Economic and Social Role of the ICT Private Sector in West and Central Africa

The African economy is characterized by the coexistence of a formal and a so-called informal sector. The informal sector occupies, depending on the country and the area (urban or rural), 70-80% of the economically active population. Over the last few years its expansion has been favored by cyclic economic crises and the application of structural adjustment policies. Today, no part of economic and social life is without its informal sector.

It is the same with the ICT sector, which has advanced in recent years aided by the liberalization of telecommunications, the arrival of the Internet and, more recently, the expansion of mobile telephone service to the farthest reaches of African countries. This new environment creates economic opportunities that contribute to national wealth and employment, and generate revenue for various social groups, notably the young.

This project aims to better understand the dynamics of the informal information and communication technology (ICT) sector in society and the economy. The idea is to recommend a regulatory framework and policy measures favorable to strengthening the capacity of the actors involved and facilitating their absorption into the formal sector should the possibility arise.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, March 10, 2008

End Date

Monday, January 31, 2011


24 months

IDRC Officer

Camara, Alioune

Total funding

CA$ 323,984


North of Sahara, South of Sahara

Project Leader

Dr Sylvestre Ouédraogo


Yam Pukri

Institution Country

Burkina Faso

Institution Website