Communicate, Unite and Expand

There has been a growing attention placed on communication and technology placed on developing telecommunication and internet capabilities on the continent of Africa. The continent has the fastest growing rate of mobile subscriptions and sales. I would like to concentrate development efforts to three Southern African countries (members of the South African Development Community or SADC) to access information and communication technologies. SADC was originally formed in 1980 and reorganized in 1992 under its current name. Its goals are to increase economic development and investment into member countries. Infrastructure is one of their highlighted themes to build up their economies. The need for low cost ICT and telecommunications technologies in rural and underprivileged urban cities is a key issue of theirs. I would like to work with the government and private companies to increase the number of mobile phones with active subscriptions, number of Internet hosts (computers connected directly to the internet) and international internet bandwidth (bits per person), which would focus on speed and reliability of the connection.

I selected number of mobile phones with active subscription because I believe that it characterizes the ability for people to stay connected and receive information locally and possibly internationally if they have an adequate calling card. I did not choose to use landlines as a variable because infrastructure is very poor in some villages but many people can still use a cell phone. Even with the most basic phone, public health workers and governments have used mass text technologies to send out messages to their citizens. Even without smartphone capabilities, people are still able to receive information from out of network sources. Number of Internet hosts measures how many computers are connected to the Internet. This measure shows access to possible global information. It does not measure efficiency or use though, therefore I have chosen Internet bandwidth as a target to depict use of the Internet.

 

Sources:

http://www.sadc.int/themes/infrastructure/ict-telecommunications/

Livingston, S. (2011). The CNN effect reconsidered (again): problematizing ICT and global governance in the CNN effect research agenda . Media, War & Conflic , 4 (20), 20-36.

 

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