Changes in internet communication policy and regulations
Africa has received a lot of attention in the recent months in terms of the changing face of regional and global connectivity. Gradual and ongoing changes relating to the internet communication policy and regulations have lead to a growing number of internet users across the continent. Numerous organizations and governments have been working on enabling internet access for African communities including emerging and medium enterprises in different regions. Their efforts have been focusing on some key strategic initiatives such as investing in submarine cables, building terrestrial fibre infrastructures or adopting new mobile and wireless technologies to increase the internet connectivity on the continent.
Developments in connectivity in infrastructure improvements
Under-sea cables have provided a much needed push in the internet communication area bringing internet access to the previously unreachable territories. Among countries worth noting for their efforts to improve their infrastructures are South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. These states also have the greatest number of internet users on the continent.
The improved connectivity on a local level ultimately leads to better performance on inter-regional and cross-border levels as well. The concerted efforts of several African states, including Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia, aim at improving the internet legal and regulatory environment. More over, they focus on enhancing the areas of software engineering, networking and project management to enable online transactions capabilities and, thus, increasing the potential for employment and innovation in the African regions.
Adopting innovative technologies
There are more and more technology-oriented businesses and start-up companies in African countries, especially in the mobile market (the second fastest growing market in the world). Mobile money concept is revolutionising the banking industry in Kenya, for example, who adopted innovative technologies and now allows branch-less financial transactions. Online services are becoming increasingly popular in African states offering smart solutions to local problems, be it medicine, education or finance.
Growing number of African-based businesses
Local companies are also trying to make their presence known in the field of internet communication. Some Nigerian companies are already manufacturing innovative, low-cost Adroid-based tablets allowing local engineering talent to shine through. African Information and Communication Technology companies are entering the manufacturing, selling and exporting markets becoming important players in the field. Their cutting-edge and eco-friendly products change the face of the competitive ICT market, where the nations with the greatest number of innovation hubs are South Africa and Kenya. Local companies can emphasize their origin and heritage by using African country code top level domains such as .co.za for South Africa, .ng for Nigeria or .ke for Kenya.
The innovative changes and new economic developments in Africa also offer new opportunities for investors. More and more foreign capital groups invest in African-based businesses in the technology field. Data collections centres are growing in importance as do the number of new enterprises. African domain names are becoming more and more attractive and sought after. As internet connectivity becomes the driving force for African economies, online presence will be vital for any business looking for long-term growth.
Internet connectivity is still evolving in African countries but keeping ahead of innovation is has substantially helped in overcoming challenges and establishing new ventures bringing the African nations closer to the ever-connected global community.