Last year was a momentous year because for the first time over half of the global population was online. However, because of unaffordability and a number of other reasons, getting online still remains a major challenge for many people. This is why A4AI continues to advocate for affordable and meaningful access to the internet around the world through policy change based on robust research evidence.
Although there is a long way to go to achieve internet access for all, we are proud of the strides we made.
In 2019, we:
- Published unique research products on emerging topics on affordability, including on mobile broadband pricing, and social media tax and its impact on gender.
- Served as the lead authority on affordability and access and advised for the World Bank/Broadband Commission’s Working Group on Broadband for All: A Digital Infrastructure Moonshot for Africa.
- Were sought after as a thought leader on affordable access policy for various international advisory bodies, including the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Expert Meeting Groups, the European Commission, and the EU-AU Digital Economy Task Force.
- Launched a new country coalition work in Benin to accelerate the country’s progress on affordable, universal broadband access.
- Led active national multi-stakeholder coalitions working to advance affordable access through policy change across nine countries in three regions. The key highlights were:
- The new President of Guatemala, Dr. Alejandro Eduardo Giammattei Falla, was one of the eight candidates of the A4AI led Digital inclusion event who signed a commitment to implement strong digital inclusion policies and programs during the A4AI coalition event held in May 2019 (see all signatories here).
- In September 2019, the President of Liberia signed into law the National Telecom and ICT Policy, which is a policy that A4AI helped develop.
- Completed the review of and recommendations for the Nigeria National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 and presented it to the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Ali Pantami for consideration as the Ministry begins to update the Plan. A4AI joined as a member of the Ministry’s new Nigerian National Broadband Plan Committee.
- Successfully drafted the TOR for the proposed infrastructure sharing policy and regulations in Ghana, based on a study conducted and consultations with government, private sector and civil society stakeholders.
We look forward to continuing to work together in 2020 and beyond to drive down the cost of internet for all.
For more updates on our work, follow us on Twitter at @a4a_internet.