Learning English - Words in the News
24 August, 2007 - Published 10:30 GMT
IT growth in Africa
Officials from African countries have told a conference in Kenya that more must be done to spread digital and mobile communications to remote parts of the continent. 80% of Africa is not connected to fixed, mobile or digital lines, impeding economic growth and social cohesion. This report from Adam Mynott:
The growth of digital communication and information technologies in Africa in the past five years has been dramatic, but it started from a very low base and Africa remains the least connected region of the world. African governments struggling to shake off their developing-nation status see the digital revolution as helping to pave the way for an economic and social revolution.
The per capita costs involved in putting a small town online make profitable sense for the private sector - the challenge, though, lies in connecting remote rural locations. A one-per-cent levy on private companies is being used by nine African governments to build infrastructure, erecting mobile-phone masts and laying cables.
Some private-sector companies say that greater efficiencies and lower costs mean there is profit in accessing rural communities, and they say they're concerned that the money raised by the one-per-cent levy is not always ending up being spent where it should be.
Adam Mynott, BBC News, Nairobi
it started from a very low base
the least connected
struggling to shake off
to pave the way for
per capita costs