Stakeholders at the inaugural ICT Indaba 2012 in Cape Town have set a medium-term target of delivering broadband to 80% of African citizens by 2020. Minister of Communications Dina Pule announced this at the close of the Indaba on Thursday.
"In this connected future, all of Africa's major cities, town and villages will be connected to affordable internet, thereby facilitating the continent's mass entry into the knowledge and information economy," said the minister.
She said at the Inter Ministerial meetings held during the Indaba clear resolutions were taken to engage the rest of the continent towards sustainable growth and prosperity, especially for the poor and SMEs.
"We [also] set the target to support the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in their plans to support the updating of the International Telecommunications Regulations which should help developing countries to benefit from the frameworks for interconnections and roaming in the telecommunications market.Experts' participation needed
"African experts should also increase participation in the ITU study groups which focuses on these issues to influence their outcomes," said Pule.
A team would be set up to monitor the progress in the implementation of the resolutions and give feedback at regular intervals. "This feedback will be shared with all African countries," said Pule.
"It is undeniable and it is very clear that delivering broadband to every citizen on the continent will accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. Our work will also assist us in identifying and closing the skills gap within our countries," added the minister.
Pule said that the "greatest achievement" would be to help Africa create its own technologies, instead of the continent just being a consumer.