Africa aims to increase investment in expanding broadband connectivity

The Kenyan president delved into the disparity between mobile service availability and usage, while dignitaries underscored the significance of innovation and partnerships in fostering Africa’s digital advancement.


The Kenyan president, William Ruto, addressed the Connected Africa Summit in Nairobi, emphasizing the urgent need for improved broadband coverage across the continent.

Highlighting the disparity between mobile service availability and usage, Ruto cited data to illustrate Africa’s lag in digital infrastructure, coverage, access, and quality compared to other regions. He also emphasized the untapped potential of Africa’s digital economy, projecting it to reach $712 billion by 2050.

Dignitaries, including US Ambassador Meg Whitman and EU Ambassador Henriette Geiger, echoed the importance of technological innovation and trustworthy partnerships in driving Africa’s digital growth. ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo noted the need for a comprehensive policy framework to address emerging technological issues such as AI, machine learning, big data, cybersecurity, digital jobs, and digital entrepreneurship.

The summit aims to strategize for Africa’s digital future, with participants from Africa, Asia, and the European Union in attendance.

Why does it matter?

According to data presented during the Summit, 300 million Africans live over 50 kilometers away from active fiber optic connections, hindering internet access and digital economy participation. Despite 84% having 3G coverage and 63% with 4G, only 22% utilize mobile internet. Similarly, 61% have broadband coverage but can’t access it.