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Africa's ICT infrastructure : building on the mobile revolution, Volume 1
Author:Williams, Mark D. J.; Mayer, Rebecca; Minges, Michael; Country:Africa;
Date Stored:2011/07/14Document Date:2011/06/23
Document Type:PublicationSubTopics:Energy Production and Transportation; Transport Economics Policy & Planning; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Infrastructure Economics; Energy Technology & Transmission
Region:AfricaReport Number:63251
Collection Title:Direction in development ; infrastructureVolume No:1

Summary: Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been a remarkable success in Africa. Across the continent, the availability and quality of service have gone up and the cost has gone down. In just 10 years dating from the end of the 1990s mobile network coverage rose from 16 percent to 90 percent of the urban population; by 2009, rural coverage stood at just under 50 percent of the population. Although the performance of Africa's mobile networks over the past decade has been remarkable, the telecommunications sector in the rest of the world has also evolved rapidly. Many countries now regard broadband Internet as central to their long-term economic development strategies, and many companies realize that the use of ICT is the key to maintaining profitability. This book is about that challenge and others. Chapters two and three describe the recent history of the telecommunications market in Africa; they cover such issues as prices, access, the performance of the networks, and the regulatory reforms that have triggered much of the investment. This part of the book compares network performance across the region and tries to explain why some countries have moved so much more quickly than others in providing affordable telecommunications services. Chapter four explores the financial side of the telecommunications revolution in Africa and details how the massive investments have been financed and which companies have most influenced the sector. Chapter five deals with the future of the sector. The final chapter synthesizes the main chapters of the book and presents policy recommendations intended to drive the sector forward.

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