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INFORMATION ECONOMY


Programme Vision: An inclusive, pro poor and thriving information economy for economic, social, and environmental sustainability in Africa.

Programme Mission: To provide policy choices that support the generation, uptake and harnessing of information and communications technologies, open data, big data and smart machines for sustainable and diversified livelihoods, socio-economic development and biodiversity conservation in Africa.

Programme Goal: To support the development of enabling policies, organizations and institutions for harnessing applications of information and communications technologies, big data and the digital economy for agriculture and food security, energy access and security, water quality and security, biodiversity and natural resource management in Africa.

ACTS’ second niche in a knowledge-based economy will be in accelerating the development and uptake of applications of ICTs, open data, big data and smart machines with specific reference to those targeting agriculture; clean and renewable energy; sustainable water management; climate resilient economies; responsible natural resource economies; and gender, youth, and inclusive  development. Harnessing the development and application of ICTs has had enormous impact on key development sectors in Africa as demonstrated by numerous award winning social and commercial innovations and applications in agriculture (e.g. M-Farm, Kilimo Salama, iCow), finance (M-Pesa, M-Shwari), health (MedAfrica, Mobile Baby),  energy (Mafutago), water,  education, government, environment and climate change sectors.

ACTS strategic focus on an Information Economy shall be grounded on four pillars of a knowledge economy. First, ACTS shall invest in economic incentives and institutional regimes for the efficient use of existing and new knowledge and the flourishing of data based entrepreneurship. Secondly, ACTS shall tap into Africa’s growing highly skilled and well educated work force. In particular, we envisage investing in building the youthful human capital that, from other research, indicate a high adaptability to technology and innovation and are flexible to structural transformations. Thirdly, we target the dynamic and growing information and communication infrastructure in Africa that includes: internet connectivity and penetration, applications (e.g. e-government, e-commerce, e-agriculture, e-schools, etc.), telecommunications regulations, and open data among others. Finally, ACTS shall support an effective national innovation system to facilitate production, diffusion and use of knowledge – mainstreaming science, technology and innovation in national development and economic policies; better STI policy, technology forecasting; science and technology parks, incubators, university spin-offs, clusters, centers of excellence, venture capital;  and social innovation, among others.