Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) has pledged its support to
ensure that rural Africa has access to the Internet and to other information
and communications technologies (ICT).
Bashir Patel is the director
of programs and business development at the CTO headquarters in London. He says
a (cell) phone has become a necessity for villagers.
don't have to send somebody running miles and miles to fetch a doctor because
your grandmother or grandparents have suddenly gone ill. So having
communication is becoming…the same as electricity, food and shelter."
says Africa is making progress improving telecommunications services.
don't build a house overnight. You first start building the foundation. I think
many African governments recognize the need to implement the backbone, the
infrastructure. Quite a number of them are already embarked on getting the
fiber optic (cables) linking major cities. From major cities they are rolling
out connections to major towns and smaller towns, and from there it's easier to
start serving rural communities."
Patel says the CTO is hoping to facilitate the
spread of telecommunications technologies by lobbying suppliers to lower
computer prices needed for the projects. He said the technology must be
affordable and "serve the needs of communities where ever they happen to be."
Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization says over 60 percent of rural
Africa lacks access to the Internet, cell phone and other telecommunications