How the ICT sector can improve African countries GDP.

The ICT sector has proven to be a strong driver of GDP growth in nations across the world. From developing countries like India and the Philippines, to developed nations such as the USA and Ireland — The ICT sector has contributed to the success of each of these nations economies, the advancement of its people’s skills, capabilities and positioning the nations as a place for global firms to do business more efficiently. The ICT sector is socially and economically relevant to Africa in that it has been the major economic driver in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade. Although mobile and internet penetrations remain comparatively low in Africa — Never before in the history of the the continent has the population been as connected as it is today.

African countries are still facing challenges to improve the ICT sector , South Africa finds itself in a humble 58th position, Mauritius 72nd, Botswana 83rd, Namibia 96th and Kenya 105th — worldwide with the average broadband speed as only 1.4% of fixed broadband connection. Data package subscriptions are extremely on the high, with only 20% of the African population has regular access to the internet. This can be a critical issue for future development because most economic activities conducted online such as cloud computing and Video content. Low access to fast internet reduces the size of digital markets and limits the possibilities for providing online services — participating in the digital economy requires adopting international ICT standards. Fast, reliable broadband means many things for businesses and consumers. Over last few months there has been a small explosion in the number of streaming video services with Netflix, Times Media, Naspers and the Hong Kong’s PCCW all aiming to lure South African viewers to Viedo-on-demand subscriptions, offering HD movies and TV shows.

Expanding the number of business issues that can be addressed through microwork, creating a marketplace for retail/individuals for microwork related solutions and creating an internal demand for microwork ( Work products that can be addressed by a variety of skill levels and the ability to leverage the relatively well-distributed mobile phone as a work interface.

African countries need to delineate exactly where they would like to participate( Medical transcriptions, coding, billing) , build up relevant experience in these niche areas and improve infrastructure to execute seamlessly.

The private sector requires digitally skilled people who can build apps and who can be developers. If young people have the right kind of skills, they’ll build businesses, create jobs and boost economic growth across the continent. Hamilton Ratshefole said at the World Economic Forum, “ Universities’ curricula are not aligned with that is required in the private sector.”

We’re a country that is obsessed with people who have gone to university, but we should rather train people for these kinds of jobs — Hamilton Ratshefole

In Uganda, the school of Ugandas makere university, a leading computing school in East Africa has collaborated with Orion Outsource world and BPO Academy to offer a training programme focused on training young Ugandans, skills to work for global BPO firms. — Over 50% of Africa’s population is under the age of 30, the youngest population in the world. The development of the ICT sector has proven to contribute heavily to the growth of nations GDP — a 20% increase in high speed internet connections, increases the economy by 1% and therefore expanding that investment in developing countries in Africa would be a strong initiative for the continent and its future growth.

The mobile platform is emerging as the single most powerful way to extend economic opportunities and key services to millions of people — Christine Zhen-Wei Qiang