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project-proposal by pengxuebo


                                                                            IN AFRICA

                                                                                13 July 2007

National governments, regional and international organizations, the public and private sector,
need to address the question of establishing connectivity in Africa. This has to be done through
the deployment of appropriate telecommunication infrastructure and particular attention needs
to be paid to underserved populations in rural and remote areas. The need for such action has
been highlighted by the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference in 2006 and
further reinforced by the 2006 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. This undertaking will complement
and reinforce initiatives that are already underway.
Connectivity solutions need to be adapted to the specific requirements of each participating
country. The focus of this proposal is on the need to foster investment in enhanced connectivity
in Africa to support economic growth, employment generation and development.
ITU’s intention in presenting this paper is to develop consensus among the partners on approach
mobilizing and pulling the resources for achieving accelerated investment in order to achieve the
   1. Closing gaps in the broadband backbone network, including interconnection between the
      regions, based on an analysis of existing and planned infrastructure;
   2. Complementing and extending the existing access networks to ensure connectivity in the
      rural and remote areas, through wired or wireless communication systems; and
   3. Fostering development of enabling environment aimed at attracting investment in the
      ICT infrastructure, harmonization of policies and regulatory frameworks, as well as
      human capacity building for maintaining and ensuring sustainability of the established
      backbone and access networks.

This document is to be distributed amongst all stakeholders involved in
    the broadband infrastructure development in Africa. All parties
   interested in collaborating are requested to contact


Connectivity is a prerequisite for socio-economic development. It is a vehicle to provide access to
modern information and communication technologies (ICT) and services to all citizens. It is a
means to narrow the digital divide and improve the quality of life of people.

The potential of ubiquitous broadband service for economic growth and employment generation
through high-speed access to information and web-based communication is now well recognized.
Applications such as e-education, e-health, e-governance and other e-services with potential
development impact will be greatly facilitated by broadband infrastructure. The efficiency,
reliability and productivity of infrastructure provision impacts on the efficiency of domestic
production and investment and thus the international competitiveness of the economy.

Africa lacks in connectivity infrastructure, the tool that can contribute to economic and social
development and assist the region in claiming its rightful place in the world. The disparities
observed 20 years ago between and within the countries of “the missing link”, still persist. The
development of ICT needs to be accorded political priority at the local, national, and sub-regional

Connectivity, in particular broadband connectivity, cannot be achieved without a large-scale
coordinated initiative bringing together stakeholders to join forces in the fight against the digital
divide. The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the outcome of the World Summit on
Information Society (WSIS) stress the need for the pooling of resources and the adoption of a
multi-stakeholder approach to development. There is a need to find a balance between fostering
investment in broadband connectivity while addressing the developmental needs of the continent.
It is therefore imperative to focus on strategies to create investment opportunities, aggregate
broadband demand and use, development of policy and regulatory frameworks, build capacities
and ensure provision of last mile connectivity to bring the benefits of ICT to all of Africa, including
urban, rural and remote areas.

The main objective of this proposal — Connectivity in Africa — is to help bridge major gaps in
infrastructure across the region, with the aim of supporting affordable connectivity and
applications and services to stimulate economic growth, generate employment and foster
development. These issues are central to address connectivity: increasingly, economical and low-
cost technologies make connectivity a proposition that can be achieved; the emergence of small
telecom operators covering small markets and a small customer base is made possible both by new
technologies and favourable regulatory framework; a supportive public policy that encourages
investment; and the emergence of small enterprises. The need for a supportive public policy to
allow such interventions to succeed cannot be overstated.

Connectivity in Africa can only be addressed as a continental initiative focusing on all 53 African
countries. For the purposes of this proposal, the continent of Africa is grouped into five sub-


Over the last ten years, Africa has witnessed a sea-change in the telecommunication scenario.
The governance structures of telecommunication have undergone a transformation with the
emergence and consolidation of regulatory bodies. The most notable change has been the
emergence of mobile communications, now approaching 140 million subscribers. This has been the
result of an investment of about USD 50 billion over a period of ten years by the private sector.
Yet, teledensity across the continent remains low.

The spread of mobile communications is accompanied by the even quieter mushrooming of
transmission links within the countries and across the borders. These transmission links cannot be
called "backbone" because they are private property — only for use by the mobile companies — but
changes in regulation can make them available to other operators, resulting in the optimal use of

infrastructure. Infrastructure sharing is the key to investment and the effective use of scarce

The lack of a robust regional backbone infrastructure that provides full interconnectivity amongst
African countries at the sub-regional and regional levels is a hindrance towards the full realization
of the global information society.

A number of infrastructure projects have been implemented and several are under way. Many of
them have brought significant improvement in terms of connectivity. These include: RASCOM,
COMTEL, INTELCOM II, EADTP, SRII, SAT3/WASC/SAFE, EASSy and others. Nevertheless, there is
still much work to be done in order to enable Africa to catch-up with other regions. Coordinated
efforts that complement ongoing initiatives with a focus on underserved areas can make a
significant difference within a short period.

An urgent need for a continent-wide and unified strategy for the development of ICT
infrastructure was expressed by various stakeholders, including the African Development Bank,
African Union, African Telecommunication Union and the NEPAD e-Africa Commission.

