In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), although there is a national digital infrastructure investment plan, in reality, there is not much progress or real impact on the ground. The government does not really encourage private investments in the digital infrastructure sector, which remains for them a strategic and sensitive sector for national security.
“The repeated conflicts and wars in the region discourage many funders, especially funders from private sectors, from investing heavily in the digital infrastructure sector given the high risk of losing their investment.”
Digital Infrastructure Funding Landscape
- Lack of good policies for the development of digital infrastructure in the region ( funders are often limited to providing computers, servers, setting up a cybercafé to help communities to have access to the internet, etc.). Funders have no long-term strategy. They fund only some limited projects and initiatives geographically limited with limited funds.
- The lack of knowledge in the use of the computer among the population as a consequence of a high rate of illiterates in the DRC, Republic of the Congo, and Gabon are barriers to the adoption of digital infrastructure, especially in the use of open-source tools. Funders face a great challenge to help communities adopt the use of open source tools and other software.
- The repeated conflicts and wars in the region discourage many funders, especially funders from private sectors, from investing heavily in the digital infrastructure sector given the high risk of losing their investment.
- Access to the internet remains a luxury for many people in the DRC for example where around 60% of the population lives with less than $ 2 per day. The digital divide across DRC represents a crucial problem for private funders across the region.
- The term technological funders “tech funders” can be well tolerated and give much more meaning to their activities.