Broadband for Africa: Policy for Promoting the Development of Backbone Networks


Work data:

Type of work: Online Report


ICT Infrastructure | ICT4D | Policy & Regulation


Many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa see ICT as a foundation of long-term economic development. The region has been very successful in increasing access to basic voice communications but there has been no comparable improvement in broadband connectivity. The broadband access gap between Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world is getting wider, just as the gap in basic voice communications is getting smaller. Increasing access to broadband connectivity is therefore emerging as a high priority for policymakers across the continent. This report focuses on one important part of the challenge – the lack of high-capacity backbone networks. It addresses three specific questions: What role do backbone networks play in the provision of broadband services, what is the current state of backbone network development in Sub-Saharan Africa (and why) and, what can be done to promote the development of backbone networks and thereby stimulate the take-up of broadband services?