More than a decade after the telecommunications policy reform in many African countries, there continues to be a deficit in universal affordable access to fixed telecom infrastructure. This deficit severely limits the possibility of information and communication technologies (ICTs) being used to foster social and economic development, yet, the problem persists despite the phenomenal increase in access to mobile telecom networks, and greatly inhibits access to information and knowledge through the internet, which still requires broadband connectivity through fixed networks. APC’s Communication for Influence in Central, East and West Africa project (CICEWA) project links advocacy, research, network-building and action for regional ICT development – here is what the project has taught us.
This report seeks to provide an evaluation of the advocacy phase of the Communication for influence: Linking advocacy, dissemination and research by building ICTD networks in Central, East and West Africa (CICEWA) project, implemented with IDRC funding between 2008 and 2010.
Privatisation without regulation does not necessarily improve service delivery, and may even decrease access to information and communication technology for the poor. This is the view of US-based academic and ICT policy analyst Robert Horwitz, who was speaking at a one-week research workshop held in Johannesburg in July 2008. Horwitz is no newcomer to South Africa, or to the politics behind antennas, cables and wires.