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Pathways to Prosperity and Sustainable Growth

Four months after launching the Connected Life Exchange, let’s reflect back on some of the key insights that we’ve shared thus far — about the evolving nature of the Global Networked Economy, how participation transforms the way we live, work, play and learn.

We’ve started to explore the user adoption trends that can be discovered as part of the Cisco CLUE initiative, and we will be sharing more details soon. We offered examples of progressive infrastructure investment plans that not only attempt to catch up with the global market leaders, but perhaps set a bold new benchmark for others to follow.

We outlined the mobile data traffic growth trends and reviewed the amazing forecast estimates that demonstrate how more and more people will have their first Internet access experience via a mobile broadband connection – most likely on a handheld device.

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Egypt: an ICT Economic Impact Analysis

The way a nation’s people collectively participate in the Global Networked Economy may seem like a complex topic that’s only relevant to the few academics and industry analysts that study these emerging trends.

However, recent events in Egypt offer insight about the close relationship between the cause and effect of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy decisions,  and the likely resulting socioeconomic impact on the whole population.

In my prior dialogue with U.S. economic development practitioners, sometimes they would raise concerns about being unable to quantify the tangible benefits of telecommunications network infrastructure assets. Granted, it can be  a challenge.

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Africa: No Longer the Dark Continent

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

After writing several recent posts on the telecom infrastructure efforts of Connect Africa, I’ve gotten a much better sense of what’s going on there from an ICT standpoint. The conventional wisdom for places like Africa states that it has the potential to achieve telecom parity more quickly than the U.S. and Europe did.

Why? Because it can skip the cost of wireline installations and go straight to wireless. An easier infrastructure, a faster deployment, a more rapid road to the connected life. The question, perhaps, is that optimism unfounded?

You might think so if all you saw was the political news coming out of Africa over the last weeks of 2010: bombings in Johannesburg; a disputed election in Ivory Coast; secession in Sudan; Kenyan politicians named in a drug dealing scandal. Telecom operators are no different than any other business — they’re attracted by stability and repelled by instability.

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Connect Africa: Approaching the Halfway Point (Part 2)

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

In part one of this story, we looked at the strategic and tactical goals of Connect Africa, a group founded in 2007 intending to “bridge major gaps in information and communication technology across the region” by 2015.

In part 2, we look at its progress at the halfway point.

Connect Africa’s eleven flagship projects represent an ambitious stride toward bringing parity to the continent in relation with the rest of the world when it comes to interconnection and education.

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Connect Africa: Approaching the Halfway Point

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

A century ago, Africa was looked upon as a continent with great resources. All the great European powers cast imperialistic eyes across its vast landscape.

Today, the story has shifted. Africa still has vast resources and potential, but efforts to capture these capabilities and resources are primarily in the hands of Africans themselves, and they are working to “mobilize the human, financial and technical resources required to bridge major gaps in information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure across the region.”

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