Development of broadband infrastructure and the achievement of regional interconnectivity was
also addressed at the Doha World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06) and at
the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-06) held in Antalya in 2006. The ITU Development Sector
was mandated to undertake necessary actions for developing African broadband infrastructure and
for providing better access and to improve the quality of ICT services.1 WSIS Action Line C2
designates ITU as the facilitator of development of information and communication infrastructure.

ITU intends, in close collaboration with stakeholders and the participating countries, to explore
and mobilize international resources and opportunities for the expansion of connectivity in Africa.


3.1. Infrastructure Gaps

African countries must face the challenges of closing the infrastructure gaps that exist in the
different countries. These are:

     -   Non existent or low-capacity national transmission backbones;
     -   Non existent or low-capacity international links; and
     -   Non existent or poor access network in rural or remote areas.

Africa still lags behind the other regions of the world in the deployment and exploitation of ICTs.
Indicators based on data from 20053 speak for themselves (refer to Annex I for more details):

     -   With about 13.8% of the world's population, Africa has about 163 million telephone
         subscribers (cellular= 136m and fixed= 27.4m), compared with the world’s total 3.4 billion
     -   Teledensity (fixed telephone lines per 100 inhabitants) is 3.07 compared with world
         average of 19.4; significant variation exists between the sub-regions and between urban
         and rural areas;

   WTDC 2006 adopted a Regional Initiative for Africa titled “Development of a broadband infrastructure and
achievement of regional interconnectivity”. The focus of the proposed project is on provision of broadband
infrastructure for sub-regional and continental interconnection; digitalization of the existing switching and
transmission infrastructure in countries; interconnection of Internet nodes among countries; implementation
regional roaming among mobile operators; reduction of extra continental transit and consequent reduction of
fees for bandwidths charged to the region. The expectation is that the final result will be an operational Pan-
African Telecommunication Network with up-gradation of national telecommunication equipments and
transmission systems including Wireless Access loop for rural areas.
  Information and communication infrastructure: An essential foundation for the Information Society.
  ITU World Telecommunication Database 2007

    -   The waiting time for a fixed telephone line is as long as 6 years in the Central African sub
        region contrasting with 2 years in the North African sub region;
    -   The largest towns in each country, with 12 to 22% of the total population, account for as
        high as 77% of total main telephone lines in 2004. It is apparent, that if all the urban
        centers were included, the picture would be even worse;
    -   The number of Mobile subscribers in African countries exceeds 136 millions comparing with
        the world number of subscribers 2.2 billion. Mobile tele-density amounts 15.2 for Africa
        compared to the global average of 34;
    -   Total price for access to the Internet is about 170% of Gross National Income (GNI) per
        capita in Africa compared to the 62% world average; this situation magnifies the challenge
        for African countries given the linkage between GNI per capita and economic growth; the
        cost of 20 hours Internet usage per month is US$47.09 compared with US$14.95 in the USA.
    -   PC penetration is 2.2 per 100 inhabitants compared with 6.4 in Asia and 35.3 in the
    -   The number of Internet users per 100 inhabitants for Africa is 3.7 compared with world
        average of 15.25 (Asia 9.7, Americas 34.2, Europe 32.0, Oceania 53.0);
    -   Penetration of Broadband per 100 inhabitants amounts 0.00103;
    -   Low investments - Africa accounts for 4% of global investments in this sector (estimated at
        US$8 bn in 2005); and
    -   A significant portion of inter-African traffic (70%) still transits through outside the

It is instructive to enumerate some of the reasons why these gaps exist. These include, inter-alia,
the following:

    -   Policy formulation for ICTs is usually split amongst different government departments and
        Ministries with minimal coordination;
    -   Incomplete liberalization in some countries maintains high connectivity prices;
    -   Poor intra-country and inter-country interconnectivity;
    -   Rural access still lags far behind urban access;
    -   Poor IP and inadequate infrastructure; and
    -   Lack of technical and managerial skills for effective development and management of the
        sector coupled with brain drain of highly skilled and educated staff.

The above parameters point to the need for acceleration of policy and regulatory reforms. In
countries with multiple-operators, creating integrated, cost-effective and rationalized national
broadband backbones will require that governments as well as operators adopt flexible approaches
on ownership and operation of this crucial infrastructure.

Feasibility studies carried out by ITU in 2005 concluded that in addition to the existing
infrastructure, the African continent requires 52,000 route kilometres of backbone infrastructure
for intra- and inter-country connectivity. This is the minimal requirement.

The following table presents the breakdown for each sub-region.

                     Backbone infrastructure required (in route kilometers)

         Central           Northern          Western           Eastern and           Total
          Africa            Africa            Africa         Southern Africa
          15950              2200             19330               14560             52040

The following sections summarize and present an overview of the situation in each sub-region and
are based on the ITU World Telecommunication Database and a “Needs Assessment” study that
was carried out in May 2005.4 The “Needs Assessment” study, however, needs to be updated in
order to adequately reflect the current situation in each sub-region and form the basis for
development of a project proposal for establishment, deployment, operation and maintenance of
connectivity infrastructure.

