The development of the ICT sector was identified as one of the key priority focus areas of NEPAD. This was in recognition of the fact that ICTs allow faster delivery and a more adapted content of technical assistance in a variety of sectors – ranging from long-distance education, telemedicine, environmental management to strengthening of participatory approaches and the creation of new livelihoods.
ICTs can involve more people, hitherto un-reached or under-serviced, and accomplish a deeper geographic penetration, especially to rural areas, than is the case with traditional means and modalities. They allow access to information sources worldwide, promote networking transcending borders, languages andcultures, foster empowerment of communities, women, youth and socially disadvantaged groups, and help spread knowledge about “best practices” and experience.
In developing the ICT strategy for building the Information Society in Africa, it was important to identify other areas on which progress depended. These were identified as
- lack of adequate ICT Infrastructure,
- lack of skills and
- the poor state of health.
The NEPAD ICT strategy prioritizes the achievement of the goals in these two important areas with the identification of two flagship projects
- the NEPAD ICT Infrastructure Project and
- the NEPAD E-Schools project