Leapfrogging : The Key to Africa's Development?

The potential for accelerated,
sustained, and inclusive growth often have
been driven by innovation and widespread technology
adoption. Accelerated growth can be achieved by leapfrogging, i.e., a large boost in infrastructure development. ICT, specifically mobile technologies, is one area where the region has leapfrogged. Although fixed telephone networks have been around since the early 1900s, access was always limited in Sub-Saharan Africa, at less than 2 percent of the population. Once the first mobile networks launched in Sub-Saharan Africa in 1989, they grew rapidly. The gap between Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world dropped from 99 percent in 1989 to 23 percent by 2015. This report has a chapter on ICT with more detailed examples of leapfrogging as well as recommendations for how to create an enabling environment for encouraging leapfrogging.

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