AU Commission urges faster progress
GOVERNMENT| Sept. 6, 2012, 1:31 p.m.
ICT is at a turning point, and Africa needs to make great strides in its ICT development, the African Union has told a gathering of UA ICT Ministers in Khartoum.
The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the AU Commission, Dr Elham M.A. Ibrahim, said in opening the fourth ordinary session of the African Union Conference of Ministers in charge of ICTs in Khartoum that the continent has much to do to meet its development needs.
“We have a lot of potential which we have not explored yet. In addition to our natural resources and our growing education and skills, our population will reach in2020, 1.2 billion and by 2050, 2.2 billion. Most of this population will be young, educated and will live in the urban area. This will then require from us a lot of planning to turn this into advantages,” he said.
Dr Ibrahim noted that Africa’s ICT sector is one of the fastest-growing in the world, particularly in the voice market. “This growth will continue. And, by 2018 the investment share in this sector will represent around 35% of the total investment both public and private in the infrastructure. “
Noting that 2015 is the deadline for analogue broadcasting switch-off and for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, she said leaders needed to enhance and accelerate the implementation of the many decisions taken by the Heads of State and Government summit.
“In the era of convergence, we need to move to more coherent and better coordinated approach for the development of all subsectors of the communications and information technologies.”
Dr Ibrahim said while the voice market had grown well, it is now imperative to start the development of other segments by introducing and developing transformative applications in areas such as education, health, government services, agriculture and financial transactions.
She said key issues to be addressed at the 4th session of the conference included:
• The development of ONE consolidated framework for the information and information technologies by merging ARAPKE and the reference Framework adopted respectively in 2006 and 2008
• Consideration of and forwarding to the AU Assembly the African Union Convention on Cyber-security for adoption and later to the Member States for ratification.
• Acceleration of the Migration the digital terrestrial TV transmission before 2015 while ensuring that there will be one standard adopted for Africa and will have a common approach for the digital dividend for better integration.
• Adoption of the decision for the migration from IPv4 to IPv6 to allow us to have more IP addresses to benefit from the Internet.
• Collaboration to implement the ongoing Projects on Internet Exchange Systems –AXIS within the 30 identified countries and on Africa Leadership on ICT to be expanded to other African regions following the first cohort we have just trained.
• Ensuring that the Pan African e-Network for Tele-medicine and tele-education will continue its performance in e-education and e-health after the end of technical assistance from India in 2014.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
UNDP donates ICT equipment for DRC electionsThe United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has donated ICT equipment to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support the electoral process in this war-hit Central African nation. Read More
Ghana govt to appoint interconnect clearing houseGhana’s Minister of Communication has hinted at the government’s intention of appointing a company to take charge of the country’s interconnect clearing house by the end of this year. Read More
IPO not foreigner-friendlyThe CEO of BTCL, Paul Taylor, has allayed fears that foreigners resident in Botswana will snap up shares reserved for locals when his organisation starts the Initial Public Offering in November. Read More
Congo Brazzaville’s bid to switch to e-agricultureThe Central African nation of Congo-Brazzaville has 10 million hectares of arable land, but has so far used only 2% of that land. Analysts believe that the country could 'move mountains' and eradicate hunger with the use of ICTs in improving agriculture. Read More
Malawi Agriculture transport system automatedIn partnership with Techno Brain, Malawi’s Agriculture Ministry has launched the first Automated Fleet Management Information System in public service in Malawi. Read More
Telecom Namibia starts work on govt fibre networkTelecom Namibia Managing Director Frans Ndoroma says the national telecommunications services provider has started constructing a fibre-based network to connect the central government to the administrative capitals of all 14 regions in the country. Read More
NCC slams indigenous firms over incompetenceThe Nigerian Communications Commission has slammed indigenous operators in the industry over ‘incompetence and culture of impunity’. Read More
Malawi explores initiatives for rural mobile roll-outThe Government of Malawi is exploring ways and means to reach out to the far-flung areas with mobile phone service communication in line with the country’s revised Communications Act. Read More
BOCRA cracks whip on hospitality industryThe Botswana Communications and Regulation Authority (BOCRA) has issued guidelines on minimum internet connectivity requirements for Botswana’s hospitality industry. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSCNN, MultiChoice name top African Journalist 2014
Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony.