Telecom

Africa: ITU advocates three-pronged approach for universal and meaningful connectivity

Friday, 23 September 2022 21:12
Africa: ITU advocates three-pronged approach for universal and meaningful connectivity

(Ecofin Agency) - Access to telecom services has risen worldwide over the past 30 years. In Africa notably, great changes were observed but some weaknesses still challenge the growth of that sector on the continent. 

For a long time, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has advocated universal access to the Internet in Africa, allowing the entire population to reap digital dividends. But in this age of digital transformation, the UN agency believes that universal internet access is no longer enough. It now calls for universal and meaningful connectivity. For that purpose, it advocates a three-pronged approach.

In its Global Connectivity Report 2022, the ITU says closing the coverage gap is the first issue to be addressed. The specialized agency explains that “universal connectivity means connectivity for all, measured across four categories: people, households, communities, and businesses.”

In Africa, 82% of the population is already within the range of a mobile broadband network (3G or higher). However, because of the lack of infrastructure and services in the poorest regions, there are still blindspots. On the continent, only 25% of the population lives within 10km of a fiber network while only 7% of households can potentially subscribe to a fixed network.

The second issue to be addressed to achieve universal and meaningful connectivity, according to the ITU, is to close the usage gap. In Africa, only 33% of the population uses the Internet. For a satisfying, enriching, and productive online experience, the UN agency recommends, beyond universal coverage, affordable access prices, less expensive phones, and the development of basic digital skills.

According to the Broadband Commission, in a scenario where monthly data packages are affordable, two gigabytes must cost 2% of gross national income per capita. The continent is taking action to reach that target by 2025. However, there is still a lot to do.  

Also, smartphones are quite expensive on the continent. Currently, in a continent where 85% of the population lives on less than US$5.50 a day (according to the World Bank),  the ITU estimates that the cost of a smartphone is still around 33% of the gross national income per capita.

Finally, universal and meaningful connectivity for the ITU is also about secure online access. Taking the necessary measures to preserve privacy, fight the spread of fake news, and protect children online are all battles that must be won in Africa. Currently, only  29 African countries have data protection legislation, 23 have a national cybersecurity strategy and 19 have a cyber attack alert and response center (CERT). In its Global Cybersecurity Index 2020, the ITU also revealed that only 17 African countries had cyber harassment laws.

Muriel Edjo





 
Finance


 
Public Management


Ecofin Agency covers the news from 9 business sectors in Africa: Public management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Electricity, Mining, Oil and Gas, Comms and Laws. Ecofin Agency is also creating and management specialized medias, in paper and on the web/social networks, for institutions or African publishers.

AGENCE ECOFIN

Mediamania Sarl
Rue du Léman, 6
1201 Genève
Tél: +41 22 301 96 11

REDACTION
redaction@agenceecofin.com

Public management
Aaron AKINOCHO
Borgia KOBRI
Moutiou ADJIBI

Finance
Idriss LINGE
Walid KEFI
Chamberline MOKO

Agribusiness
Espoir OLODO

Electricity
Gwladys JOHNSON

Oil and Gas
Olivier DE SOUZA

Mining
Louis-Nino KANSOUN

ITC 
Muriel EDJO

Comms
Servan AHOUGNON

Cameroon
Brice R. MBODIAM
Sylvain ANDZONGO
Monique MAY
Julienne Rose SENDE

Togo
Fiacre E. KAKPO
Waliyullah TAJUDEEN
Séna AKODA

Niger
Sandrine GAINGNE

Gabon
Stephane BILLE
Pierre-Celestin ATANGANA

Desk
Stéphane ALIDJINOU
Souha TOURE
Vahid CODJIA
Diane ZODEHOUGAN
Hikmatu BILALI

Translation
Schadrac AKINOCHO
Mouka MEZONLIN
Firmine AÏZAN



Digital
Omar SOKHNA
Mamadou DIOP
Bacary MANE
Abdel Razak MOULIOM

Digital Marketing
Jérémie FLAUX
Geraud ACHI
Jean Christian BERNARD
Franck FOUTE

Web publishing
Bakoly RAHARISOA
Rina RAMANANDRAISOA
Hasina RAJEMISON

Development
Dominique FLAUX

 


 
REGIE COMMERCIALE
AGENCE ECOFIN
Rue du Léman, 6
1201 Genève
Tél: +41 22 301 96 11
Fax: +41 22 301 96 10

Benjamin FLAUX
bf@agenceecofin.com 
Tél: +41 22 301 96 11 
Mob: +41 78 699 13 72

Voir page 
Nos services
 

 










 



Ecofin Agency is a news agency for economic and sectorial information. It was created in 2010 and it website was launched in June 2011.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.