We aim to improve the quality of, and access to, information and communication technologies (ICT) across the countries where we invest.
ICT is a fast evolving sector, and within this we focus on:
Improving access to communications and information. Improved access to ICT enhances the economic opportunities of citizens, especially women, young labour market entrants and populations in less developed regions, by facilitating access to instant information. It helps people access new markets and products (including financial products) and generates social capital.
The Bank supports this by promoting competitive, sustainable network expansion, aimed at increasing the density of communication devices and improving the quality of platforms and operators. In particular, we are focused on increasing the penetration of broadband in regional centres and more remote locations.
Supporting privatisation. Historically, the ICT sector has been dominated by state-owned incumbents whose monopolistic reach created severe imbalances between supply and demand for services, high operating inefficiencies and a lack of basic management skills.
The Bank assists the incumbent operators and governments to transform operators into commercially oriented, privatised companies where investment is required primarily to develop the network. This provides an opportunity to influence the future development of the company, and the sector, through restructuring and regulation.
Fostering the knowledge economy. Many countries in the EBRD region are counting on knowledge to revitalise productivity, competitiveness and growth. ICT is seen as a critical element in developing an economy which is able to grow through innovation.
To develop this, the Bank fosters the emergence of innovative and advanced ICT services. We support transformational technologies with the potential for strengthening local innovation systems through creating or reinforcing linkages between participants and developing transferable skills.