04 August 2009

Innovation and ICT in Africa

The 2009 edition of the African Economic Outlook (AEO) was launched recently and has a special focus on innovations in information and communication technologies (ICTs).

It concludes that despite low penetration rates for new technologies, innovative applications of ICT have been proliferating to areas such as e-banking, e-payments, e-agriculture, e-trade, e-government and e-education. Many of these new tools are helping to shape an improved business environment by contributing to market development, overcoming traditional infrastructure constraints and reducing business costs.

"These enterprising uses of ICT show that African countries can pursue growth based on greater domestic investment and consumption, in turn reducing the impact of exogenous shocks and crises," adds Javier Santiso, Director and Chief Development Economist of the OECD Development Centre.

Read also: Cell-phones a means to cut food costs.

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