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Growing Africa's ICT capacity through Platform Modelling

The information and communications technology (ICT) sector has been a pioneer and a powerful catalyst in addressing the needs and interests of low-income communities. But it was not always so. Only in the past twenty years or so has a self-conscious appreciation for the ICT sector's role in expanding economic opportunity emerged. 

Some 20 years ago the PTTs, comprising much of the ICT sector of their day, were landline-based and, to a large extent, government -owned and -managed. Services were expensive, and had deteriorated to the point where quality could be described as atrocious - if it had ever been good. Data network capability was non-existent. Technological innovation, to say nothing of business model innovation, was slow.
The name of the game was rent-seeking; that is, extracting every cent of revenue possible from sunk-cost infrastructure, and, as a means to that end, suppressing any new, potentially competitive technology, service, or business model, often using the power of the state for that purpose.

The rate of technological innovation in ICT has accelerated dramatically, and the sector today is orders of magnitude larger than it was 20 years ago, and it encompasses a much more diverse universe of players than ever before.

Today, the sector includes hardware, software, the Internet, telephony, and content, application, and support service, provided by entities ranging from corporate giants to garage entrepreneurs to individual developers and open-source networks. Relevant content and applications are integral parts of the value proposition, and the "network effect" is crucial - technology only increases productivity when lots of people share access. 

As a result, Value Added Services and collaboration have become key to growing our infrastructure and extending the reach and impact of ICT.

But how do we integrate and manage all of these?

The Platform Business Model

A platform is a plug-and-play business model that allows multiple participants (producers and consumers) to connect to it, interact with each other and create and exchange value.


Platforms make building and scaling up simpler and cheaper. They allow both direct and indirect participation that strengthens the overall user experience, and in-turn enhances the platforms ability to capture, analyse, and exchange huge amounts of data. Modern platforms have the ability to process several different data sources, and cross-reference these in real time. Client and consumer gets the data they want, how they want it, when they want it. 

Contact us

Phone: +27 (0) 81 768 9292  
Fax:+27 (0) 86 416 1054 

Postal Address

P.O. Box 38053,
Garsfontein East,
Pretoria, 0060
South Africa