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February 2014, Issue 4
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Member News

View of Accra from above. Photo by isurusen / CC BY

A4AI Gears Up for 1st Country Engagement in Ghana

Local and regional ICT leaders and innovators will converge in Accra on February 11 for the alliance's first major country engagement activity, the A4AI Ghana Multi-stakeholder Forum

The Forum will draw together a wide range of key stakeholders, including the Minister of Communications, the Hon. Edward Omane Boamah, senior officials from the National Communications Authority (NCA), sectoral Ministries and other government agencies, industry representatives, leading Ghanaian academics and researchers, civil society organisations, and members of the media. 

By uniting a diverse range of technology innovators to share insights and debate solutions openly, it is hoped that steps can be identified to tackle a number of challenges keeping broadband internet prices too expensive for most Ghanaians including:

  • A lack of terrestrial fibre, and policies and taxes that limit the best use of telecommunications infrastructure.

  • The high costs of telecommunications equipment, often fuelled by taxation policies, and exacerbated by recent increases in value-added tax (VAT) due to government fiscal pressures

  • Dwindling numbers of Internet Service Providers

  • Low citizen awareness about possible benefits of the internet and how to use it.

Despite the recent landing of four new fibre optic submarine cables in Ghana, broadband remains pricey and is largely an urban phenomenon. The ITU estimates that only 17% of Ghanians currently use the internet, and Ghana was ranked 30th out of 46 emerging and developing countries covered in A4AI's 2013 Affordability Report, behind other West African countries including Nigeria and Senegal. 

In this issue: 

Membership UpdateCountry Engagement | Member FeatureEvents
On our blog:
Nnenna, A4AI's Africa Regional Coordinator, writes about her journey to Nelson's Mandela home village and the connectivity challenges facing rural South Africans.  

Membership Update


A4AI welcomed two new private sector members in the past month: Three new local partners also joined:

Country Engagement Update

March 11 Confirmed for Nigeria Forum 

A4AI has confirmed the date of Tuesday, March 11 for its first Multi-stakeholder Forum in Nigeria. Although likely to take place in Lagos, the team is currently researching the best location and venue for the forum. 

If you have access or connections with any event venues in Nigeria, please e-mail emilie@webfoundation.org

Take our Membership Survey! 


The A4AI member survey is meant to track how well A4AI is engaging with our members, meeting program objectives, and identify areas for improvement. Your input is very important to helping us measure our impact! Deadline is February 14. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE SURVEY

Member Feature
 

A4AI has partnered with World Pulse to support its recently launched WWW: Women Weave the Web Campaign to support women who are using the Internet to transform the world. 
  • The campaign is crowdsourcing the wisdom of grassroots women leaders on issues related to digital inclusion and empowerment.
     
  • It kicked off its Digital Access phase to find out about challenges women have accessing the Internet and the solutions their community are developing.
     
  • In a few months, the campaign will turn its focus to Digital Literacy and then to Digital Empowerment. 
 
Upcoming A4AI Events
February 11
9:30 AM-3:00 PM
A4AI Ghana Stakeholder Forum 
World Bank Knowledge Space
Accra, Ghana


February 24-27
Mobile World Congress
Barcelona, Spain
**A4AI will be participating in these events.
 
March 11
A4AI Nigeria Stakeholder Forum
Lagos, Nigeria (Venue TBD)








 
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