September 12th, 2016

“African countries must learn from India’s digital literacy success”, says Secretary-General Taylor

NAIROBI, 2 SEPTEMBER 2016 – Addressing over 200 government and business executives at the second Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2016 held this week in Nairobi, Shola Taylor, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation has said that African countries have invaluable lessons to learn from India’s ICT success story.

Emulating India’s success is not impossible for African countries, but it requires much further improvements in obvious areas, starting with good governance and the rule of law which are areas where India serves as a good example to many other countries,” Mr Taylor said.

But at the same time, efforts should also go towards more robust but and favourable ICT policies and the promotion of digital literacy to create a more receptive environment,” he added.

Speaking during a session on Delivering Digital Dream for Developing Nations, Mr Taylor said that India’s success carries many lessons other countries can and must learn from. For him, significant efforts are required in three main areas:

1) Policy, regulatory and legislative reforms, and especially:
  • transparent and investment friendly regulations
  • favourable tax and legal environments
  • robust and favourable ICT policies
  • good governance and adherence to the rule of law
  • access to capital, including venture capital and crowd sourcing

2) Greater infrastructure investment to enable:
  • affordable and accessible infrastructure
  • availability of high quality connectivity
  • affordable devices with adequate capability
  • continued investment in next-generation infrastructure (NGI)
  • expansion and investment in distributed infrastructure (Cloud)

3) Promotion of education and entrepreneurship to encourage:
  • higher levels ICT education, especially in science and engineering
  • adoption of standards in ICT education
  • recognition of entrepreneurial culture – as seen in India and other parts of the world.

Whilst at the event, Mr Taylor met with India’s Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha with whom they discussed India’s collaboration with the CTO and plans for 2017.

For more information please contact The Communications Team, or +44 20 8600 3816.

About the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organisation in the field of information and communication technologies. Although our history can be traced back to 1901 with the establishment of the Pacific Cable Board, the organisation has only existed in its present form as an intergovernmental treaty organisation since 1967. With a diverse membership spanning developed and least developed countries, small island developing states, and more recently also the private sector and civil society, the CTO aims to become a trusted partner for sustainable development for all through ICTs. .