UN agency urges concrete actions as Africa hosts 21 of world’s 25 least connected countries


African countries have been urged to exert concrete actions in promoting the Information Communications and Technology (ICT) sector as the African continent presently hosts some 21 of the world’s least connected 25 countries.

The urgent call was made by Mactar Seck, Economic Affairs Officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Thursday during the ongoing Africa Regional Review of the implementation of the World Summit for Information Society (WSIS), which runs until Friday under the theme of “Information and Communication Technologies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“21 of the world’s least connected 25 countries are in Africa. We need to take concrete action to get out of this tight corner,” Seck told the annual high-level meeting.

African continent’s e-commerce market accounting less than 0.5 percent of the continent’s GDP is “far below the world average of over 4 percent,” according to the ECA.

The annual Africa regional review is underway ahead of the upcoming WSIS Forum, which will be held from April 6 to 9 next year in Geneva, Switzerland. The forum represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community.

The continental ICT-themed regional review meeting has brought together African experts and policymakers, drawn from African governments, private sector and civil society, international organizations and other stakeholders in Africa’s development, it was noted. Enditem

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