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia.



  • National Vision for 2025
  • National ICT plan, 2000-2004, goal to make socio-economic progress
  • 2007 Plan with goals through 2015

Burkina Faso:



Central African Republic:















Sierra Leone:

South Africa:





Download an export of national ICT plans by nation from the ICT Observatory. XLS

For the “why and how” of NICI, read this article from UNECA, written in 1999.

Thirteen countries have NICI policies and plans while ten countries are in the process of designing NICI policies and plans.
uneca nici plans 2000

National ICT policies as of the year 2000 {UNECA}