The Ivory Coast has been named Africa’s fastest growing economy, but the digital divide that exists within the country between rural areas and the capital of Abidjan restricts some local digital economies from growing. If improved, connectivity could skyrocket the already fast-growing GDP. Be-Bound recently took a trip where we toured the entire country to get a thorough understanding of the reality of mobile internet access.
Forget about the 4 Billion people without Internet access for a moment. There’s another problem affecting 4 Billion people: invisible physical addresses. Those without an official address are invisible to delivery systems. From mail delivery, to emergency services, the simple fact of having an address is something most of us take for granted, but is something that would be life-changing for those without. That’s why Be-Bound is joining what3words on an initial project that will be launched in the Ivory Coast to make every location, locatable. Be-Bound and what3words are working with La Poste in the Ivory Coast with the goal of making mail delivery as efficient as possible.
A special message from Albert Szulman, Be-Bound’s CEO
It’s now been several years since major players decided to enter the world of connectivity. Today, for example, Google and others are striving for 5G, while Facebook and others are working to get 4G worldwide.
Nevertheless, some of these projects, each seemingly more amazing than the other, have encountered some major challenges, and interruptions. This is the case with Facebook’s Internet.org, which had the goal of bringing connectivity to the world population in countries lacking the necessary infrastructure, particularly in Africa. Unfortunately, the satellite that was expected to deliver this advanced technology exploded on the ground when the rocket was expected to launch into orbit.
In September 2015, 193 countries were signatories to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the most ambitious global agenda ever formalized for the social, economic and environmental improvement of the world. The 17 SDGs envision a world without poverty or hunger, in which high-quality healthcare and education are available to all, where gender inequalities have been abolished, where economic growth does not harm the environment and where peace and freedom reign all over the world. For the first time in the global development agenda, the SDGs are meant to be universally applicable to all countries in the world, and articulate ambitious, 100 percent eradication targets, like zero hunger by 2030.
Bangladesh has set its sights on transitioning the entire country towards digital as a means to economic development. After hitting many of the milestones for sustainable development ahead of the given deadline for the Millenium Development Goals (2015), Bangladesh announced its Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021. The digital plan was initiated by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the goal of integrating ICT as a tool or service for the disadvantaged, and stimulating the country’s development. For Bangladesh, the ultimate goal with this digital inititiative is to transform itself into a fully digital country by 2021. The year 2021 will mark the 50th anniversary of Bangladeshi independence, a fitting year to mark a milestone of technological progress.
A few words from Albert Szulman, Be-Bound’s CEO.
In the human brain, there are neurons and synapses that circulate information, all enabled by a fast and fluid connection. Successful circulation and exchanges mean that the brain is functioning at full capacity.
But when the capacity of this circulation diminishes due to deterioration or death of a neuron or synapse, an entire region can be slowed, ultimately reducing the full potential of the brain. The same phenomenon can be observed on a planetary level, where the world is one gigantic brain in which mobile phones and Internet are the neurons and synapses, and the networks for Internet and mobile phones are what enable the electrical pulses.
We recently returned from a visit to South Africa where we attended the NG Telecom Summit, a conference that brought together Telecom operators from across the continent, and private enterprises, to discuss the current state of the Telecom industry in Africa. While research on mobiles in Africa can be done from our home base in Paris, nothing can replace market research on location. What quickly became clear is that the Telco industry is undergoing a major transformation. We heard from operators who shared their struggles, and possible solutions to the challenges Telecoms are facing.
A few words from Albert Szulman, Be-Bound’s CEO.
The connected world is still a fantasy, as so many around the world remain digitally isolated. Isolated because they don’t own smartphone, and/or because they don’t have access to the Internet. Today, there are around 4 billion people without access to high speed mobile internet due to a lack of infrastructure.
Africa is experiencing rapid growth in mobile telephony, but is still one of the world’s most unconnected continents.
For Africa, it is estimated that if the Internet took hold on a much larger scale in the coming decade, it could potentially add $300 billion to the contintent’s GDP , specifically impacting 6 key sectors: financial, educational, agricultural, health, retail, and government.
While many Africans are accessing the Internet, and pushing for higher Internet penetration, why are so many still offline? The reasons for Africa are the same as they are around the world. The primary barriers to Internet adoption everywhere are: affordability, poor infrastructure and relevance. To understand these barriers and how they affect Africa, let’s take a closer look.
Did you know that out of the 4 billion people without Internet, 1 billion of those people are in India? It’s time to connect India!
We are excited to announce that this week Be-Bound’s CEO joined French President, François Hollande, on his trip to India as part of the French Business Delegation. It is an honor to have been chosen to represent French tech on such an important occasion.