Africa Exciting Me Again

Rwanda Flag

Photo Credit: noodlepie via Compfight cc

Today I woke up to find an article in my Flipboard on Rwanda striking a deal with a South Korean Telecom to roll out 4G across the country.

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I am excited about the future of Africa and what this means for the people there. I have talked about Africa before and can’t wait to go back to experience more of this amazing continent and its people. There is so much to get excited about in Africa…here are just a few of my favorite quotes from today’s article (bolds are mine).

On Monday, the government said KT Corp of South Korea would inject about $140m (£90m) into a joint venture company that will create a 4G LTE broadband network for 95% of citizens. Debt and vendor financing will also be required.

To put this into perspective in 2011 President Obama laid out a 5 year plan to have 98% of American’s covered with 4G networks. That would be 2016 or about the same time as Rwanda residents get their 4G.

Up to a dozen countries in Africa – including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – operate 4G in one form or another, Goldstuck added, but Rwanda “will be the first to have this comprehensive approach”. He also praised the laying of 1,865 miles of fibre optic cable as an impressive achievement.

It is estimated that 95% broadband penetration will translate into a 10 – 13% boost in GDP growth. The Rwandan economy grew by 9.4% in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

We have a long way to go in Africa and the many nations there, but all of this points to a future where the youth of Africa (the largest in the world at 200 million) will be coming online and soon. What does the world look like when Africa is connected? When more people have access to knowledge, and can create and spread messages faster than ever before? Are we ready for this? Are we excited for this? The world is changing and Africa very much could be leading the way.

2 Comments

  1. If Africa becomes connected, we should be scared. What I mean by this: youth there have something to work for, a reason to care. Most youth in the US have become accustomed to privilege and take school for granted. Will our youth be able to compete with Africa’s?

  2. Lissa – it’s not just the US that should be worried about this. Here in the UK we seem to have the worst of both worlds – we have neither the infrastructure nor the motivation, but still manage a deep-seated complacency about our situation.

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