 ITU (2005), Partnership Framework for ICT Infrastructure Development in Africa: Needs

3.2. Central Africa

The following table provides ICT statistics for Central Africa (2005).

                               Fixed          Mobile     Internet         PCs per    Broadband
                             Telephone     Subscriber    Users per         100       Subscribers
                              per 100       s per 100       100                       per 1000
  Burundi                       0.37            2.03        0.53           0.45         0.00
  Cameroon                      0.61           13.80        1.53           1.23         0.00
  Central African Rep.          0.25            2.48        0.27           0.30         0.00
  Chad                          0.13            2.15        0.41           0.15         0.00
  Congo                         0.40           12.25        1.25           0.48         0.00
  Congo (Dem. Rep.)             0.02            4.77        0.24           0.00         0.03
  Equatorial Guinea             0.72            7.02        0.51           0.51         0.00
  Gabon                         7.82          130.46       13.40           9.00         1.11
  Rwanda                        0.25            3.21        0.55           0.00         0.00
  S. Tomé & Principe            4.38            7.50       12.50           0.00         0.00
  Central Africa                0.23           6.35        0.61            0.30         0.11

Ongoing and planned projects

The national projects with a sub-regional or regional impact, and sub-regional and bilateral
projects (between neighboring countries) were identified as follows.

    a) National projects with a sub-regional impact
       - Terminal access to SAT-3 in Moanda project (RDC)
       - Terminal access project to SAT-3 in Pointe Noire (Congo)
       - Fiber optic infrastructure Douala-Edea-Kribi (Cameroon)
    b) Bilateral projects with a subregional and/or regional impact
       - Fiber optic infrastructure Libreville-Franceville-Lekoni-Oyo-Brazzaville
    c) Sub-regional projects (at least three countries concerned)
       - CAMEROON-CHAD-CAR Project for the connection of the aforementioned countries at
           the SAT-3 landing in Douala
       - West African Festoon System (WAFS) Project
       - COMTEL and SRII Projects (already envisaged in Eastern and Southern Africa).

3.3. Northern Africa

The following table provides ICT statistics for Northern Africa (2005).

                            Fixed           Mobile      Internet         PCs per    Broadband
                          Telephone      Subscriber     Users per         100       Subscribers
                           per 100        s per 100        100                       per 1000
    Algeria                  7.82           41.51          5.83           1.06         0.00
    Egypt                   14.04           18.41          6.75           3.65         1.53
    Libya                   12.82            4.01          3.50           0.00         0.00
    Morocco                  4.42           40.89         15.18           2.46         8.22
    Tunisia                 12.46           56.30          9.45           5.63         1.64
    Northern Africa         10.65           29.77         8.28            2.85         2.28

Ongoing and planned projects

Based on ITU’s analysis, networks in each country are streamlined and there is no duplication or
overlap. Furthermore, governments in these countries have set up a regulatory and legal
framework enabling license bearing operators to rent capacity with companies endowed with
alternative communications networks.

3.4. Western Africa

The following table demonstrates the ICT statistics in Western Africa (2005).

                          Fixed          Mobile        Internet      PCs per      Broadband
                        Telephone     Subscribers      Users per      100         Subscribers
                         per 100        per 100          100                       per 1000
     Benin                 1.02          10.00           5.67          0.43          0.03
     Burkina Faso          0.69           4.79           0.49          0.23          0.03
     Cape Verde           14.88          17.02           6.04         10.00          1.97
     Côte d'Ivoire         1.42          12.94           1.10          1.44          0.05
     Gambia                2.89          16.28           3.22          1.51          0.05
     Ghana                 1.45          13.00           1.82          0.51          0.09
     Guinea                0.33           2.36           0.63          0.55          0.00
     Guinea-Bissau         0.76           7.09           2.31          0.00          0.00
     Liberia               0.00           4.88           0.00          0.00          0.00
     Mali                  0.66           7.66           0.53          0.40          0.00
     Mauritania            1.34          24.29           0.65          2.54          0.05
     Niger                 0.17           2.15           0.21          0.07          0.02
     Nigeria               0.93          14.13           3.80          0.91          0.00
     Senegal               2.29          14.84           4.63          2.14          1.58
     Sierra Leone          0.00           2.05           0.18          0.00          0.00
     Togo                  1.23           8.55           5.88          3.63          0.00
     Western Africa        1.01          11.70           2.80         0.90           0.24

Ongoing and planned projects

Thirty two (32) links have been identified as the second ECOWAS priority programme for the
development of telecommunications (INTELCOM II). This programme was approved and endorsed
by NEPAD. Therefore, nowhere in Western Africa is overlapping or duplication to be found in
broadband infrastructure development initiatives. In addition to this priority sub-regional
programme, the ITU study made it possible to identify security loops for the network at national
and sub-regional levels. Without these loops, it would be difficult to deploy new applications
needing a high-level of reliability of the network. It is therefore necessary for each country to
assess the relevance of the proposals made.

The Governments of the region have endorsed the ECOWAS guidelines for the harmonized of
policies governing the ICT Market in the UEMOA/ECOWAS space. Countries are in the process of
transposing the regional guideline into national legislation that would enable integrated single
market in the region. Also, the recent ITU/EC project focusing on the enabling environment on
regulatory frameworks in Africa has significantly contributed to regulatory harmonization.

