Enhancing ICT development and
connectivity in Africa
Erik Habers
Head of Cooperation
EU Delegation Nairobi
Background
• ICT are proven drivers of innovation for sustainable
development, since:
• They allow for a rapid and free flow of information, increasing
economic efficiency, ensuring decisions
• They offer solutions to employment, health, education,
protection, environment, governance, commerce...
• A 10% increase in internet access has been shown to lead to an
1.2% increase in several countries GDP
MDG 8: 'In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits
of new technologies, especially information and communications'
(Plus indirect effect in MDGs 2, 4, 5 and 6)
Challenges
• Growing Digital Divide:
• Great disparity among countries
• Access limited in many parts of Africa
Main reasons
• Low collaboration South-South
• Intra-African communications often routed through
Europe
• High prices
• Little competition
• Lack of political and economic stability and coherent
policies hampering private investments
EU Response Strategy
• Enhance the bilateral policy dialogue
• Assist to the development of an inclusive information
society in Africa
• Focus on preparing the enabling environment
(regulation, interconnections…) for private sector
investments
(ICT is not a focal sector in EU development policy, but a crosscutting modality with applications in several other sectors)
EU priorities for ICT development in Africa
 1. Harmonisation and alignment of e-communications policies and
regulations with EU framework
 2. Enabling the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting
and the regulation of the Digital Dividend
• 3. Establishment and interconnection of research and education
networks and connection to the European network GÉANT
• 4. Enhancement of ICT capacity building (for ALL, i.e. citizens,
governments, private sector etc.)
Priority 1: Harmonisation and aligment of
e-communications policies and regulations
in developing countries with EU framework
Objective: Improved regulations promoting fairness,
transparency, human rights and freedom of expression
Result: A fair and transparent enabling environment,
improving ICT access for citizens, business and
organisations
Priority 2: Enabling the transition from
analogue to digital broadcasting in Africa and
the regulation of the Digital Dividend.
Objective: Creation a new huge market of online
applications and services contributing in this way to inclusive
growth, employment and sustainable development in Africa
Results: Development/convergence of relevant policies and
regulations in domains defining the digital dividend
regulation/management challenge, like radio spectrum policy
and management, cross-border radio frequency
management, digital media/broadcasting policy, broadband
policy etc.
Priority 3: Establishment and interconnection of
research and education networks and connection
to European network GÉANT
Objective: Increase in research cooperation and regional
computing capacity, generate scientific excellence, bridge
the digital divide, reduce 'brain drain', contribute to
economic and social well-being
Results: Strenghtening of cooperation between research
communities. Provide capacity to meet high-volume needs
of other not-for-profit sectors. Influence the development
of a telecom market and regulatory environment reducing
the costs and enabling cross-border traffic
Example: AfricaConnect project
• Establishes a high capacity
internet network for research
and education in Southern and
Eastern Africa
• Improves connectivity and
collaboration within the region
and with the rest of the world
through the interconnection with
the pan-European research
network GÉANT
• Contributes to the development
of education and research in
Sub-Saharan Africa
Priority 4: Enhancement of ICT capacity building
(for ALL, citizens, governments, private sector etc.)
Objective: To reduce the digital divide, through a better
understanding of the new technologies, the roll-out of
broadband, the deployment of efficient ICT systems
adapted to local needs and the promotion of free and open
access to the internet
Results: Roll-out of broadband connectivity, deployment
of efficient and resilient ICT systems and promotion of free
and open access to the internet
Increasing engagement
• Scaling-up of ongoing initiatives
• Exploiting synergies between the EU Digital Agenda
and the AU ICT development frameworks
• Fostering deployment of innovative e-services to
enhance interconnections
•THANK YOU
• for
• Your Attention!
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Presentation- Mr Erik Habers – Head of Cooperation - UN