The Internet in Africa: A Perspective from a Practitioner

The Internet in Africa: A Perspective from a Practitioner

Much has been written about the development of telecommunications, and particularly about the Internet in Africa. Many have attempted to explain the reasons why Africa lags behind other regions of the world, focusing on technical and economic inhibitors. Notwithstanding this base of knowledge and literature, I would like to tackle this issue from the perspective of a practitioner.

This paper will focus on the challenge of growing the Internet in Africa from multiple perspectives. These perspectives include:

  1. Internet governance;
  2. access to orbital slots and space-based electromagnetic frequency spectrum;
  3. investment;
  4. language diversity and
  5. governance structures.

I conclude that a significant overhaul of governance structures and organisational arrangements is needed to ensure effective African participation in the Internet economy and equitable access to scarce global resources.

To adequately address the perspectives mentioned above, I will narrow my scope to focus on two of these issues: first, access to orbital slots and space frequencies, and second, Internet governance.

This paper provides the basis for an African dialogue. The conversation should focus on the areas detailed in this paper and the extended topics listed above. African policy institutions with an understanding of the context, the continent and the topics at hand will need to lead this process.

Download the full pdf copy from the link below:

OII Paper 

One comment

  1. Indeed not only internet governance but IT governance plays a vital role in ensuring Africa. We need as a continent to look into developing flexible and agile policies that can be adopted by the African diaspora. It is time that we as Africans lead this initiative as it is our continent and it is understood by us. As a result that makes us the only candidates that can develop policies that are relevant to our continent.

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