As the lines between the digital and physical world continue to blur creating new opportunities for digital businesses and digitally enabled ecosystems, ICT development is converging, becoming more mobile, more affordable, and more accessible in ways that suit the developmental contexts of many countries. All analyses of the threats and opportunities inherent in the necessary deployment of ICT in South Africa, and in particular of the implementation of broadband, point to the need for formal mechanisms to enable collaboration across multi-stakeholder groups across Business, Government, Education and Civil Society.
From 15 – 18 January 2017, the Cape Town International Convention Centre is accommodating the first ever United Nation World Data Forum. This event is hosted by Statistics South Africa, with support from the Statistics Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, under the guidance of the United Nations Statistical Commission and the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The idea of establishing a new, wholesale-only, open access wireless network (OAWN) in South Africa has received significant attention. Particularly as it would, by its deployment in sub 1 GHz frequencies, help to expand coverage of mobile broadband as economically as possible to under- served areas of the country. While there is no similar or proven example of the successful deployment of an OAWN by another country, the plan for the South African government’s Wireless Open Access Network is evidently loosely based on the yet-to-be-implemented Mexican OAWN project. While contributing factors in Mexico differ greatly from those in South Africa, its ongoing initiative to launch an OAWN offers the most apt and valuable insight for South Africa as it considers… Continue reading
The World Bank says that for every 10 per cent of broadband penetration a country’s GDP grows by 1.28 per cent. The Wireless Broadband Association estimates that, by 2017, 60% of global carrier network traffic will be offloaded to Wi-Fi. In Africa, the trend is towards providing citizens with free Wi-Fi in order to boost economic activity and education, in keeping with the McKinsey Information Technology Report 2016’s projection that if internet penetration grows in the same way as that of mobile phones on the continent, it could contribute as much as 10 per cent – $300 billion – of the continent’s total GDP by 2025.
In partnership with the South African Government, The World Economic Forum on Africa is to be held in Durban from 3 – 5 May 2017. The meeting will convene regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to explore solutions to create economic opportunities for all. The CDF will bring you more information on the World Economic Forum on Africa in later newletters.