[BLOG] Talking Internet Cafe's..
As the Internet spins a web of interconnectivity around the globe, as it grows literally by the hour, Africa is struggling, not to catch up but to keep from falling further and further behind. There has been a great increase in African content on the Internet.
Many net entrepreneurs have been quick to realize the huge potential of the global market. Initially, most sites targeted the global Diaspora of Overseas Africans who had more access to the Internet, not to mention the credit cards that drive Net commerce.
But there is a growing realization that the Netcan reach the large and wealthy Africa Middle class. This group is rapidly plugging into the Net (still out of range for most people here) and there is increased use of credit cards.
The Internet represents so much potential for Africa, and the demand for efficient Internet infrastructure is growing rapidly. Thisis where Africa has been failing. The demand has not yet been met efficiently and this represents an enormous barrier to business and societal development.
Governments, which has monopolized infrastructure development until recently, has recognized it must not hold back this development. They have opened the industry to private entrants and promised support. In practice, though, the vast bureaucracies that implement (theoretically) government programs have moved sluggishly and ineffectively.
Email, for instance, is a huge asset to companies. And more and more companies are entering into web related business activities, like web site creation, software development, and various service oriented businesses that utilize the Net, like medical transcription or data processing for overseas companies. As the internet demographic becomes more mainstream Africa is going to a prime battleground for internet business over the next decade.
Am calling on African governments to help influence, shape and mold telecoms policies, so that ISPs and entrepreneurs in the business of Internet can setup and grow their services in an environment that is supportive and enabling.
This article was originally posted on West Africa Business Communities