ITU announces broadband mapping project

11 July 2024

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has announced the launch of the Africa Broadband Maps project on the sidelines of the ITU Global Symposium for Regulators 2024, held in Kampala, Uganda.

This project, supported by the European Commission, aims to establish mapping systems to encourage investment and digital transformation in Africa. With a budget of €15 million over four years, the project will initially benefit 11 countries: Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The initiative, led by the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (ITU BDT), is part of the organization's efforts to improve digital connectivity on a continent where internet access remains limited in several regions.

According to the Broadband Commission's 2019 report ‘Connecting Africa through Broadband,’ it is estimated that $100 billion will need to be invested over ten years to cover the entire African territory with broadband. 80% of this amount is intended for the deployment and maintenance of networks, 17.5% for the development of local digital skills, and around 2% for the development of an appropriate regulatory framework.

This project is expected to identify areas with insufficient broadband coverage or substandard internet speeds. The results will enable policymakers to allocate resources efficiently, ensuring that investments in infrastructure expansion are effective and equitable.