3.5 Eastern and Southern Africa

The following table demonstrates the ICT statistics in Eastern and Southern Africa (2005).

                            Fixed           Mobile       Internet       PCs per     Broadband
                          Telephone      Subscribers     Users per       100        Subscriber
                           per 100         per 100         100                      s per 1000
       Djibouti              1.57            6.39          1.45          2.75          0.00
       Eritrea               0.86            0.92          1.82          0.57          0.00
       Ethiopia              0.79            0.53          0.21          0.29          0.00
       Kenya                 0.82           13.46          3.24          0.88          0.00
       Malawi                0.80            3.33          0.41          0.19          0.03
       Somalia               1.22            6.08          1.09          0.61          0.00
       Sudan                 1.62            5.21          7.98          9.26          0.06
       Tanzania              0.40            8.84          0.87          0.73          0.00
       Uganda                0.31            4.66          1.77          1.06          0.00
       Eastern Africa        0.82            5.25          2.15          1.87          0.01

                            Fixed           Mobile       Internet      PCs per     Broadband
                          Telephone      Subscribers     Users per      100        Subscriber
                           per 100         per 100          100                    s per 1000
       Angola                0.61           10.11           0.53        0.58          0.00
       Botswana              7.46           46.50           3.39        4.86          0.00
       Comoros               2.11            2.01           2.50        0.63          0.01
       Lesotho               2.67           13.88           2.39        0.00          0.03
       Madagascar            0.36            2.74           0.54        0.49          0.00
       Mauritius            28.60           52.54          24.00        16.00         41.32
       Mozambique            0.35            7.60           0.70        1.43          0.00
       Namibia               6.85           24.38           3.69        10.84         0.00
       Seychelles           26.75           71.25          26.25        20.00         7.13
       South Africa          9.97           71.60          10.75        8.36          3.48
       Swaziland             3.40           19.42           3.50        3.50          0.00
       Zambia                0.81            8.14           1.98        0.97          0.02
       Zimbabwe              2.76            5.61           8.40        7.14          1.06
       Southern              4.57           31.10          5.38         4.44          4.08

Ongoing and planned projects

In 2004 NEPAD e-Africa Commission conducted, with the assistance of ITU, a study to promote the
integration and rationalization of Africa’s terrestrial telecommunications infrastructure. This was
followed by the finalization of a strategy for establishing the rationalized broadband network in
Eastern and Southern Africa.

Under the auspices of COMESA and SADC, the region has over the last decade developed guidelines
and model legal instruments to harmonize policies and regulatory frameworks aimed at regional
integration into a common market that would be conducive to attract larger investments. In the
ICT sector Associations of Regulators and Operators have been established as consultative bodies in
the regional policy formulation processes.

The map of national land and submarine broadband infrastructures (proposed) for the whole
Africa is attached in Annex II.

A project to enhance the connectivity infrastructure in Africa needs to focus on the following

    a) facilitating and securing the interconnectivity of the African continent and the promotion
       of regional integration (it will need to encompass infrastructure at three levels: trans-
       boundary, regionally and nationally);
    b) significantly increasing access to affordable ICT services in the African countries for the
       benefit of all people, in both urban and rural areas; and
    c) building capacity to ensure sustainability and harmonizing policies and regulatory
       frameworks in order to attract regional investments.

More specifically, the main objectives of the project are:

    a) To provide multiple applications over a single network including broadcasting, Internet and
       data services;
    b) To strengthen the cost-effective infrastructure in particular broadband backbone using
       optical fibre, submarine cable, microwave links or satellite communication system,
       amongst others;
    c) To develop the necessary access networks including wired and wireless technologies across
       the continent;
    d) To address issues and needs related to the connectivity in rural and remote areas
    e) To assist the beneficiary countries on the development of local human capacity;
    f) To assist countries in adopting regulations that promote network development;

    g) To create favourable market conditions for the deployment of broadband in urban and
       rural areas;
    h) To foster investment by incumbent telecom operators and/or the emergence of new
       telecom operators both as a way of generating investment and of employment;
    i) To generate demand for the facilities created, though creation of appropriate applications
       and content;
    j) To encourage use of the technologies and services in schools, hospitals, and delivery of
       government services;
    k) To promote the emergence of small enterprises to provide services (given the income
       disparities and given that PC might not be owned by a family); and
    l) To avoid possible duplications in the projects.

Support to the deployment of a broadband infrastructure needs to be based on a technologically
neutral approach. Choices between the different options will rely on current and planned ICT

The above discussion highlights the need to ensure a well-coordinated approach towards
infrastructure development responding to the needs of the countries, the region and the
continent. This project will exploit synergies with other programmes and initiatives in the domain.

