What is PRIDA?
The PRIDA (Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa) programme aims to promote universally accessible and affordable broadband across the continent, unlocking the benefits of internet-based services for all.
In particular, the programme aims to create a more harmonised and enabling regulatory framework for the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for social and economic development. It will include digital strategies for areas such as health, education and agriculture.
Digital technologies offer opportunities to unlock pathways for rapid economic growth, innovation, job creation and enhanced service delivery. Although the digital revolution is well underway in Africa, in comparison with other continents, it lags behind in terms of broadband connectivity, availability and affordability. Africa also faces challenges when it comes to digital transformation and ensuring its full participation in the global digital economy.
Scope and objectives
PRIDA aims to enable the African continent to benefit fully from digitalisation and build the capacity of African Union (AU) Member States in the internet governance space. The programme is a joint initiative of the AU, the EU and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The programme will work on
- raising awareness for mainstreaming digital in public services
- reinforcing national, regional and continental internet governance initiatives to increase Africa’s active participation in the global internet governance debate
- Administering comprehensive and sustainable online and off-line capacity building programmes
- coaching activities on internet governance to benefit African internet stakeholders
- developing a continental platform to reflect the PRIDA deliverables and to exchange information and best practice among African experts and policy makers
- improving connectivity through radio spectrum reform
PRIDA's main themes
The programme is based on three pillars
- Connectivity – including harmonising spectrum utilisation, improving predictability of the spectrum market, treatment of harmful interferences and pricing on international best practices improved and attaining a forward-looking approach on the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Enabling environment for digital transformation – including sectorial digital strategies (starting with health, education and agriculture), harmonisation and cooperation between regulatory authorities
- Internet governance – strengthening the ability of African stakeholders to actively participate in global internet governance and create a conducive environment for ICT.
- Harmonised spectrum licensing, reframing and pricing, which is expected to generate significant social and economic benefits for people and provide opportunities for the private sector to contribute to the development of services and generate sustainable growth.
- Harmonised ICT policy, legal and regulatory framework, which has the potential to address root causes of market failure and contribute to greater consumer welfare. It will increase competition, consumer benefits and contribute to the regional integration process.
- Improved capacity of African stakeholders active in global internet governance. Strengthening the African voice in the global debate will contribute to making African issues a priority, which in turn has the potential to make global internet policies and rules more appropriate to the African context and create a more viable and conducive environment for ICT.
So far, PRIDA has supported 7 countries in their very first national internet governance fora, 17 countries in their first school of internet governance, 2 existing national schools of internet governance, and one regional (West Africa) school of internet governance. It has also developed, tested and approved a monitoring and evaluation tool for policy harmonization.
The PRIDA programme contributes to the progressive achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 9: to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation. It also promotes progress towards Goal 16.8: to broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance.
African Union and International Telecommunications Union