ICT innovations driving economic development and entrepreneurship in Africa
A new report states that innovations in the information technology and communication (ICT) sector in Africa are giving birth to home-grown solutions that stimulate economic growth and improve access to credit.A new report states that innovations in the information technology and communication (ICT) sector in Africa are giving birth to home-grown solutions that stimulate economic growth and improve access to credit.
Published by the World Bank and the African Development Bank, with the support of the African Union, it highlights the essential role of mobile telephony in the development of access to financial services, noting that the continent now counts 650 million subscribers.
The Internet also plays a key role, by developing e-commerce and electronic payments. The report points out that the open bandwidth is now 20 times larger than in 2008, thanks to the installation of 68 000 km of submarine cables.
This new access is transforming the lives of Africans, boosting entrepreneurship and giving rise to innovations and home-grown solutions in the African continent.
"Africa is rapidly becoming an ICT leader. The challenge going forward is to ensure that ICT innovations benefit all Africans, including the poor and vulnerable, and those living in remote areas," says Tim Kelly, lead ICT policy specialist at the World Bank and an author of the report.
Titled eTransform Africa: The Transformational Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Africa, the report also emphasizes the need to build a sufficiently competitive ICT sector to promote innovation, stimulate exports and create jobs.