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Summit Fact Sheet

29-30 October 2007, Kigali, Rwanda

Africa is the world’s fastest growing mobile market

  • Mobile in Africa is growing at twice the global rate

  • Mobile has surpassed fixed line telephone access

BUT lack of Internet access holds back growth

  • Fewer than 4 out of every 100 Africans use internet

  • Broadband penetration is below 1%

  • 70% of internet traffic within Africa is re-routed outside the continent, driving up costs for businesses and consumers


Closing ICT Gaps in Africa

Connect Africa is a global multi-stakeholder partnership to mobilize the human, financial and technical resources required to bridge major gaps in ICT infrastructure with the aim of supporting economic growth, employment and development across the region. Connect Africa will complement and accelerate existing public and private sector ICT projects and investments by targeting areas not currently addressed, mobilizing resources, and enhancing coordination between stakeholders, in support of national and regional priorities.

Launch Summit in Kigali

Global Consensus: Recognizing the catalytic role of ICT, leaders from Africa and around the globe at the World Summit on the Information Society committed to meeting connectivity targets to help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Connect Africa will be launched at a Summit of leaders in Kigali, Rwanda, 29-30 October 2007, under the patronage of the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, as well as the Chairman of the African Union and President of Ghana, John Kufuor. It will be organized by the International Telecommunication Union, the African Union, the World Bank Group and the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, in partnership with the African Development Bank, the African Telecommunication Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. This collaborative effort will engage some 500 high-level representatives of stakeholders active in the region, including China, the European Commission, G8, OECD and Arab countries, major ICT companies, the United Nations Development Programme and other international organizations and civil society.

Current situation in Africa

Investment in ICT infrastructure in Africa has improved dramatically in recent years, representing a total of USD 8 billion in 2005, up from USD 3.5 billion in 2000. These figures reflect an increasingly vibrant private sector investment environment, especially in mobile telephony, which has been stimulated by competition and policy and regulatory reform in most African telecommunication markets. However, Internet services needed for business, government and consumer applications continue to be either very expensive or not available due to limited broadband network infrastructure. In addition, rural connectivity and access remain inadequate as does the availability of locally relevant content, applications and services. These gaps present challenges, but they also reveal new opportunities for private investors and innovative public-private partnerships.

A Summit to forge new partnerships

The Summit will have a practical, results-oriented format, including interactive, multi-stakeholder panel discussions, partnership announcements, as well as opportunities for participants to showcase their ICT development projects to potential partners and donors. The Summit will provide an excellent networking platform for leaders from the public, private and financial sectors to meet and forge new partnerships for the future.

Participants in the Connect Africa Summit will examine key success factors for ICT investment and collaborate on initiatives to expand broadband backbone infrastructure and access networks, enhance workforce training, stimulate locally relevant ICT applications and services, and broaden efforts for an enabling policy and regulatory environment for investment.


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Updated : 2009-01-19