Speaking today at the Great Rift Valley ICT Summit, Elham Ibrahim, African Union commissioner for infrastructure and energy, said the establishment of efficient ICT systems and services will be an essential lever for achieving the continent’s major development objectives.
Among the major roles that technology is playing in various states include transformation, interconnection and integration of the many regions and states in Africa.
“There is a strong motivation to improve the ICTs infrastructure and particularly eradicate the numerous constraints imposed on access to broadband service, which is the main factor that plus economic development,” said Ibrahim.
The various positive forecasts on the continent have however remained at risk of not being achieved, with the lack of infrastructure mentioned as the main matter of concern.
The Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) adopted by the AU Heads of State Summit and governments in January 2012 is aimed to help solve the various infrastructural issues and make the continent a viable place to boost trade, growth and create jobs.
“PIDA will transform the way business is done and help deliver a well connected and prosperous Africa,” Ibrahim added.
Already, many African governments individually are automating various services they offer their citizens through e-government portals to reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency.
In future the greatest concern however for many is how the continent will deal with supply factors in the ICT sector given that ICT demand will increase by a factor of 20 by 2020 according to PIDA with broadband supply slowly seeing constraint from increased users.