The expected project outputs are listed as following:

    -   Closing gaps in the broadband backbone network taking into account the existing and
        ongoing backbone infrastructure activities to avoid of duplication. The ultimate objective
        is the development of a Pan-Africa backbone infrastructure linking countries by means of
        high-capacity links, through optical fibre, submarine cable, microwave links or satellite
        communication systems;

    -   Complementing and extending the reach of existing access networks for connecting the
        rural and remote areas, through the wired (DSL, VDSL, ADSL, ADSL2, cable fibre etc., or
        wireless (Wi-Fi, WiMAX etc.;) communication systems; and

    -   Fostering development of enabling environment aimed at attracting investment in the
        ICT infrastructure, harmonization of policies and regulatory frameworks, as well as human
        capacity building for maintaining and ensuring sustainability of the established backbone
        and access networks.

In order to ensure optimal use of resources, the proposed project needs to exploit the synergies of
the activities already initiated. Close coordination with all concerned institutions and parties
needs to be ensured. In order to address the major issues it is proposed that following activities be

6.1. Infrastructure Development and Enabling Environment

6.1.1 Requirements (Backbone and Access Networks)

There are several initiatives for the development of inter-country backbone networks in Africa at
various stages of implementation. There are also investments within the countries for the
development of national transmission links.

The first step that needs to be taken is to assess the current situation and to evaluate the areas
where concerted international action is necessary. Technical and financial feasibility studies shall
determine the strategy and the type of links that will be used on each route. The issue of parallel
infrastructures is one that has to be addressed by governments and regulators. It is important to
ensure connectivity between the networks within a sub-region as well as connectivity between

networks of sub-regions in order to ensure optimization of networks. This will assist in reducing
interconnection costs.

Based on the results of the coordination process and feasibility studies, analysis will be carried out
for each group of countries to identify and design the appropriate technologies and solutions for
backbone infrastructure and access networks taking into account the existing infrastructure and
possible ongoing projects. This includes technical requirements such as a main backbone to route
traffic from and to African countries as well as to each individual country’s backbone and access
network requirements. Special attention should be paid to the project component focusing on
connectivity for rural and remote areas aiming at bringing ICT applications and services to village

The question of how to make telecommunications and other services accessible to rural and
remote areas presents special challenges in the African context. Rural Africa is sui generis. There
are specific issues with covering Africa that do not figure elsewhere. They include weak
infrastructure, scarce human resources, dispersed settlements, low population densities, lack of
literacy and computer literacy, difficult geography/topography, cash poor populations and high
deployment costs.

The MDGs recognize this and have set a target that by 2015, telecoms is available within 2 hours
walk. A translation of this quality of life aspiration into a telecom network and investment
proposal requires some careful thinking. This would involve, for example, a realistic target of
teledensity. In Africa, an individual or household may not be the relevant unit. This could be a
village — and the village itself could be spread over a ten square km area. Any projection of
resource requirement has to battle against generating the figures for this kind of an exercise and
would need some surveys and sophisticated simulation techniques.

6.1.2 Detailed Project document

The project will develop systematic and integrated mechanisms and process for data collection,
processing and storage at country and regional level. Apart from this, the objective of the project
is also to carry out two feasibility studies for ICT infrastructure development within each
individual African country in order to produce detailed bankable project document for backbone
and access networks to be implemented. The feasibility study for access network should identify
the most suitable technologies for connecting urban, rural and remote areas.

A comprehensive instrument will be developed to gather socio-economic data pertinent for
describing the rural telecommunication market: number of villages, size, and average distance to
a central point of the village, population, access to water, to electricity, to main roads, to primary
schools, to health services, and main economic activities.

6.2. Regulatory issues

Following the ITU activities focusing on developing an enabling environment and the regional
regulatory harmonization in Africa, the project will identify the main regulatory constraints (if
any) in each country and in the regions. It will recommend the appropriate action to be taken by
Governments and Regulators in order to facilitate, among other things, the availability of
resources such as frequency spectrum and the sharing of infrastructure within and across various
sectors. Assistance will be provided to those countries requiring support in the transposing of
regional guidelines into national legislation as well as the process of enacting them.

An essential step is the creation of an enabling environment to foster investments and ensure
sustainability. A key aspect is the harmonization of the regulatory environment across the
continent. ITU is currently engaged in a project for this purpose in collaboration with the European
Commission. An extension of the project to cover the rest of the continent is required

6.3. Human Capacity Building
In order to ensure sustainability and ownership of the project as well as of the results achieved,
national experts will be trained through face-to-face capacity building workshops in conjunction
with e-learning sessions through the ITU e-Learning Centre and Centres of Excellence and other
training platforms. Technical Seminars and workshops will be organized aiming at building capacity
for maintaining and operating established backbone and access networks. The main objectives of

the seminars and workshops will be to ensure that the infrastructure is maintained, operated and
developed according to a set of standards, with the overall aim of achieving sustainability. As
such, the human capacity building element included in this project can be linked to the Regional
Initiatives on Human Capacity Building, which aim at strengthening Human Resources
Competencies and skills-base throughout the continent.


Establishment of a Project Management Team and Steering Committee
The project management team responsible for the projects programmatic and financial
implementation will be composed of a) project coordinator based in the ITU Regional Office for
Africa; b) a global project Manager assisted by 5 sub-region project managers at the regional level
for each group of countries supported by cross cutting specialists (i.e. regulatory, human capacity
building, financial analysis, satellites, optical fibre, access network etc.)

