An information and communication technology (ICT) revolution is taking place in Africa. From school children in rural areas to investment bankers in rapidly developing urban areas, ICTs are transforming African societies. Internet usage alone in Africa grew 27% between 2009 and 2013, and mobile-broadband penetration increased from 2% in 2010 to 11% in 2013.
Recent progress in laying fiber optic cables by the public and private sectors have laid the foundation for companies to take advantage of e-banking, e-commerce, and e-learning and has made Africa a prime destination for business process outsourcing. African firms are increasingly partnering with hardware and software companies and are taking advantage of a growing middle class in Africa.
All of this is leading to overall domestic capacity building for the deployment and local production of ICTs throughout the continent. It is also spurring innovation and helping countries “leapfrog” in certain areas of technological development.
The cross-sector nature of ICT in Africa makes CCA’s ICT Program, including the ICT Working Group, unique in that it allows for joint events and briefings to take place with other CCA sector programs. A members’ only convening, the ICT Working Group meets monthly to bring together member companies to discuss policy-related issues and opportunities in Africa’s ICT sector.
CCA’s ICT Program also provides members with business-to-business introductions as well as introductions to key U.S. and African government officials. In addition, the ICT Program provides members with specialized research, roles in CCA events, and access to new market opportunities.