2016 saw the Web Foundation’s Web We Want network kick off FASTAfrica — a campaign to work toward an internet that is Fast, Affordable, Safe and Transparent. (Learn more about what we mean by “FAST” internet and why we think achieving FAST internet is so important.) From May 1-7, 30 groups and around 3,500 people participated in a week of action, with events hosted across 20 countries designed to educate citizens around critical ICT issues and build momentum for advocacy efforts around the FAST principles. These events reached millions of people, online and off, and we presented our demands at the World Economic Forum meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, in May, directly to ministers and business leaders.
As 2016 draws to a close, we decided to take a look at the progress made toward realising FAST internet across the 19 African countries that participated in the campaign. Which countries (i.e., government agencies or institutions), companies, and/or individuals have accelerated the push towards the FAST principles in Africa? Which have acted as a brake on progress? By highlighting those that are taking action toward enabling FAST internet, we hope to encourage continued progress; by naming those that are impeding progress toward these principles, we hope to apply some pressure for change.
The chart below represents what we at the Web Foundation, and some of our partners, see as the steps forward — and steps backwards — taken by these countries in 2016. This chart represents the first in what we hope will become a yearly exercise to review progress made toward and remaining challenges to achieving these FAST principles, and to hold leaders to account to promises they’ve made.Please use this document in your work to praise those who are accelerating, and ask those who are braking to change their ways.
But, in order to make this exercise truly effective, we need your continued help. What do you see as the significant developments in the ICT and internet sector across these countries? Which countries, companies, government officials or business leaders have made a major contribution to either advancing or holding back the FAST principles in one or more African countries during 2016? Please review the table below, and add your comments, suggestions, and other feedback in this anonymous Google document. We’ll review submissions on a rolling basis and keep the table updated as a community resource.
Sign up to our FASTAfrica mailing list to stay up to date on the latest FASTAfrica news and plans for further action in 2017!