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Joint Study Identifies Infrastructure Development as Top Priority for ICT in Africa

23 February 2016

Internet Society and African Union Commission survey highlights Internet connectivity, cyber security and Internet access as issues most closely monitored by policymakers

[Addis Ababa, Ethiopia] The Internet Society’s Africa Regional Bureau and the African Union Commission (AUC) have today released the results of a joint survey focusing on the emerging challenges facing the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Africa. The results, contained in a report setting out the survey findings, highlight infrastructure development as the key consideration for African ICT policymakers today while pointing to a changing set of ICT priorities in the next three years to include data protection and privacy, in addition to connectivity and cyber security. 

The survey, conducted in September 2015 during a meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and ICT of the African Union, aimed to identify the key issues of interest and concern, as well as topics for discussion among policy makers in the continent.

Key findings in the report include:
1.African ICT policymakers participate well in local Internet related forums but less so at regional and international levels.
2.More than half of African ICT Policymakers believe that an open Internet is very important.
3.Infrastructure development is the topmost priority of ICT African Policymakers today.
4.Connectivity, Cyber Security and Access were the top three Internet-related topics most closely monitored by African ICT Policymakers in the past year.
5.Cyber Security, Data protection and privacy, and Connectivity are expected to be the foremost priorities in the next three years.

Dawit Bekele, Director of the Internet Society’s African Regional Bureau, commented, “The Internet Society is pleased to collaborate with the African Union Commission on this important survey.  The survey insights will help to provide a policy roadmap for Internet development across the continent, ensuring that Africa is best placed to take advantage of the social and economic opportunities offered by greater access and connectivity.”

“It’s expected that Africa’s partners will focus their activities along the African Policymakers ICT priorities identified in the survey for the benefit of the development of Internet in Africa,” said Mr. Moctar Yedaly, Head of Information Society Division, African Union Commission.

Survey participants represented governmental institutions and nationalities from 20 African countries covering the five regions of the continent, with the highest representation of respondents coming from East Africa (32%), followed by West Africa (29%), Central Africa (21%), Southern Africa (15%) and North Africa (3%).

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About the Internet Society
The Internet Society,, is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. It is also the organizational home for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone.

About the African Union       
The African Union has 54 Member States. The vision of the African Union is a peaceful, integrated, prosperous Africa, driven by its own citizens to take up its rightful place in the global community. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Betel Hailu,