Despite progress made in this field, access to ICTs remains limited in Africa
Africa is the continent most impacted by the lack of access to ICTs.
On average 28% of households in emerging countries have a computer (laptop/desktop or tablet device); this figure falls down to 8% in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Progress is very uneven and the need is great. ICTs not only require an infrastructure but also access to IT equipment (computer, tablet, software, mobiles) and training on how to use them.
Since 2009 however, fiber optic cabling in Africa has been growing rapidly. These underwater cables will not only enhance connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa but in the short or medium term they should also help to drastically decrease the cost of high speed Internet access by lowering international broadband costs.
Huge increase in the number of mobile devices
The expansion of the mobile phone sector should pave the way for increasing the use of tablet devices. Ways of life and teaching/learning methods are changing and we want to play a critical role in supporting this transition and provide Africans with the tools they need.
ICTs offer huge opportunities in the field of education
According to the World Bank, young people account for 60% of the unemployed in Africa. Youth unemployment in North Africa stands at around 30% (UN Department of Information, Africa Renouveau Magazine, May 2013). The situation is even more difficult in Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Africa and several other countries.
New technologies are now available everywhere – and Africa must bridge the digital gap by providing people with easier access to ICTs, from the youngest possible age. For example, more and more agricultural cooperatives are choosing to use ICTs to manage their activities. ICT are also critical to open up certain regions and connect them to the rest of the world.
“Information and communication technologies (ICT) can contribute to universal access to education, equity in education, the delivery of quality learning and teaching, teachers’ professional development as well as improve education management, governance and administration.”
UNESCO website, ICT in Education section.
ICTs enable students to adopt a whole new approach to education and to train the new generation to use digital tools (just like other young people in other countries worldwide). ICTs provide access to: