The Deputy President of South Africa, Mr. Kgalema Motlanthe has charged leaders from Nigeria and other African countries to improve on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a way to boost the continent’s economy.
Addressing the ICT Indaba at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on Tuesday, Mr. Motlanthe said that access to the internet and other information and communication technology (ICT) could help Africa to meet its social and economic goals.
He continued that only 5.7% of Africans had access to the internet and while the continent made up 14% of the world's population, only 3.6% of the world's internet subscribers were from Africa.
"We believe that strategic investment in ICT will allow Africa to increasingly play a role in the development of new applications and technological innovations that are relevant for the needs of our continent and that this will ensure a continued multiplier effect on economic growth," he said.
He said South Africa should consider best practice in smart cities and skilled workers that have helped to developed knowledge economies.
It was also important to look at ways that entrepreneurs can adopt green technology and consider ways to bring more rural areas online - especially because 55% of Africans live in rural areas.
He singled out 28-year-old Nigerian, Saheed Adepoju, who developed the first African-made tablet PC - the Afritab as an inspiration for Africa.
African countries must approve internet access for libraries, schools, health care centres and science centres, he said.
"Africa carries on its shoulders a historical burden next to none in the use and provision of technology. We therefore have to rise to the occasion and weigh-in our salt's worth by becoming a strong player in the world ICT's market," he said.