I recently attended the NEPAD Business Foundation Implementing ICT Projects in Africa Workshop and the Zimbabwe Investment and Trade Conference. It was interesting to note that the message on ICT had a common theme.
High speed broadband has become the lifeblood of the knowledge economy and is fast becoming a human right, as well as a significant contributor to economic growth. The World Bank estimates that a 10% increase in broadband penetration could raise GDP by 1-2%.
Africa’s ICT sector will continue to grow rapidly over the coming decades, with the largest lion’s share of investment coming from private enterprise. Africa was long deprived of access to high-speed undersea data-transmission cables. Now there is ample international bandwidth within relatively easy reach of every country in Africa.
Some of the achievements so far:
1. Extremely accelerated rate of mobile penetration
2. Emergence mobile money services across Africa
3. Roaming without charges – Africa is the first in the world to introduce this.
According to the Zimbabwe Investment Authority, there are a number of investment opportunities in the Zimbabwe ICT sector. Some of the opportunities I noted include:
- Provision of Media Services
- Supply of digitalisation equipment
- Software development
- Business process outsourcing
- Rural communication (internet villages)
- Data storage area networks
- Hardware assembling
- Call centres
- integrated solution planning
- Film industry & graphics
- Multimedia development
ICT opportunities are not exclusive to Zimbabwe, but are available in Africa as a whole. Today we witness the education crisis within Africa which many believe ICT can help. Because of this crisis many vendors of technology are focusing on the education segment of their respective market.
Africa must wake up and take full advantage of the opportunities available. We must not stand aside and look while we wait for outsiders to come and solve our problems.
image source: http://www.euromonitor.com
The writer of this post, Arnold Matimba, has 19 years experience in project & contract management gained in the UK and 3 years skills development in Southern Africa. Primary areas of expertise are project and contract organisation. His organisation, Avalanche Consulting, helps Sub-Sahara African business leaders make sustainable improvements to the performance of their organisations.