Topic: Challenges and strategies in ICT regulation in Africa:

Mark Shuttleworth made his first appearance at iWeek and provided delegates with the lessons from other emerging markets. If South Africa is to succeed in providing Internet access in a more affordable manner we can learn a lot from South Korea. They have the world’s cheapest broadband access. Spain is successful use of computers in classrooms running on free and open source software. In addition Brazil have more multimedia telecenters for teaching digital literacy and allow the creations of multimedia for that highlights there cultural history. Indonesia believes Open Source is central to to ICT strategy. Some of the leading role models in emerging markets on ITCT usage globally is India, China and Taiwan.

Mark touched on some more pressing topical issues within a growing community of ISP in South Africa. He reminded the ISPA that if South Africa is to succeed , skills development should be the most important issue addressed. The need to broaden participation in the regulation of the Internet remain critical. Traditionally, government have dominated the market making it harder for new role players in the industry.

As most ISP are concerned with their own survival, the question of making profit should be measured in line with the idea of putting people first. In other words, the ISP should also drive towards social responsibility and thus broadening access to this technologies. Even more pressing is the need for management skills and not only technical skills. As communities continue to tell their stories through technologies, ISPs and government must work closer together to speed up the roll out of Internet access.