Dr. Bitange Ndemo, honorary chairperson of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) and former Permanent Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication, will deliver the opening keynote address at the Guardian’s inaugural Activate Johannesburg Summit. On June 26, the high-level event will convene a variety of influential figures from Africa and around the globe to discuss how the open Internet is reshaping the world. Speaking alongside luminaries such as Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, Dr. Ndemo will examine 25 years of the World Wide Web, looking at the impact the Web has had on Africa and the potential that increased access to affordable Internet has to improve the daily lives of its citizens.
Affordability remains the primary barrier to increased Internet access across the developing world. As our 2013 Affordability Report showed, for those living on less than US$2/day, entry-level broadband costs an average of 40% of monthly income, and in many countries this figure exceeds 80% or 100%. As a result, only 20% of Africans are online today (ITU 2014). The cost to connect must be reduced in order to bring more of Africa online, and to achieve this goal, policies and regulations must be updated to allow for open, competitive and innovative broadband markets. Dr. Ndemo and A4AI are working with current member states Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique to develop and implement the policy reforms that will drive down the cost of broadband and help to close the digital divide.
For more information, read an interview the Guardian conducted with Dr. Ndemo ahead of the event.
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