In order to foster participatory decision-making, a Steering Committee will be created composed
of representatives from ITU, an ICT Focal Point from each beneficiary country, from the RECs,
from ATU, League of Arab States and other sub regional and regional organizations as appropriate,
from funding partners and any other partner organization participating in the Project. It will be
established in order to convene project review meetings to assess the overall process of project
implementation and achievements. This Steering Committee will have and advisory role and
recommend any follow-up action deemed necessary for the successful implementation of the

Coordination with and Grouping of the Beneficiary Countries
At the start of the project, a multi-stakeholder meeting of all project beneficiaries would be
convened. The final project document would be signed by all parties, formalizing the participation
of regional, sub-regional and international organizations as well as national involvement from all
countries. This meeting would formally launch the project, recall its objectives and solicit views
from all stakeholders. It would confirm priorities and agree upon an implementation plan, as well
as establish a consultative mechanism for countries to gain public input.

Coordination meeting of all stakeholders will be organized during the implementation of the
project whenever deemed necessary by the Steering Committee.

7.1 Implementation and monitoring

Detailed project document produced during the feasibility studies will be implemented by the
selected contractors under the direct supervision of the designated project management team, in
close coordination with ITU, and in consultation with the Steering Committee. ITU will coordinate
with the financial partners regarding financial management issues. The project manager will
prepare quarterly progress reports which should be submitted to all parties. A project review
meeting will be convened on the request of any parties involved in the process or by the project
manager. The projects implementation process will be supervized and monitored by ITU.

7.2. Project closure

Emphasis will be put on beneficiary ownership, as it remains a key element to sustainability.
Special consideration is given to a methodology that consolidates ownership of the proposed
project by beneficiary countries. Deliverables and activities are the result of a negotiated process
with partner institutions in the project and beneficiary countries.

At the end of the project multilateral meeting will be convened in order to assess the project

8.      INPUTS

8.1. ITU Contribution

ITU, as the UN specialized agency for ICT as well as WSIS Action Line C2 5 facilitator and WSIS
Action Line C4 and C6 co-facilitator, will contribute to the project as follows:
     -   in close collaboration with other stakeholders will identify the missing gaps;
     -   with the assistance of the financial partners will carry out the feasibility studies;
     -   will formulate detailed project proposals based on the detailed feasibility study;
     -   will provide staff resources for implementation and overall project supervision and
     -   will provide neutral and objective advice on technological strategies and designs for
         broadband backbone, infrastructure and access networks;
     -   ITU will also ensure funding partners’ visibility.

8.2. Beneficiary countries contributions

Main in-kind contributions of beneficiary countries include:

-    Information required for carrying out project activities;
-    Qualified and dedicated counterparts to the project;
-    All permits required to carry out project activities, including work permission for foreign
     contractors to be engaged under the project;
-    Exemption form customs duties of imported items required under the project;
-    Legal and administrative support required during the project implementation; and
-    Any other assistance to the project that may be required by ITU project staff including
     sub-contractors engaged under this project.

National commitment from all countries will be an important aspect of the project. Counterparts
and national focal points will play a key role both for ownership and sustainability of the project
(effective transfer of know-how). The AU, RECs and associated institutions as well as member’s
countries in Africa will have to allocate appropriate human and financial resources to ensure
sustainability after the initial input from the funding partners and the ITU.

In addition, the beneficiary countries will support the installation and recurring costs for required
telecommunication and Internet infrastructure as well as assist ITU experts, in particular in the
collection of data necessary to carry out the work and in the access to all relevant documents
and information.

8.3. Funding partners

The funding partners will provide the necessary funding for the smooth development and
implementation of the project.


Estimation of resources required for ICT infrastructure is not an easy task. Much will depend on
the assumptions that go into the calculations. For example, the ITU Resolution 124 (Marrakech,
2002) has set a target of 4 fixed lines per 100 inhabitants and 7 mobile lines per 100 inhabitants as
an average for the region to be achieved by 2005. 6 The Needs Assessment carried out by the ITU in
2005, used the objectives set in the Resolution 124 to estimate the resource requirements for all
the regions in Africa as follows:

 Information and Communication Infrastructure
 The Resolution also calls for installation of optical fibre inter-state links; installation of Internet
backbone, reduction of costs and improvement of service reliability and for preparing all African
countries to use electronic communications.

                                Fixed Lines                      Mobile Lines                 Total
  Region                 FL (‘000)          $m             ML (‘000)         $m                $m
  North Africa              488             488              2,405           962              1,450
  West Africa              5,357          5,400              2,873          1,150             6,550
  East Africa              5,720          5,720              6,212          2,485             8,205
  Central Africa           3,761          3,760              2,610          1,044             4,804
  Southern Africa          2,527          2,530              3,112           245              2,775
                          17,853         17,898             17,212         5,886             23,784

Source: ITU, Partnership Framework for ICT Infrastructure Development in Africa: Needs Assessment,
Executive Summary, May 2005 p 28.

An increase of 1 per cent for fixed line and 2 per cent for mobile requires a total investment of
USD 24 billion. These were the estimates drawn up in 2005. In the current context, given the
objective to provide broadband connectivity within and across the countries, the required scale of
resources may as well reach hundreds of billions spread over several years.

