- Burkina Faso's Prime Minister Tertius Zongo in a meeting with the country's telecom operators urged a new orientation in infrastructure investments. As telephone services now were available country-wide, focus must now be on the Internet.
Prime Minister Zongo earlier this week headed a meeting between national telecom operators and the Burkinabe Minister of Information Technologies to call for a new "partnership with government." Ouagadougou authorities want to "achieve visible results and benefits" for both the population and for operators, PM Zongo said in a statement.
Since Burkina Faso had embarked on a liberalisation of the telecom sector eight years ago, infrastructure investments in the country had been tremendous and operators had been able to extend affordable services to the entire country, he found. "The results achieved after eight years are beyond all expectations," the PM noted.
Mr Zongo told operators that new policies now were put in place to take the Burkinabe telecom boom even further. At this stage, "the government's ambition is to go beyond telephone coverage all over the national territory and to make information technology and communication a key element of economic and social development of the country," he explained.
The PM expected operators to partner with government to achieve these new goals in the same way as telephony development was pushed forward during the last years. The new strategy would focus more on Internet related infrastructure.
Three "structural initiatives" had been made by government, which required "the support of telecommunications operators," he explained. First of all, authorities wanted to see the construction of a good network of fibre-optic cables capable of carrying broadband Internet to large parts of the country.
Further, the Burkinabe PM asked operators to participate in the upcoming process of defining a "comprehensive and integrated cyber-legislation" for the country, in addition to the development of sectoral "cyber-strategies". New legislation was "deemed to be based on best international practices," Mr Zongo promised operators.
The backbone and Internet service provision in Burkina Faso is still the state-run national telecom operator ONATEL (Office National des Télécommunications), through its subsidiary Fasonet. Services are mostly limited to dial-up Internet on slow and unstable lines. Large investments in fibre-optic cables would need to be made to provide the country with speedy and reliable Internet services.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.