There has been an increase in e-Government activity and ICT policy-making across Africa recently, as more and more governments see the importance and benefits of being connected. Some of the countries making strides in this area include:
In South Africa the Gauteng Provincial Government is in the process of rolling out the Gauteng Broadband Network, which is expected to save the local Government R162 million per annum by connecting provincial government buildings, including satellite offices, all Thusong Centres, hospitals and schools.
According to the Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy, this investment in broadband will result in a fibre optic transmission network of 1,600 km across the province. Six core systems are set to be connected by the end of the financial year, including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, 75 Fox Street, 82 Grayston Drive, the West Rand District Offices in Randfontein and Teraco in Kempton Park for internet, and Telkom for the government Data Centre. These core sites will then be distribution nodes from which it will be possible to start connecting other government buildings.
The Republic of Congo
In the Republic of Congo a digital governance agency is set to be launched, which will monitor and control the implementation of the country’s ICT rollout. The aim of the project is to help the country’s ICT sector move forward and catch up with the digital revolution.
The new national policy – developed, revised and updated by the government of Denis Sassou Nguessou with funding from the World Bank – will work towards reducing the digital divide and building an information society where a larger number of people will have access to computers and the Internet, the government said.
Kenya recently also launched an official National ICT Masterplan which set the agenda for ICT in Kenya for the next four years.
At the launch of the plan, National ICT Masterplan Taskforce chairperson, Timothy Waema, said the masterplan had three pillars: e-government services, integrated information infrastructures and ICT human capital, and workforce and is on track to implement a total of 16 projects by 2017.
With the implementation of the masterplan there will be an expected increase in broadband availability, ultimately translating to 35% increase for households, and 100% of schools and health centres being connected.
The Malawi government recently launched Malawi Internet Governance Forum in conjunction with the New Partnership for Development in an effort to improve internet services in the country.
The forum hopes to bring together business, nongovernmental organisations, government and end users to discuss internet related policy issues, exchange ideas and best practices, and help shape the future of the internet in an open, inclusive and sustainable setting.
Speaking at the event, the Head of Nepad’s e-Africa Programme, Dr. Edmund Katiti, said that with the launch, Malawi would now be able to take advantage of the global internet economy.