Given the extraordinary scale of investments, going by traditional indicators, would not be
feasible. Much of the demographic data from rural and remote areas suggests that emphasis should
be placed on access to not just individuals or households, but a group of or a number of
households in a given area. A realistic step would be to provide telecom/ICT facilities at schools,
hospitals, government offices. Another realistic step would be to encourage small entrepreneurs to
provide these facilities supported by some subsidies from the government. The variation in
resources and endowments and the current status of ICT development would be useful to group
the countries in terms of the magnitude of inputs each would require.

In order to enable accelerated investments, preparation of detailed project documents based on
feasibility studies needs to be undertaken. ITU therefore seeks appropriate financial support for
the purposes of the feasibility studies.


One of the main risks envisaged is the lack of readiness in the country to support the
implementation process and embrace the outcomes of assistance. This risk would be mitigated by
providing assistance in areas where the country has already undertaken the necessary steps or
expressed explicit interest in the outcome. Furthermore, the implementation should be
undertaken in coordination with other sub regional, regional and international organizations in
order to minimize duplication of efforts and resources.

The main advantage of this project, namely the fact that it addresses several countries at a time,
can also be viewed as a risk factor. In general, the decision process in projects with a large
number of countries can be slower, the higher accountability challenges and lower interest when
compared to a single country situation. In this project, this risk is mitigated by closely linking the
project to regional organizations that are mandated at the highest political level for achieving
economic integration of their respective countries.


The beneficiary countries will be all African countries, to the extent that increased connectivity
within and across countries will make positive contributions to all. However, the magnitude of the
activity may vary from country to country depending on specific requirements. The major focus
thus will be on LDCs and countries with special needs.


Fixed Telecommunications

According to ITU’s telecommunication statistics7, Mauritius is the African country with the highest
percentage of main telephone lines per 100 inhabitants (28.7), followed by Seychelles (26.5) and
Cape Verde (15). For the remainder, this figure varies from 0.13 for Chad to about 14 for Egypt.

Even though the penetration level in Africa is growing faster than in other regions, the indicator of
main telephone lines per 100 inhabitants remains extremely low:
       -    for 23 countries (about 492 million people equivalent to 54.9% of the population of Africa)
            this indicator is below 1; and
       -    for another 15 countries (about 129 million equivalent to 14.5% of the population of
            Africa) this indicator is between 1 and 3.
The total of the above covers about 76% of the population of Africa.

Figure 1: African Countries Main Telephone Lines per 100 Inhabitants



                                      Canary Islands
                                                                                           ALGERI                                     LIBYA

                          Cape Verde Is.                MAURITANI
                                                                                     MALI                       NIGER                                              SUDAN
                                                                                                                                                CHAD                                                ERITREA

                                             GUINEA                                                                                                                                                             DJIBOUTI

                                             BISSAU           GUINEA                                             NIGERIA

                                                    SIERRA LEONE                                                                                       CENTRAL                                  ETHIOPIA
                                                                          COTE D’IVOIRE                                                                AFRICAN
                                                                LIBERIA                                                                                REP
                                                                                                    TOGO                 CAMEROON

                                                                                                    Sao Tome &                GABON
                                                                                                      Principe                                                              RWAND

                                                                                                                                                                                      A                                    SEYCHELLES

               Less than 1

                                                                                                                                       ANGOLA                      ZAMBIA
               Between 1 and 3



               More than 3




                                                                                                                                                                                                                Source: ITU

    Measuring the Information Society, 2007, ITU.

Mobile Telecommunications

The same observation can be made for mobile. In 2004 Europe had almost eight times the
penetration rate of Africa, where less than one out of ten people subscribe to a mobile service.
93% of the world’s 160 million 3G subscribes were located in Asia and in the Americas. In Africa:
   -   17 countries (about 281 million people equivalent to 31.3% of the population of Africa)
       have their indicator of mobile per 100 inhabitants below 5; and
   -   Another 26 countries (about 484 million equivalent to 54.0% of the population of Africa)
       have it between 5 and 20.
The total of the above covers about 85% of the population of Africa.

Figure 2: African Countries Mobile per 100 Inhabitants



                              Canary Islands
                                                                                   ALGERIA                                 LIBYA


                  Cape Verde Is.                MAURITANI
                                                                             MALI                       NIGER                                           SUDAN
                                                                                                                                     CHAD                                                ERITREA

                                     GUINEA                                                                                                                                                          DJIBOUTI

                                     BISSAU           GUINEA                                             NIGERIA

                                            SIERRA LEONE                                                                                    CENTRAL                                  ETHIOPIA
                                                                  COTE D’IVOIRE                                                             AFRICAN
                                                        LIBERIA                                                                             REP
                                                                                            TOGO                 CAMEROON

                                                                                                    EQ. GUINEA

                                                                                            Sao Tome &             GABON
                                                                                              Principe                                                           RWAND

                                                                                                                                                                           A                                    SEYCHELLES

         Less than 5

                                                                                                                            ANGOLA                      ZAMBIA
        Between 5 and 20



        More than 20



                                                                                                                                        SOUTH AFRICA

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Source: ITU

Figure 3: Mobile-Fixed Substitution Ratio for African Countries



                            Canary Islands
                                                                       ALGERIA                        LIBYA


