Connectivity with Broadband to Africa

  • As a key enabler of the four priority areas of the Global Alliance, CINN will support African efforts to accelerate the roll-out of communication infrastructure and increase broadband access across Africa.

  • ICT infrastructure is essential for African countries to achieve regional integration and to enable poor people to participate in markets and help reduce poverty.

  • Economic growth in Africa will depend upon widespread access to ICT services which in turn provide access to local, national, regional and global markets.

  • Therefore, national and regional backbones, cross-border links, and rural connectivity need to be vastly expanded, in parallel with the deployment of applications to take advantage of connectivity for productive use

RI promote sustainable growth

Historically, the African domestic market has been fragmented by high internal and external barriers. In 1991, the Abuja Treaty was adopted, establishing a timetable towards the creation of a pan-African Economic Community by the year 2015.

The existing Regional Economic Communities were to be the foundation. This is an ambitious objective, but the first building block must be the creation of free trade areas that can be the foundation for wider economic integration at the regional and continental level.

There are huge challenges posed by the proliferation of regional economic groupings and protocols across the continent, characterised by overlapping membership.

However, progress has been made in the past decade. Most regions have now adopted a common external tariff structure (usually involving no more than three to four bands) – the most recent example being the EAC in January 2005 – while some, including CEMAC, WAEMU and member countries in COMESA, have also removed custom duties among themselves.

Recent ECA estimates that welfare gains from regional integration in sub-Saharan Africa alone, could be of the order of US$1.2 billion, reinforcing the view that Africa’s own liberalisation offers major gains.