                  Cape Verde Is.             MAURITANIA
                                                                  MALI                  NIGER                                      SUDAN
                                                                                                              CHAD                                            ERITREA

                                   GUINEA                                                                                                                                DJIBOUTI

                                   BISSAU     GUINEA                                    NIGERIA

                                      SIERRA LEONE                                                                   CENTRAL                          ETHIOPIA
                                                        COTE D’IVOIRE
                                                                    GHANA                                            AFRICAN
                                                  LIBERIA                   TOGO                                     REP

                                                                                    EQ. GUINEA

                                                                            Sao Tome &           GABON
                                                                              Principe                                                      RWANDA

           Number of mobile subscribers greater than
           10 times the number of fixed subscribers
           Number of mobile subscribers between 5 and 10
           times the number of fixed subscribers                                                         ANGOLA                    ZAMBIA

           Number of mobile subscribers between 2 and 5                                                                                                                                 MAURITIUS
           times the number of fixed subscribers                                                                                    ZIMBABWE
           Number of mobile subscribers between 1 and 2
           times the number of fixed subscribers                                                                       BOTSWANA

           Number of mobile subscribers less than the
           number of fixed subscribers                                                                                        LESOTHO

                                                                                                                    SOUTH AFRICA
                                                                                                                                                                          Source: ITU


While in a number of countries more than 50 % of the population is using the Internet, only 3.7% of
Africans are online.

Once again, some island countries like Seychelles and Mauritius have the highest percentage with
regards to the indicator of Internet users per 100 inhabitants.

   -   17 countries (about 326 million people equivalent to 36.3% of the population of Africa)
       have this indicator below 1; and
   -   another 22 countries (about 310 million equivalent to 34.6% of the population of Africa)
       have it between 1 and 5.
The total of the above covers about 71% of the population of Africa.

Figure 4: African Countries Internet Users per 100 Inhabitants



                                Canary Islands
                                                                                     ALGERI                                     LIBYA

                    Cape Verde Is.                MAURITANI
                                                                               MALI                       NIGER                                              SUDAN
                                                                                                                                          CHAD                                                ERITREA

                                       GUINEA                                                                                                                                                             DJIBOUTI

                                       BISSAU           GUINEA                                             NIGERIA

                                              SIERRA LEONE                                                                                       CENTRAL                                  ETHIOPIA
                                                                    COTE D’IVOIRE                                                                AFRICAN
                                                          LIBERIA                                                                                REP
                                                                                              TOGO                 CAMEROON

                                                                                              Sao Tome &                GABON
                                                                                                Principe                                                              RWAND

                                                                                                                                                                                A                                    SEYCHELLES

           Less than 1

                                                                                                                                 ANGOLA                      ZAMBIA
           Between 1 and 5



           More than 5




                                                                                                                                                                                                     Source: ITU

Figure 5: Number of Mobile Operators per Country




          Cape Verde Is.                MAURITANIA

                                                                    MALI                      NIGER                                                 SUDAN
                                                                                                                           CHAD                                                      ERITREA

                             GUINEA                                                                                                                                                                     DJIBOUTI

                             BISSAU        GUINEA                                              NIGERIA

                                    SIERRA LEONE                                                                                      CENTRAL                                  ETHIOPIA
                                                         COTE D’IVOIRE                                                                AFRICAN
                                               LIBERIA                                                                                REP
                                                                                 TOGO                   CAMEROON

                                                                                         EQ. GUINEA

                                                                             Sao Tome & Principe          GABON

         More than 2 mobile operators

         2 Mobile operators                                                                                         ANGOLA                          ZAMBIA



         1 Mobile operator                                                                                           NAMIBIA




                                                                                                                                     SOUTH AFRICA
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Source: ITU

Figure 6: National Regulatory Authorities



                                                              Canary Islands

                                                Cape Verde Is.                   MAURITANIA

                                                                                                              MALI                         NIGER                                               SUDAN
                                                                                                                                                                        CHAD                                                    ERITREA

                                                                    GUINEA                                                                                                                                                                   DJIBOUTI

                                                                    BISSAU          GUINEA                                                  NIGERIA

                                                                           SIERRA LEONE                                                                                        CENTRAL                                    ETHIOPIA
                                                                                                   COTE D’IVOIRE                                                               AFRICAN
                                                                                         LIBERIA                                                                               REP
                                                                                                                             TOGO                   CAMEROON

                                                                                                                                      EQ. GUINEA

                                                                                                                    Sao Tome & Principe               GABON


          Autonomous regulatory authority                                                                                                                                D.R.CONGO

          Multisectoral regulatory authority                                                                                                                                                                                                             SEYCHELLES

          (telecoms, water, electricity, etc.)                                                                                                                                                                                             COMOROS

          Directorate within the ministry                                                                                                                      ANGOLA                          ZAMBIA

          Autonomous regulatory authority (regulating                                                                                                                                            ZIMBABWE

          ICT, telecoms and broadcasting)                                                                                                                        NAMIBIA

          Regulatory authority in process of establishment


                                                                                                                                                                            SOUTH AFRICA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Source: ITU



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